Firing Bad Customers Before They Become A Pain
As an #Entrepreneur, it's important to have healthy relationships with your customers, but anyone who's had to work for a living has a story or two about that one, ornery varmint that no amount of courtesy, professionalism, or even Empathy will work for. No matter what is done to placate them, they pitch such a boo-hoo that it affects other customer relationships or even employee morale.
Bad for any company. But what do you do as an independant, when you need to stack together as many customers as possible so you can grow and thrive in whatever market you're competing within? My personal solution, don't be afraid to fire the (potential) bad customer before they even become a problem.
As a freelance writer and coder, I'm no stranger to the competitive leveraging that exists due to the surplus of those I'm competing against. But, what I WILL NOT abide is someone trying to take me for a ride before the work ever has a chance to start. One of my pet peeves is when a potential customer refers to a service I'm offering, and then proceeds to attempt to leverage it to their own (usually shady) ends. Case in point,
Never try and hustle a hustler (lol!).
Not only was the content NOT theirs (I'm guessing, by the fact that there was a CPA locking access to the material, guaranteeing it wouldn't or couldn't be stolen), but they wanted me to expand the dimensions of a job that wasn't even designed for their request. What they thought was going to happen was that I was going to fall all over myself and give them the equivalent of their goal and short myself in the process. I'd already smelled them coming from miles away.
As I previously decided to not satisfy graspy cheapos, I have not the slightest problem in firing a potential customer before they even set their mentality on me as Designated Pigeon. #ContentCreation is a multi-billion dollar business model that will pay handsomely to any writer who can successfully negotiate any and all pitfalls.
Don't get me wrong, I've done custom jobs before, but when their scope exceeds what you're offering even before you're hired for the job, it's a pretty good indication that you need to stick to your guns and remain within your offer parameters. With not even a glint of hesitation, I fobbed off their request to give myself a headache. A whole WEBSITE worth of content? At best, it'd take weeks to get done, and I suspect that there would've been mounting requests uninvolved with the project at hand, which would've turned it into a nightmare.
It's important to guard against predatory leverage as a freelancer as those who are willing to recompense you for your skills are far and few in-between - but they're out there.