Amazing client, a way to repay him.

by PPG19
18 replies
I have an AMAZING client from NY. He, through word of mouth referred 6 more clients in 3 weeks. Not exactly small projects. Today he contacted me about a new site he needs to develop, but this is one of his projects.

Is not a really big project but i am thinking about doing it for free for him. I want to repay him somehow..

What do you think?

Would you do it or just a big discount? Or nothing, just keep the relationship on a professional level?
#amazing #client #repay
  • Profile picture of the author luketr
    Its hard to give advice without knowing the specifics of your relationship & the value of the work he's sent you vs what you've done/going to do for him on this next project.

    What I would be wary of is a potential expectation on his behalf for free work in future. This could become particularly tricky, if he sends you 10 clients and then wants another freebie thats 4 or 5 times bigger than this free one, but he hasn't sent you even double the amount of work... I know its all theoretical, but i hope the gist is at least clear?

    I would personally prefer offering him a sort of "finders fee", say 10% of any work he refers to you that he can then use as a deduction off his projects.
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    • Profile picture of the author PPG19
      Originally Posted by luketr View Post

      Its hard to give advice without knowing the specifics of your relationship & the value of the work he's sent you vs what you've done/going to do for him on this next project.

      What I would be wary of is a potential expectation on his behalf for free work in future. This could become particularly tricky, if he sends you 10 clients and then wants another freebie thats 4 or 5 times bigger than this free one, but he hasn't sent you even double the amount of work... I know its all theoretical, but i hope the gist is at least clear?

      I would personally prefer offering him a sort of "finders fee", say 10% of any work he refers to you that he can then use as a deduction off his projects.
      I get what you say, but he is not doing it for referrals or commissions. I think he is part of a startup community where a lot of people are looking to build sites and apps.

      Luke he sent me something like 8,000$ in 3 weeks. I asked him that i wanted to give him a discount because of that his reply was: "Charge whatever you need to charge for me! Your work is amazing" textual words". Never found anyone like that before. His project would be something like 600 to 800$. I am seriously thinking about doing this for free but wanted to know if you guys had similar experiences in the past and what's the best thing to do in this case..

      Thanks
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  • Profile picture of the author luketr
    I've done it in the past and had good and bad experiences. Worst case is that it devalues your product in their eyes and they want more and more at cheaper/free rates in the future.

    In your case though it sounds like he's the sort of guy that if you were to give him a freebie on this project, he wouldn't value your work less & you would still be able to keep the relationship professional afterwards.
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  • Profile picture of the author gingerninjas
    Why would you give it away for free? That's pretty stupid and you're not setting a very good precedence, unless you want to work for him for free forever.

    He obviously thinks your work is awesome. Why not just continue offering him top notch work and he will continue to be happy. I would really avoid giving things away, you're devaluing your service.
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    • Profile picture of the author discrat
      Originally Posted by gingerninjas View Post

      Why would you give it away for free? That's pretty stupid and you're not setting a very good precedence, unless you want to work for him for free forever.

      He obviously thinks your work is awesome. Why not just continue offering him top notch work and he will continue to be happy. I would really avoid giving things away, you're devaluing your service.
      It's really hard to say without knowing the exact circumstances and this particular individual. Every once in a while I will run into an individual similar to this

      Usually It's been a good thing


      - Robert Andrew
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      • Profile picture of the author PPG19
        Originally Posted by discrat View Post

        It's really hard to say without knowing the exact circumstances and this particular individual. Every once in a while I will run into an individual similar to this

        Usually It's been a good thing


        - Robert Andrew
        Thanks Robert, should have been more specific. This client was referred to me by another client and since then after i delivered 2 project for him he has referred all those clients. Awesome guy, not only because he is sending all that work but i feel is a genuine guy. Wish all clients were like him..

        In the meantime i am giving free consultation to him on skype.
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    • Profile picture of the author Oziboomer
      Originally Posted by gingerninjas View Post

      Why would you give it away for free? That's pretty stupid and you're not setting a very good precedence, unless you want to work for him for free forever.

      He obviously thinks your work is awesome. Why not just continue offering him top notch work and he will continue to be happy. I would really avoid giving things away, you're devaluing your service.
      Ginger hits on a pretty solid point here.

