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virtualbrix
Freelancer Plus

Economic Downturn & Client Attitudes

Do you all feel that when times get tough, clients get super rude? I have noticed the trend here in the last few weeks. They also do everything they can to "milk" it, meaning, they try to take everything they can, even if its not paid : )

15 REPLIES 15
williamtcooper
Freelancer Plus

Samer,

 

Welcome to 2023! 

 

Beginning in November 2022, my prospects were required to Book a 60 Minute Marketing Consultation for $200. In the past three months, I booked 30 consultations and many of my typical $4,000 to $10,000 strategic marketing sales projects afterwards.

 

Now I have fewer appointments, less frustration, and greater revenues working less.

 

I inform prospects that I create their marketing strategy and I am not on Upwork to interview or chat. Most prospects respect this position and some get disrespectful that they can't get FREE work. The Block feature works wonders ๐Ÿ™‚

 

You can do the same with your business.

That is a great idea with requiring the cosultation. Love that strategy. I do not mind giving some time away, I know its part of the sales process, just feels like people are super angry these days : )

Samer,

 

Some people are frustrated and scared because they are running out of options and money whether they are on Upwork or the general public. Unfortunately it's human nature for some to blame others and not take responsibility for their own actions.

 

I always start with open ended questions during my Consultations so clients have the opportunity to talk and I adjust and validate accordingly. Many have tight budgets and must make every penny work and some are desperate especially as the worldwide economy has been pulling back. It's common for clients to talk with me about their finances or life in general because I will listen, validate them, give a solution, and let them know that I care.

This is good insight. I do also start by listening to the issue(s) at hand and than take it from there. Most clients are awesome and in general, not many issues, they understand the process / flow as I explain it to them in detaiil. I am very good at vetting possible clients as certain triggers will cause red flags. For example "I have $1,000 to spend on Google Ads and we expect a 20X return on that", sure, if I can make that happen, I will but its usually unrealistic.

I know it may be too early to tell, but are you finding that the long string of low-dollar "jobs" on your profile is having any impact on invitations? 

6bfcdaf8
Freelancer Plus

I have experienced that there seems to be less work in recent months (but i think it is improving nowadays). I haven't experienced an increase in client rudeness though. There were always good clients and bad clients. Maybe because there are less jobs, you are less likely to filter them out as you would last year? 

I guess its because I work with a lot of startups and entrepreneurs and they are feeling the pinch the most. My bigger clients are the ones that complain the lead : )

feed_my_eyes
Community Member

No, I haven't noticed any rudeness. If a client was ever rude to me, I wouldn't continue to work with them.

Good to know.

readyornet
Freelancer Plus

I also got my first ever refund request from a client AFTER a very happy conference call I just had with the guy.  He was holding my feedback for ransom....another guy gave my first 1 star for no reason...less than 2 weeks he just abruptly ended the contract...he said nothing.  

 

I've been on upwork since 2012...I've never had this experience.  Also, the jobs being posted now are offering wages like 2012 again...3-5 dollars for the lower end work which used to pay 8-12 dollars.....the stuff I applied for was paying 40-75/hr...now, you're lucky to see $35/hr ....and Most of the positions out there (that aren't engineering) are sales OR deceptive sales job profiles.  I've also had negotiated terms with another client and the day I was supposed to start, she said, that they decided to change the role to commission only.  

 

This economic downturn is going to be bad.  This is not a good omen.  

I am sorry to hear about all the troubles you listed. I hope things turn around but I do agree that the downturn will be a bit rough for many. 

ericaandrews
Community Member

Haven't noticed any new rudeness at all - if somebody is "rude" I immediately TERMINATE the conversation and the potential client is immediately BLOCKED and can no longer communicate with me, so I have no issues with rude potential clients trying to "milk" me for extra work because I have already severed communication lines.  People DO to you what you LET them do.  I don't worry about "downturns" and all that: I have certain etiquette and professionalism rules I require clients to adhere to, and those that fail to do so simply get blocked. 

Thank you for the message, this helped a lot.

lizablau
Freelancer Plus

I'm receiving many more direct offers, and then the clients suddenly disappear.  Or I'll have a meeting, the contract will be sent, and then the client will change their mind.  It's more flaky than rude, but I've definitely noticed an uptick in this sort of behavior.  And it's why I wait several days to accept a contract so I can observe the client's behavior, unless it's a rush job or I'm confident the client isn't going to suddenly bail. 

Yes. I have noticied that potential clients are taking more and more time to pull the trigger.

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