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Not a Bait and Switch

There are a lot of ways I damaged the relationship with a potential client trying to avoid looking like a scammer:

  1. Over-complicating offers: I sacrificed clarity for complicated assurance no one asked for.
  2. Signaling lack of confidence: I acted worried, and to clients, I seemed unsure if I’d be able to do the project, which I wasn’t.
  3. Wasting time: focusing so much time on what my services are not (scams), but rather what they are (valuable, effective)
  4. Devaluing my service: breaking my back to meet unrealistic expectations. I ended up not doing my best work because I was both resentful and tired.

Look, I understand: what we produce is hard to explain. I hate hate HATE feeling like the client thinks I’m trying to scam them when I’m just trying to lose money by helping them.

And people

The key is to not go overboard with the countermeasures.

I use these as rules:

  • Just because a client chooses a low-cost service doesn’t mean that they chose well. It may need more work, which means a higher price tier. It’s not a “bait and switch”, it’s wishful thinking on their side.
  • Even if you said you would do something while acting on bad information doesn’t mean you have to do it when the true situation is revealed. It’s better to offer the money back than to play a hero.

I’ve had clients hide information to scam me into free work. You are under no obligation to let that happen.

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