Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Clients, Cancellation Fees And Success


Two hands shake with a business meeting in the background in a photograph of team work, success and sealing the deal.
 The clients you want are part of the team, make sure you have the time and resources you need, and are willing to pay you what the job is worth.
Today I received an email from a friend and fellow photographer relaying the following story:

I drove all the way to SF to set up for a simple portrait in SF.
At the last minute the client called to say they found someone cheaper.  I was pissed. I called, tried to work it out with them. Was willing to come down by the small $50.00 difference. They said no.

So I sent them an invoice right away for a cancellation fee of the full amount.. They just called and gave me their credit card. Of course, they will never work with me in the future, but they were never going to anyway.

So I get the same amount I was going to get for shooting the shot, now I can go home early.

My friend was fortunate that he asked for a cancellation fee and got it. The story reminds me though of some things I learned in my twenty-five years of shooting assignments. You don’t want to waste your valuable time on second-rate clients. You are far better off turning down jobs from clients that aren’t willing to pay you an appropriate amount, and provide you with the resources (time and expenses) necessary to do a quality job. You are better off spending that time finding great clients. Great clients understand the value of your time…all of your time, don’t have a problem putting down a deposit, keep you informed, and pay you on time. Great clients are part of the team...not part of the problem.

A poor client will drag you down, label you as someone who can be hired cheaply, and then spread the word.  Remember, you will be known by the clients you keep. Want to succeed? Hold out for great clients and then work your ass off for them. 

1 comment:

Jaak Nilson said...

I see every time if do an assignments how clients looking for cheaper photographers. It is a part of assignments. Unfortunately some people buying a price only, not content.