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Lost a nice client... saw that one coming!

Discussion in 'General Chit-Chat' started by GypsyGraphics, Oct 20, 2010.

  1. GypsyGraphics

    GypsyGraphics Major Contributor

    Mar 19, 2009
    Notice i said i lost a NICE client, not a GOOD client.... but still, can't help but be a wee bit bummed.

    A few years ago Mr. Goodbar came to my office to discuss a corporate identity. When he found out what i charge he said "i love to use you, i just can't afford you." I spent a little more time with him and gave him a few tip on what to ask the other designers he was meeting with.

    A few weeks later he came back, after interviewing several other designers, and paid me the greatest compliment saying "i decided i couldn't afford NOT to use you."

    He was a pleasure to work with and didn't make me dink around with the logo at all, which lead to regional and international awards for both the logo and stationery package.

    Unfortunately, that stationery was the only thing they ever had professional printed. Mrs. Goodbar used their logo and the design concept of their stationery to create flyers and the most god-awful website ever to grace (and i use that word loosely) the internet.

    A year or so later, Mr. & Mrs. Goodbar stop by with a few presentation pages she'd done for a recent meeting with clients they were hoping to land. The meeting didn't go as well as they'd hoped and they felt certain the hand-out material was to blame. They asked me to "put my magic touch on it" (their words).

    During this meeting Mr. Goodbar tells me his wife is joining a "women's networking group" and suggests i join as well.

    Not only do i NOT join "women only" groups, but i don't join groups where you are expected to refer other members in the group based on their membership alone.

    Imagine how surprised i was to get an email from Susie Q's Affordable Design, requesting the Goodbar's artwork.

    Good bye Mr. Goodbar.
  2. anotherdog

    anotherdog Very Active Member

    Sep 6, 2008
    They will be back wasting your time again after Susie Q drops the ball.

    I have a policy to run a mile when anyone mentions the word "networking". It's a bunch of people all sucking on each others time and not producing a thing...except empty coffee cups.
  3. Brandon708

    Brandon708 Very Active Member

    Sep 22, 2009
    Orland Park, IL
    I guess they went with her because she joined the group and also she is "affordable"

    People tend to realize it's hard to come by a good designer and that is very important.
  4. WildWestDesigns

    WildWestDesigns Major Contributor

    Sep 27, 2010
    Mid TN
    Networking is one of those double edged swords. Of course, that type of networking is a dull one indeed. Most of my "networking" has been doing a job for a client that someone else liked and got referred to me. Other then that, I don't do those groups "stuff".

    More often then not people will come back though. People "float" between trainers as well in the horse world. Stay with one person for awhile then go on to another, most come back to the first, some don't.

    Just never bad mouth the person that they want to go to next, that tends to do more harm then good. Just say OK and send all the stuff and go on.
  5. Billct2

    Billct2 Major Contributor

    Mar 12, 2005
    New England
    You aren't sending anthing are you? Other than a nice note thanking them for their business and explaining that all work files are your property.
  6. GypsyGraphics

    GypsyGraphics Major Contributor

    Mar 19, 2009
    i'm sure that's why, and i have no interest in the group or in being "affordable."
    i've never bad mouthed another designer. it's mean, unprofessional and only makes YOU look bad.
    as for the "affordable" part... that didn't come from me... it was in her email and was either part of her company name or her slogan.
  7. Si Allen

    Si Allen Very Active Member

    Jul 17, 2004
    Susie Q gets a 2" x 2" 72 dpi copy!

    Unless you can send an even lower rez pic!

  8. drive

    drive Member

    May 14, 2009
    But how do you handle ownership of your graphic files Gypsy?
    Here in my corner of hell we've had the situation arise a few times. Each time spurned a different solution depending on the sales persons willingness to stand their ground and relationship with the client
  9. Gino

    Gino Premium Subscriber

    Jun 7, 2006
    That's a shame it didn't work out, but if ya saw it coming, at least you could prepare. Sounds like you didn't lose a money making customer, but just someone easy to work for from time to time.

    As for networking groups..... I think they're pretty much a good thing. Sure, you get some bad leads or pain-in-the-butt leads from time to time, but you also get some really good ones. We've made a good deal of money belonging to ours, however, they aren't all women groups. They are national professional organizations.

