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Question:

Since I shared my discount on products with my clients in the past, don’t I have to stay with that arrangement in future jobs with them? This is what they will be expecting, so what should I say to them?

Answer:

If you are in the middle of a job with a signed Letter of Agreement that spells out sharing the discount is the way you will be handling purchasing, then you must complete the job under these terms.

In all other circumstances you can notify your client with your new changes in purchasing fees, or hourly base fees whenever you think necessary. Just because you did something in the past does not mean it should be that way in the future.

This includes old clients who are paying hourly rates that haven’t been raised from four years ago – clients who paying no purchasing fee (or very small purchasing fees), or share in product discounts or any other arrangement you have discovered that is not profitable to your business.

When an old client shows up for new work, this is your opportunity to explain right away and in person, (no letters) your new rates and arrangements. While this seems scary at first, you will find that clients are easily agreeable to new terms.

Sometimes you are working on a job that never seems to end. This is the kind of design job where your client keeps adding things for you to do and find. You will have to go to your client and explain that you have raised your rates and purchasing fees to all other clients several years ago. You have been trying to hold the pricing and help the client but you just can’t do it anymore. Explain that you love working for them but, in 30 days all further work will be at your new current rates.

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