When clients want free work

Sometimes, you run into a client who follows up after every project with an endless stream of questions. They haven’t paid for your extra time, yet they keep coming to you with questions, like:

  • But how do I choose stamps for the direct mail campaign?
  • Uh, this website…I want to change the graphics. Can you do that?
  • Hey, we loved your report. Can we meet over lunch to discuss some of our questions about it?
  • Thanks for the project you did last year. We haven’t had time to think about it till now. Can you come in to talk it over, so we can get up to speed?

Dealing with these sorts of questions can be tough. Sometimes, managing client behaviour is anything but easy. Time spent answering emails and phone calls can easily eat up your consulting fees. It’s tempting to push back and refuse to do the work…or to just give up and do the work for free.

Instead, look at this as an opportunity to meet your client’s needs:

  • Yes, I can do that. When do you need the quote?
  • Sure thing. I’ll send over a change order, since this isn’t in the scope.
  • Excellent question — I’m keen to start work on this. Did you want me to send a quick quote or a full proposal?

Responses like those keep your focus on the client’s needs, convey your enthusiasm and make it clear that you expect to be paid.

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