The Entitlement Factor … Do I need to be the Freebie Police?

moochDon’t get me wrong here. I do plenty of freebies for my clients. I have an open door policy when it comes to marketing, public relations and publishing questionsm when it even does not remotely relate to their project. I guess you can say that this is the M Communications way – within reason. I just don’t understand why people are entitled to take, take, take and then think that this behavior is acceptable. What really gets under my skin, are when people appear under the guise of potential clients and then they want free advice, multiple meetings and ask you to do projects way beyond the scope of their project. Here are two of my biggest pet peeves.

Beware of he timesuck. The timesuck is the worst culprit, mostly because they really have no idea the ramifications of their behavior to a vendor personally and their own personal colleagues. This timesuck will schedule countless meetings with you under the façade of eventually signing a contract (p.s. – they will continue to schedule meetings with you without a contract and if you do not stop them they will continue to do so). Even worse … is if you do not stop this timesuck behavior, they will start texting, calling and sending online messages at all hours and during the weekend. And, if you do not respond during the weekend you can expect the same cycle of behavior again on your first work day – just hope that the first weekday is not a holiday, because they are not going to mind that either. My advice? Stop the “suck” in the timesuck (a.k.a. cut ties and say bye-bye, focus your time on revenue driving efforts).  This timesuck will never sign a contract, continue to eat your time, interrupt your weekend and in the end treat you like you are their assistant and ask you to do even more free work.

Beware of the scope creeper. The scope creeper is another big offender and this is why you need to have everything spelled out in your contracts. I have seen this happen usually with things like web updates. You agree to do a certain set of changes and then that turns into 6 months later with changes still going on. The worst scope creeper offender is that they feel they are entitled to services that are not even remotely related to their contract. For example, just because you sign up for a PR campaign, does not mean you get a free logo. Even funnier is when said person tries to negotiate the price on said logo after you said it was not included, and then demands to know why the logo is not in their inbox the very next day even after you have had such previous conversation at midnight … on a school night.

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