    About six or eight months ago, we finished a $12,000 order for a member. He just let us know he has about an $18,000 or better order coming up real soon. For us, they're not all that size. We get some dinky ones like $300 and $400 jobs, but for the most part.... they average out around $1,000 to $2,000 orders.... not counting those larger ones. We get good results for second or third generation referrals. It's up to you to sell yourself once you get a warm lead. So, I don't see how many of you think they're bad.
  10. Rick

    Rick Certified Enneadecagon Designer

    Apr 17, 2003
    Valle Vista
    These "affordable" places are a dime a dozen around here.... I have a few local places bookmarked, I'm pretty sure I have your "competitions" bookmarked too. They all have the same basic look and information. They may have the "design" speak from copy and pasting a design firms (or each others) process, but after looking at the work, they don't seem to put it into practice very well or their clients muddle up the process...

    Like I have always said, it's hard shopping for design, it's even harder in our neck of the woods...
  11. Marlene

    Marlene Major Contributor

    Jun 8, 2004
    I hope you told miss susie q to blow off! this month's sign builder has a great article on copyright. it also goes into the "who owns the artwork" which really is a good read.
  12. iSign

    iSign Major Contributor

    Nov 29, 2003
    Kahului, Maui
    It sounds to me like they left over price the first time, but came back for a great corporate identity package... oh, did I say "great"... I meant "award winning" corporate identity package... and at your price of course..

    ...so I'm quite sure you would be releasing the logo files, and I guess in this case I wouldn't be too surprised if the "stationary package" (ltrhd, BC and envo?) was released as well, but would be interested to hear if that is the case or not.
  13. Rick

    Rick Certified Enneadecagon Designer

    Apr 17, 2003
    Valle Vista
    On design work, I usually release artwork because I get paid enough to, and I don't fabricate or print anything, so I have to release it anyways...

    I would not be too surprised of your work shows up on Susie Q's website either...
  14. CES020

    CES020 Very Active Member

    Oct 16, 2008
    I agree with Gino, what's the issue with networking? Meeting new people is what keeps most of us in business and allows us to grow our companies.

    I spent $400 a year on one, it's landed me some great clients, repeat clients, and they keep referring me out as well. That $400 probably got me $20,000 in work last year, and close to that this year.

    It's like anything else, there are bad groups and good groups. Don't condemn the good groups because you experienced a bad group.
  15. Craig Sjoquist

    Craig Sjoquist Major Contributor

    Jun 18, 2004
    It's all been said, and you make up your own mind.

    But it must be a pleasure to be your customer and also to know you in any dealings, so do what you think is best, you've been doing right all these years.
  16. Tim Aucoin

    Tim Aucoin Very Active Member

    I think the big question here lies in ownership of the artwork... but that all depends on your particular policies and whether or not they have been stated to this customer...

    My take on networking is that it works, BUT you have to keep up with the times. The best, most viral way of networking today (at least for my industry) is Social Networking via Facebook, Twitter, etc... It's amazing the referrals that come from it! Not to mention it costs $0.00... just some of your time on a regular basis!
  17. mark in tx

    mark in tx Very Active Member

    Oct 25, 2005
    Harker Heights, Texas
  18. GypsyGraphics

    GypsyGraphics Major Contributor

    Mar 19, 2009
    Many of you know what i charge for a corporate identity, for the area i'm in ...it ain't chump change.
    And i'm very clear with clients who owns their identity when the job is complete... THEY DO.

    Some job are billed by the hour, on those jobs, clients are paying for my time, not the results. In the case of a corporate identity, they ARE paying for results.

    Not giving up pricing info in open forum... but i will say... for that price, clients are promised and receive, their logo in many file types, including vector. If the logo happens to have affect applied in PSD (which i rarely do), they'll get a flatted PSD file. Stationery layout are supplied as PDF files.

    But... in 13 years... iv'e NEVER released my native layout files. All layouts are done in InDesign and i don't know what a cleint would have to pay me to give up my InDesign file.

    as for what i told Susie Q and Mrs. Goodbar... i'll go pull that info from the emails.... then i'll prepare myself for the beat down i'm gonna get form you guys.
  19. Techman

    Techman Major Contributor

    Jun 24, 2003
    u must charge for collating and preparing the cd for transport
    200 bux...
  20. Cross Signs

    Cross Signs Active Member

    Mar 30, 2006
    Clearwater FL
    Sound advice!
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