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That terrible word 'Just'.. on serving new customers

Discussion in 'Studio Lounge' started by TuBlairy, Sep 1, 2005.

  1. TuBlairy

    TuBlairy Active Member

    This post is more a a b*+ch than anything else, but I suppose its about sharing an experience that is helping me reshape the way I operate my business.

    The simple truth is whenever a customer says, "I JUST want.." it really means "I want a lot but I don't want to pay anything."

    The other day, a new client called me, referred by a friend. This person owns a private English school here in Taiwan. After talking on the phone he tells me that in three hours he would like to record and have a CD in hand of 8 songs and two textbooks of dialogue. I say, that's simply not possible and I'm busy with a big project. Then he pleads, but my children are going away and I need to record them before they go in three days. I being eternally accommodating figure I can sleep a few hours less (what's 4 minus 5) agree to record them for 5 hours only, with the understanding that we get as far as we get.

    I say, "have a good idea of arrangements for songs and have your scripts written out
    clearly."
    "Oh, well," says he " I marked it in the textbook." (home-made textbook).
    I say, "well, it's much better and faster with a script."
    "I think this is clear." Says Michael.

    Later in the conversation he asks to come over the say before for 1/2 an hour to prepare the arrangement. I reluctantly agree to him coming over for 1/2 hour on Sunday night. HGe stays for an hour and a half. We do rough arrangements of six songs.

    The next day, he arrives kids and wife in-tow. During the one hour of recording the huge, unorganized dialogue, with the wife constantly says "how Jo!" in Chinese (like- how heavy or how long) = not know that I know what she's saying. She finally leaves pissed-off and as I escort her down the elevator, she informs me that they don't have the budget for this. It's like f*** did I ask for you business? You came to me. Later, I tell the husband. And he's like, well I mentioned three hours, she was up at six am...

    Well, I say, "what do you want to do, shut her down, or keep going?"
    "Let's keep going." says he.

    So the kids start. The kids are cute, but the can't sing to save their lives and they don't know the songs. But he wants HIS kids to sing on HIS school's CD. Well, further, he wants the kids to sing with American accents. The kids are British. They can't. (1/2 an hour with Joanna on airplane - NOT Aeroplane) Bogging heavily through this quagmire of stupidity and an ineptness which defies all natural law, we get through six songs in two hours.

    The wife comes back to the door, DING DONG - time to go, NOW! I say, OK, time to pay. Michael doesn't have any money, just about $40, of the $200 he owes. Haven't heard from him since.

    This ordeal has lead me to three solid business ideals in running a studio:
    1. For first-time customers, u pay cash upfront.
    2. I offer day rates only
    3. Anyone who uses the word "JUST" when referring to a project should subject to that famous parable in the Bible, "Just as a mule must be whipped, so should a fool be beaten."
     
  2. Rider

    Rider Guest

    same thing for web design, it can be very frustrating working with people who dont have their (stuff) together. a good practice which i intend on using when i start doing projects for people is, up front charges for any expenses (hosting plans and such), will finish project, but will not hand over until cash is in hand. my friend had someone try and screw him over in this same type of situation.he also had someone that tried to work for him and make his own rules (was working and getting a website and cash in return) and tried to go outside of the agreement and twist stuff around, filed a BBB report on my friend even, which he lost to since my friend had the contract.

    if something like what happened to you happened to me i would have turned him down, it sounded like he didnt really know what he was getting into. would have also gotten him a link to radioshack for a 10$ tape recorder. :p

    those types of people dont take a professional approach to their requests, in which causes a lot of confusion.

    hah and another bad thing. 'oh can you add this and this to it'. screw you, you pay extra and sign a document stating your changes then sure, but never just come up to someone in the middle of a project and expect it to change just like that. im not jesus.


    #1 thing. make sure they know EXACTLY what they want and that they are able to provide all thats needed. i had someone that wanted a website update and didnt really know what they wanted exactly, and were very sloppy in getting materials to me (aka, they didnt get ANY materials to me), which meant i couldnt do a thing for them. i wasnt going to waste time trying to fix a crappy site only to find they forgot completely about it. and people should NOT expect you to baby them and call up. i could have called up asking 'any progress in getting what i need', but i didnt, its THEIR responsibility to make sure I have everything I need.
     

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