People are different from each other- that is a veracity of life. Hence, you will really be able to encounter different types of clients in your freelance work. But the diverse type of people you get to meet and work with won’t matter if you are ready to face them. You won’t succeed in any type of career if you will not learn and practice handling clients which is one of the most challenging parts in a business. One has to develop good client relationship for it is vital to reach the zenith of success.
But when you are prepared to face them, there is nothing that you should be afraid of. Being ready is the key in order to deal with clients really well. You also need to know the top challenging client habits every designer needs to handle. But before that, you have to know the different types of clients you’ll get to encounter. Knowing them would be the best armor you have to succeed in a design project. Here they are:
1. The Knowledgeable-Supportive Client.
This client knows a lot about what the project is. He tells you what he wants clearly and even provides you with what you need even before you ask for it. He even shares to you some valuable inputs that can help you to have a successful design. He knows what he wants for the design.
• What You Can Do: Clients like this would most likely trust the designers since they are confident that they have given everything that you need. He will also support you with everything you need for the project whenever you ask for it. With a client like this, there is a big chance for a successful project. Show him how much you appreciate his efforts. Always say thank you and let him know how big help it is for you. Be kind and polite, too. Do not act like you are taking advantage of his kindness.
2. The I-Don’t-Care-Just-Do-It Client.
This client seems not to care at all. He would just hand to you the project and tell you some details about it. When you give your idea about it, he would just brush it off and just tell you to just do the design and submit it. They do not want to be involved in the project since they are busy with other jobs. He wants to finish his function during the first meeting and wants to get the finished output on the next meeting. He wants you to do everything with less effort from him.
• What You Can Do: You have to exert effort to contact him most of the time through phone calls and emails. Try using a friendly and humorous tone to pacify the situation, making him answer your queries. The advantage of having a client like this is that you are given your creative freedom to work on a design.
3. The Friendly Client.
This client is easy to talk to. He is kind, courteous, polite and is also talkative. He would talk about this and that like an old friend does. He would also seem to be happy about the project and would also give corrections yet retaining his being amiable.
• What You Can Do: You can also be kind and friendly to him but be sure to create a distance so that he won’t be so confident. This might result into some disadvantages like he might ask you to do some things and would pay you with a “thank you” just because you are already good friends in his perception.
4. The I-Am-King Client.
This client is dominant. He wants you to follow everything he wants without giving you the artistic freedom to design the project. He is also strict in the instructions he give you which sometimes leave you with no choice but to follow it. During meetings, he would speak all the time without giving you the chance to insert your ideas. If he sees some mistakes, he would not listen to your explanation and would only want you to correct it.
• What You Can Do: Dealing with clients like this causes pressure and stress on your part especially that you would always want to get the design he want. But don’t be pressured. Do not show him that you are intimidated by him because if you do, he would even be more dominant in his acts. During meetings, you have to prepare what you will be presenting and just go on talking about it. When he inserts recognize it and then continue with your presentation. Then ask open-ended questions to keep the conversation going.
5. The Designer Wannabe Client.
This client claims to have a background on designing or maybe he really has knowledge about design. He would talk about his skills as a designer or an artist. You would notice that this client knows exactly what he wants which makes the job easier. But then he might be giving you some instructions on what to do with the design and he would even be using terms that designers use. This type of client is so hands on and involved with the designing that he might even sit with you while you work.
• What You Can Do: You can just go with the flow to avoid misunderstanding because this client thinks that his ideas are always better than yours. If he knows exactly what he wants, then let them. But if you notice some flaw with the idea, just try to make a suggestion, who knows, he might say yes to it.
6. The Ignorant Client.
This client doesn't have any idea about design. He is even unsure of what to place in the design he is asking you to make. He might have an e-mail but doesn't know how to use it. Well, if you think that everyone in this world knows even just the basic of computer usage, you are wrong. There are still some people who are low tech.
• What You Can Do: It would be a challenge for you on how to explain things to him but you’ll be able to manage that by talking to the client instead of sending him emails which will make things harder. Advantage of this one is he will allow you to do all the work for the design which gives you freedom since he would tell you that he doesn’t know anything about it.
7. The Deal-or-No-Deal Client.
This client will offer you a deal like he will be paying you higher than what you are asking him of but you have to give him the output earlier or in a limited time. Some clients who know that you badly need the project would even tell you to lower your rate and he will hire you. It is like you have to either consider their proposals or else you will not get the job at all.
• What You Can Do: Well, be smart by trying a different offer or amending the offers that they make by giving a suggestion. Be sure that you will not be taken advantage of. In the end, they might be bullying you to give them discounts and to work more than what you have agreed. See to it that you stand on what the rates you have given them. Do not give in to their offers at once. These clients think that “there is no harm in trying”. If you say yes to them, they have succeeded. If they really insist on their offer, then, you can let go of this client. There are still so many clients who are willing to pay you rightly.
8. The Impatient Client.
This client always wants work to be finished at once. He seems to have urgent projects all the time. He wants everything to be in a rush and wants to be entertained first even if there are clients prior to him. He gets mad when he sees that the project is not yet finished even if you are still way far from the due date. He thinks that you are not working on the project according to schedule and would even let you finish it faster than what you have agreed.
• What You Can Do: Explain to him that there are still other clients whom you have committed with first. Let him know that like him they are also in a hurry to get the project done. If he can wait, you can work with him but if he is really in a rush and you do not have the time to insert it on other projects, then refer him to another designer. If you have started with the project and he wants you to finish it faster, you would remind him of the contract you have both signed. If the client really wants you to finish it at once, explain to him the design process so he will know how long it would really take to make the design or let him know that you will be charging more if it will be done for a shorter period of time.
9. The Silent-Shy Type Client.
This client speaks only when asked and is also shy to express his opinions. If you won’t ask, he won’t talk about it. He is also having difficulty in making decisions. He might even be unsure of what to choose in terms of the design.
• What You Can Do: It would be your duty to help him decide on the designs. Explain to him each one and which one is better. You would also need to use close ended questions in order for him to answer. This way, he wouldn’t be shy to speak out. Usually, clients like this one would agree on the ones you consider as good design which is an advantage on your part.
10. The Noisy-Appreciative Client.
This client always appreciates your work. He would never run out of “wows” and it would surely make you feel good. He would be talking much about how genius you designs are and how amazed he is that the result turned out that way. He will even speak of doing business with you again since he is totally impressed with what you can do.
• What You Can Do: This can be good for you and the project. You will be motivated to work. But do not be so happy because sometimes clients like this would only notice corrections when everything is done since they were only occupied looking at the good design and were not able to look at the details. So, you have to push them in looking into the details of the project. Ask them if this and that is okay so that they can let you know if there are revisions.
It's Your Turn Now
There are indeed different kinds of clients that you will encounter in the design business. Some are easy to deal with while there are also some that is very difficult. There are even clients who do not pay. We have some tips for you on how to deal with clients who does not pay. But whatever type of client you meet, you have to make sure that you would act professionally and politely. This way, you will be able to have a good relationship with them. If you think there are still client types that we failed to mention, you can add some through the comment section below.