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Old 10-20-2012, 07:33 AM
Del S's Avatar
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Default Politely letting clients go

Hi all,

I could really use some help in how to word an email letting go of a client. (I know, I'm supposed to be a writer but I'm drawing a blank here...)

Short story: He sends me direct orders at TB. I lowered my rate by 1 cent for him since he gives me a fair number of batch orders. However, since I started writing for him, now he wants me to do html formatting, incorporate sometimes hard-to-implement keywords AND come up with ideas for future titles. I don't think I get paid enough for all of that, especially since I already lowered my rate for him. I'm going to finish up my last batch for him but I need to let him know (1) I'm no longer interested in the next batch, which I'd previously expressed interest in and (2) the reasons I don't want to continue.

I want to make it sound better than "hey, you're asking way too much work for the pay" but that's the gist of it.

Any help in wording that doesn't burn any bridges would be appreciated!
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Old 10-20-2012, 08:31 AM
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Can you not write something like "the direct order rate quoted was for x,y,z...my rates for blah, blah, blah are as follows". That way you're drawing a line in the sand as to what you will do for a specific rate. Then it is up to the client as to whether they're willing to pay for the extras he/she currently thinks you'll provide for free. Or you can just blame it on scheduling/rate of pay..."based upon our agreed upon rate, my schedule no longer allows me to dedicate sufficient time to complete your orders in a professional manner. I regret to inform you that I will no longer be able to accept direct orders at our previously agreed upon rate."
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Old 10-20-2012, 10:36 AM
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I would say something like ...I would be happy to do those additional tasks for you, however, there would be an additional fee. Simple as that.
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Old 10-20-2012, 12:00 PM
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I have a client that is exactly like this. It started out as a lower rate than I would normally do, the rate increased slightly to a comfortable level for both of us and then he started asking for other things. HTML coding, social marketing, posting, etc. Now, he isn't through TB but still it is the same scenario.

I had to tug the reigns several times but I've had the client for over a year. I would tell him you would be happy to do the work for "x" price. Detail what your fees are. Write what the others have said basically.

No reason to completely let him go if something can be worked out.
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Old 10-20-2012, 11:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LilBlackDress View Post
I would say something like ...I would be happy to do those additional tasks for you, however, there would be an additional fee. Simple as that.
That's a brilliantly diplomatic suggestion. Anytime you can make a "no" to clients sound enough like a "yes" to make them happy, you've done a great job.

It works in all kinds of situations, too:

"I would love to get those to you before deadline; this is the new price for the faster turnaround."

"Yes, I'd be delighted to add HTML tags to future projects. My rate for fully marked content is X. When would you like me to begin?"

"I'd be happy to extend that article by 500 words. Please send me a direct order for that amount, and I'll get right to it."
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Old 10-21-2012, 07:06 AM
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Thanks for all the suggestions, ladies! I'll combine all of them into something that works for me. I just don't know if it's worth continuing on with him.
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Old 10-21-2012, 11:06 AM
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I call this scope creep and almost every client does it if you let them. When new work is added on always state immediately, that will be an extra charge of $X.XX. Otherwise, you'll keep finding yourself in these issues. I STILL sometimes fall for this crap. Best to nip it in the bud immediately, rather than feeling resentful. I hope it worked out okay for you.
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Old 10-21-2012, 11:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by charmed View Post
I call this scope creep and almost every client does it if you let them. When new work is added on always state immediately, that will be an extra charge of $X.XX. Otherwise, you'll keep finding yourself in these issues. I STILL sometimes fall for this crap. Best to nip it in the bud immediately, rather than feeling resentful. I hope it worked out okay for you.
"scope creep" -- lol. Very accurate! Yeah, I've never encountered this before but I know exactly what you mean. I'll know better next time. Even though some of the writers here suggested I may want to hold onto him as a client, I can't think of a reason to. The money is nice, not great, and I could use time not spent with him getting other clients.
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Old 10-21-2012, 11:30 AM
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If you take up your time servicing cheap clients, you won't ever have room for the expensive ones. Also, perhaps he's not cheap at all, but you didn't speak up. Like most people (me included), he'll take what he can get free, right?
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Old 10-21-2012, 03:14 PM
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Ah, "scope creep"...what a perfect description!

Del, you've gotten some good advice here. I'm sensing, however, that you're pretty much over the client anyway. If this is the case, I'd caution against asking for more money and just cut him loose. This, I say from experience. Nothing worse than a client that has already worn through your last nerve, but is willing to pay extra for you to continue working. In my opinion, it's just not worth it and it's even harder to later come up with an excuse as to why you don't wish to work with them. If you're done, just be done.
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