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What To Do About This Client?

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I am not sure if this is in the right area or not, but here goes.

 

I have a client who is a medical professional and travels quite frequently. I really like him personally and professionally; however, there is a problem. Recently, he moved to another country to do an internship.

 

His contract clearly states that after a certain date, the rates and work will need to be negotiated. While I realize that he is homesick for his wife and kids and trying to make an adjustment in a foreign country, we all have issues to some extent. I have extended the contract deadlines three times for him only to have him not meet the deadlines or not communicate that he is running behind.

 

Today, he sends me work that he wants done that has been extended three times with a missed deadline. Should I just refer him to his deadline and inform him that I cannot fulfill this late work without negotiating either a higher fee or an additional fee to his missing three deadlines? Or should I just fulfill the work and tell him that he must accept it carte blanche without any follow-up or revisions made due to his missing three deadlines?

 

I was helping him write an eBook, and I always allow two revisions. He was overall happy with the first revision, but decided to add additional information to the eBook on the second revision. I also reminded him that I was only editing and not revising.

 

I am so confused. What is the best way to handle this client?

 

TIA

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Ok has he prepaid you for hours worked or was this a project based fee? I'm assuming project based fee.


What I would do if not project based is tell him yes you can do the work but he will have to pre-order additional hours for you to do the changes.


If project based, you need to stick to your boundaries stated in your contract. ie) only two revisions by deadline. At some point you have to start sticking behind your boundaries you initially enforced (ie: past the time period so he now has to pay for more services). Boundaries are needed in this industry else clients will drive us crazy with their constant demands. For example when I offered website design services I really had to stick to my boundaries stated else they would be changing their images/logos/colours/fonts a zillion times. I would stand behind your deadline and renegotiate.


You could even say you've extended it way past the allotted time period because you were understanding (being nice) of his personal life happening but you cannot extend any longer. I know its hard to be firm but you have to be because some clients will walk all over you if you don't :(

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Yes, it was project based with a deadline. Thanks, Tawnya! That is what I was thinking too. He will just have to pay for more time, since he has missed the deadline a total of three times as we need to renegotiate the original contract. I don't even think I will offer the carte blanche without a follow-up phone call.

 

Again, thanks so very much.

 

L

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I think we have all had a client like that once or twice. I would definitely go with what Tawyna said as well. I remember the first time I had to step out of my comfort zone and be straight up with a demanding client. But that is one of the benefits of running your own business. You are the boss. If clients can't respect your boundaries and guidelines, than they have no one else to blame when they find themselves without any help in the end. There is no reason why we should be run ragged or pulling our hair out because they dropped the ball.

 

It's not like your client didn't have the time. We all have stuff going on in our lives. If we are going to run a business, it is our responsibility to manage it. If he could not, he should have either had better communication with you or found another solution. Three times missing a deadline is not an "oopsy" in my book but rather a pattern of disregard.

 

Hope it all works out for you in the end.

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Just an update!

 

I did end up "firing" this client after missing a total of five deadlines. The final straw was his eBook cover, which I paid my designer to do. He missed the deadline telling me that while he loved my writing and editing, he wasn't happy with the cover. I couldn't afford to lose any more money or time, so I just told him he would have to find someone else to do the Kindle conversion.

 

The said part is that he is a doctor, but even more so, professionals at all levels need to be respected. I do not feel guilty. He is a great person, but this is business. Sometimes even friends--best friends--can't work together.

 

Just thought you'd like the hear the empowering ending to my story.

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Thanks for sharing the outcome! Sometimes we have to let some clients go (especially when they miss deadlines) but in the end everything is for a reason. You have no reason to feel any regret or guilt about firing him, just move on to finding a new client. Like you said, this is business ;)

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