      There is nothing wrong with rewarding a person for referrals but don't do it with discounts on your service.

      One of the best ways is to just say "Thanks".

      Successful people understand and appreciate that word when used sincerely.

      If you do feel inclined to reward the client further then it helps if you understand some of what they desire on a more personal level.

      For example you could give a modest gift with a personal handwritten note.

      Something that is not necessarily related to the business relationship.

      Some clients I've worked with I ask "Do you enjoy fresh fish?" "Do you enjoy Crab?"

      Then when I've been out fishing or crabbing I personally drop in a prize filet or couple of crab on ice in a little esky (cold box) with a note saying I caught this just for you. . . Thanks.

      Sometimes a box of Swiss chocolates will do the trick and another time a good bottle of Burgundy.

      Once you understand what they really enjoy it is very easy to thank them without discounting or devaluing your service.

      Best regards,

      Ozi
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  • its really hard to build a friendly and good relationship, but as old people words say thats never bring money in personal relationship with anyone. he call you friend , you can give him a big discount and don't take your website development fees, just take only money which you think will cost you.

    like domain registration fees , hosting fees , or any wordpress theme fees
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  • Profile picture of the author JackTripper
    Give him like and extra service that would help him, for free. Like a social media blast. Or something that will help his business and make you look like the best developer ever!
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    • Profile picture of the author PPG19
      Originally Posted by JackTripper View Post

      Give him like and extra service that would help him, for free. Like a social media blast. Or something that will help his business and make you look like the best developer ever!
      At the current moment i m just giving some free consultations on some doubts he has about on how to market his websites, but i feel i could do more...
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  • Profile picture of the author Ellen Chedid
    I think you should just go in for the Big discount. Unless you strike a deal that he constantly refers you and then you provide the service to him for free.
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  • Profile picture of the author abhishekps
    Follow the Joker Philosophy "If you are good at something, never do it for free." Offer good discount or give some value add like seo service or lead gen which helps him for revenue generation or acquire new clients, It would be win-win for both
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  • Profile picture of the author markGustaff
    Being a professional in something, don't waste your talent for doing your work for free.
    Any work costs money and your time costs money too.
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  • Profile picture of the author nextstep
    There's an old joke about a lawyer and a doctor that meet at a party, and the doctor says, "When I'm at a social event people always ask me for advice for their medical conditions. I really dislike it. As a lawyer, what do you do?" To which the lawyer replies, "I bill them, expect yours to arrive in a few days."

    Business and friendships don't always mix, especially if you set a precedent with freebies. I'm sure you could do with the dollars. As suggested elsewhere, don't work for nothing, especially if he's a good paying customer!

    Instead, take the time to handwrite and post him an old fashioned card in the mail thanking him for his referrals. If he sends a few more referrals, send him a bottle of wine or even a few more referrals (if he's in your area) take him and his wife/partner out to dinner to a nice restaurant and you pick up the tab. (and he sounds like the type that would insist on leaving the tip )

    I would suggest you don't give away your services, but bend over backwards and work twice as hard to keep him happy -- as he could be a valuable source of income to you!

    He is probably less interested in the money than simply getting a reliable and well done job. Good work is getting harder and harder to come by these days. Hence the referrals.
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  • Profile picture of the author davejarvys
    Rather than give him something professional why not give him something personal. I used to do this with good seo clients something like concert tickets, favourite wine or sporting tickets.


    It usually costs less and means more.
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  • Profile picture of the author Kay King
    Let this great client know that his work goes to the top of the stack....they like that.

    If the work is ongoing - sooner or later there will be a rush request or a small job you need to do for him ....then you might say "no charge - my thanks for the referrals".
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  • Profile picture of the author unlimitedoptions
    Hi PPG19:

    I'm not sure how much you make on each project, but you could approach it something like this.
    For every "x" clients my friend sends to me I can afford to give him a free consultation or free project.
    Tell him how much you appreciate him sending you business.
    His expertise may be referring others or it may be sales.
    Either way, he could possibly send you 6 more or some other number of clients every month to keep your business growing.

    Good Luck,

    Dan
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  • Profile picture of the author PPG19
    Thank you guys for all your answers.
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