Cheapskate clients: Telltale signs and evasion tactics

Peeling off the leeches that cost you time, money—and your chipper disposition.

Peeling off the leeches that cost you time, money—and your chipper disposition

Ah, the cheapskate client. How do I loathe thee? You may know him/her well. S/he masquerades as a serious prospect and raises everyone’s hopes. S/he requests a full-on proposal with no intentions of pulling the trigger. Or the worst: S/he orders the work and signs a contract but never pays the invoice.

Seemingly harmless at first glance, the cheapskate client is quite dangerous. The CC wastes inordinate amounts of time and resources. Heaven forbid you have team members you have to pay (graphic designers, admin help, copywriters). Dealing with a CC, you could even end up in the red.

In a recession, everyone wants to believe in the promises of the CC, because we’re all chasing that elusive (perhaps fictitious) pot of gold. We all want to believe in good intentions and the upfront promises that—and here’s my personal favorite—this will lead to “more work down the road.” But since the CC can end up costing you in the end, it’s better to steer clear altogether. Here are a few ways to spot them. And once you spot the CC, please run. You’ve been warned.

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