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3bc53a90
Community Member

When clients say a complex project "should be very easy"

Greetings!  How do you handle client communications (prior to an offer), in which the client explains the scope of the project in more detail and mentions multiple times that it "should be easy".  I feel like this is a red flag as the client is not the professional in the service I am offering.  In the past I would have modified my proposal or projected hours to complete the project, only to later get burned realizing that the client did not understand the complexities of the project and that I should have trusted my own assessment of the project.  Now, I rarely budge when clients counter with it "should be" easier than what I am proposing.  I find it fascinating (perhaps at times, insulting) that someone is hiring a professional but then telling the professional how difficult or easy the project should be.  Interested in hearing other's experiences on this topic.  Thanks!

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fe9b8d82
Community Member

If the project "should be very easy" then they clearly don't need a professional to do it, and they should do it themselves.

A client who tries to dictate the amount of time that you "should" spend on something is going to be more pain than they're worth, so I politely decline working with them.  I offer a fair estimate of what I believe the project will take, and if they don't like it, they're free to move on with someone else, arguing over how long it should, or should not take is just wasting both of our time.

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6 REPLIES 6
spectralua
Community Member

I have a dictionary for this.

I have a lot of work for you later : I'm going to find out from you in 5 minutes the main thing and instructions on what to do and then hire someone cheap to apply this knowledge.

This is very easy work : I'm going to pay pennies, no more.

fe9b8d82
Community Member

If the project "should be very easy" then they clearly don't need a professional to do it, and they should do it themselves.

A client who tries to dictate the amount of time that you "should" spend on something is going to be more pain than they're worth, so I politely decline working with them.  I offer a fair estimate of what I believe the project will take, and if they don't like it, they're free to move on with someone else, arguing over how long it should, or should not take is just wasting both of our time.

If a client says that, it's fine.

 

Just make sure it is an hourly contract.

I generally only take hourly contracts.  If I do a fixed price it's for extremely specific parameters, in writing, and agreed to before we start a contract.

tlsanders
Community Member

If a client told me a task should be easy, I would suggest that perhaps it would make more sense for him to do it himself and not engage with him any further. That client is primed to be dissatisfied. Never work with a client who doesn't understand what you do unless it's very clear that the client KNOWS he doesn't understand what you do and that's why he needs you.

celgins
Community Member

I totally understand. Like you, I find it insulting and I completely avoid job postings that mention the job "should be easy." Like others have stated, some clients don't understand what is required to complete a job and for some reason, they think it should be an easy task or they wish to bind you to a specific timeframe.

 

On a similar note, I have seen clients who are experts in a service area and they post jobs to hire other experts, simply because they are overwhelmed or have a backlog. In those cases, I can understand (only a little) why an expert would mention to another expert, "You and I work on this product/item/service often, so you should be familar with it." But even then, I wouldn't appreciate another expert telling me how easy things should be.

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