There were so many great conversations this week with designers responding to the 30 minute coaching call for Pricing Design 2012, and I just have to share some with you.
Here’s the scenario –
Designer creates an agreement with a new client, and by new I mean new to this designer, new to the design process, and new as in the ‘new client’. There are some aspects of the project that the client wants to source on their own and others that the designer will source. All of this is specifically outlined in the agreement as is the compensation process. And then something happens….the client, while they were sourcing what was on their list, found something that was on the designer’s source list and went and purchased it, and didn’t tell the designer until after the fact. The designer, miffed but silent, continues the process. And, of course, it happens again. Now the designer is more than miffed and says something. How do you think this is going to go…and end up?
See if you can find the first STOP sign. Yes, when the first aberration occurs is when to STOP and address the issue. Address the agreement, address the breach of agreement, address what the compensation is, and address it when it first happens. There are no goodies in getting penalty payments, you want your clients to pay for the products and services they want and receive. As I’ve said before (and someone much smarter said before me) silence implies consent. When you let something go, it’ll happen again….but when it does, there’s more heat in the situation and the ability to have a rational, cool, ‘let’s talk about this’ conversation gets harder to have.
So here is it: when agreements get broken, STOP and talk about it. The first time.