Well, that’s what happens when you don’t follow your instincts.
I could smell it was going to be a client from hell, but let my guards off when he begged me to work on this project for him. This never happened to me before and it was slightly embarrassing.
They tried to bargain off my expenses and I said that’s where I draw the line and if it doesn’t work for you – that’s OK. But so do I (…not work for you). Then the CEO phoned me and said that his envoy “doesn’t understand these small things…” and of course he wouldn’t mind paying the expenses”, and talked me into taking this job.
To tell you the truth, I was flattered. I know I am good at what I do, but it’s always a pleasure to feel needed.
So I began working with him. Right at the beginning I realized that the payment isn’t going to be the worst thing here. What the client wanted wasn’t a whole new name for his business, according to a professional positioning and branding analysis. What he wanted is a consultant to confirm that he can do this. He recruited all tools he had to prove me wrong, including his friends from around the globe…
I must wonder, why would he look for a consultant at all? I mean; there are plenty of ways to go about doing naming for your company. Prices range is incredible. You can find web sites and software to generate weird names for free and go for a “Do-It-Yourself” process. You can hire a copywriter to suggest invented words for 300$ or a naming company to do a complete positioning-branding-naming-legal trademark process for more than $100,000 (ask Dov Moran) and there are plenty of options in between.
I thought that if this client has decided to address a professional namer, and insisted on hiring me after I was ready to let him go – he values the professional input he may get.
Instead it felt like a sour face reaction to any suggestion I made. This has blocked the possibility of any true dialog, that must develop between the client and the service provider.
I don’t want to end a project with a dissatisfied client. It’s a rule. This has caused some projects of mine to prolong over unreasonable length of time. However, I guess it’s time I realized, that I can’t win them all. Certainly not those who felt like they are going to be a client from hell right at the start.
So here 2 new rules:
One – trust your instincts and two – you don’t have to win them all.