Good, Fast, Cheap. Pick 2.

Picture_3 Here’s the reality of working with clients, no matter what your business does.

Your client wants it good, fast and cheap.

Guess what — long term, there is no such thing.  Can you pull an all-nighter or scramble  your entire team into overtime? Sure.  Once in awhile.  But in general, our clients get to pick two of the three. 

Michael Libbie, an Iowa advertising guy, tells a similar story over at his blog.  And sadly, the option clients most often want to scrimp on — good.

Fortunately, in the end, most good clients get it.  A microwaved dinner now and then is okay.  But after awhile, you realize you’re not really being nourished.  You want real food.  Food with substance.  And you’re willing to let it cook in the oven for 30 minutes and pay a little extra for the good cut of meat.

But how do you as a business person combat this challenge?

Respect your value.  This is the toughest one of all.  Your  work , product and service is  worth what you charge.  Don’t apologize for it.  Don’t be bashful about asking for it.  And don’t be guilted into compromising it.

Have options for your clients.  Be reasonable.  Maybe they don’t need to Lexus version.  Suggest ways they can still accomplish their goals but perhaps in a different way.

Be okay with walking away.  I know it’s hard to walk away from business.  And scruples don’t feed the kids.  But, if you and a client (or prospect) can’t come to an agreement on the money, I assure you — it is not going to be the only thing you disagree on.  You are not the right fit for every client.  Say it with me….you are not the right fit for every client.

This isn’t about gouging your clients or over-charging.  Try that a few times and watch it bite you in the rear end!  This is about being fairly compensated for your work.  This is about doing good work that yields results for the client and this is also about being nimble enough to turn things around quickly when your client is really in a jam.

Ultimately, it is about balance.  For you and the client.

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