Funny Video & Discussion – vendor/client relationships

NOTE – There IS a high def version of this available! Click on the HD button in the box above after you hit play, then pop it full screen.

The last line is a killer, especially as someone who comes up with pixel recipes for a living.

Ohhhh, the sweet, sweet irony of this one! What if the stunts vendors tried to pull with us were attempted in real life situations, like restaurants, the video store, or the salon?

“So you want me to work for free?”

“No, I don’t want you to work for free, it’s just a test! That way I can see if my husband likes it, and then you can roll the costs over till the next time I need color if he likes it.”


“I’ll come back next Tuesday, we’re gonna make it up on the next one.”

Most importantly, WHY do they think their situation is exceptional, and they should be able to get away with this? Or perhaps more importantly, why do we let them get away with it?

“Is there a problem sir?”

Ohhhhhh, yes. There is indeed.

Statistically however, I’ve found that for every one hundred “we’ll make it up on the next one, we promise” clients, exactly 0.00000 of those clients actually come back with more budget the next time. Then their story, SHOULD they return, will be “What are we supposed to do, dump additional cost on OUR new client for the last client that didn’t come back? That wouldn’t be fair to our new client. Besides (activate deja vu) – we don’t have budget for that.”

They also say this with a straight face.

If you can suppress the urge for the first five seconds to to tell them where they can insert the bid, at high speed and with excessive force, you’ll probably be able to remain composure for the duration.

Herein lies the great challenge of a young business. On the one hand, you want to build relationships. You especially want to build relationships with up and comers. How to identify them? It is tough, and there are numerous factors beyond yours or their control. But experience and track record are the best place to start.

Short version – nobody, ever, EVER, EV-ARR actually can come back and “make it up to you on the next one.” I’ve personally never done that, seen that, heard of that. So unless someone is going to give you something YOUR lawyer says is ironclad to that effect (good luck with that endeavor), I say run don’t walk from any offer along those lines.

The best you can hope for is to give a discount on this one, and NEXT time, IF they come back, AND you did a good job, AND they are nice & honest people, AND they are good at what they do…you MIGHT be able to charge for this one what you should have been able to the last time. Consider it cost of client acquisition.

But do this one for free as a test? Sorry. Homey don’t play dat anymore.

I used to work in advertising/marketing circles, and that was irrational enough – I’ve had every situation outlined above proposed to me, many, many times. The more time goes by, the less bend I’m willing to have. What other kinds of businesses don’t bend over so much? The non-creative ones, for the most part. We want to be in this business, and we let clients do these things to us.

Mild discounts at best. Also, if they are saying they’ll do full rate on the next one – investigate carefully what the odds are that there WILL be a next one, in the NEAR future, that requires your specific services. How often do they do gigs like this?

Every time somebody says that, a little voice in my head says to say great – can we put it in writing then?


PS – and thanks to my friend from a post facility who sent me this link – to protect the innocent from the guilty, we’ll just call him a John for now….

Share Our Article

Leave a Reply

Notify of