Can this client relationship be saved?

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Dr. Freelance: I recently sent a client an email letting him know that a certain task was going to take time beyond the agreed-upon scope and therefore cost more, and asking whether he wanted to proceed. In response, he “reviewed” my services (i.e., enumerated all of the ways that I was falling short, basically questioning my fees. He softened the blow a bit by listing what he considered my “most significant contributions,” but it was still an unexpected blow. Anyway, I responded back with a list of my own honest thoughts about the relationship. I’ve been thinking about dumping him as a client anyway (he’s a chronic slow-payer) so I don’t really care what happens, but would like your perspective on how best to handle this type of thing. — Blindsided

Dear Blindsided: Based on that type of email “review,” not to mention the pay and myriad other underlying issues, I can understand why he got under your skin. It sounds like he is far underestimating how much work you’ve been putting into his projects. I’ve dealt with that type of client relationship many times before — heck, it was part of the disaster I shared the other day on my Jake’s Take blog. [Read more…]

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