On Developing Relationships

I had a conversation with a new client this week. It went something like this.

Me: Hey dude, here’s that work you offered to pay me a princely sum for doing. (I’m paraphrasing here)

Client: I’m a bit disappointed. There’s guys a lot cheaper than you who look like they can do this.

It would have been easy to pout or rant, or just give up and find another client, at this point. A lot of the artistic sorts who want to write for a living would do exactly that. I admit that I’ve done it once or twice myself. Instead…

Me: I’m sorry to hear that. It’s pretty rare. Could you tell me what you were hoping for?

Client: Here are some examples of what a cheaper guy did for me.

Me: Here’s another article. Here’s where I included stuff your cheaper guy did. Here’s where I do stuff he doesn’t. If you love it, buy it. If not, spend your money on the cheaper guy.

Client: Woah! This is what I was hoping for. Give me some more!


That kind of give-and-take took time out of my schedule (which is pretty packed since I’m cramming three weeks of work into one week between two vacations) — but it pays off. The new client might or might not buy a lot of new work from me after our initial agreement expires…but we’re now conversing like friends.

I’ve mentioned before how powerful repeat business is. Relationships with clients and editors are the lifeblood of that repeat businesses.

How about you all? Any stories about repeat customers, or handling an initially poor review that turned into success? Post in the comments below.


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