The invisible client

Although many of my clients I have known personally for many years, the advent of the website has meant that I often have commissions now from clients I have never physically met. This is good for business but challenging in many ways. It’s not so much that they don’t know me and that I don’t know them, what they look like and their tastes and preferences etc., but that there isn’t that eye to eye chemistry which is more important than you might imagine.  Inevitably one does get a picture of a client as the project unfolds – or in some cases doesn’t. I have several large projects which have almost reached completion but which have gone quite dead as if the client had died. As I normally take a 50% advance on all projects from new clients I avoid being totally out of pocket but frustrated that hours of work has just been done with seemingly no outcome. You might say skype should give you that vital eye to eye contact. I do skype with clients, in fact in an emergency some years ago I had a skype chat ongoing for a whole day with California from Spain, where I live, as it was the only way a long brochure could be corrected to meet a deadline. But skyping can be invasive like a phone call and takes over too much. No, I’m quite happy in fact with doing business with emails – lets face it they are amazingly useful and I’d rather have an invisible client than none at all.

About Ian Whiteman

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