How to Convince The Client to Accept Your Creative Work

It happens more often than it should. After hours of working and making sure that you meet the specifications, your client says that they don’t like what you did.

They’ll say it isn’t what they’re expecting, and wants you to make several tweaks in your design or do major edits on your article. Or worse, they’ll say they’ve changed their mind and wants you to comply with their new specifications.

What can you do when this happens? Below are some tips.

Cleary set the terms and specifications before doing work.

One of the best ways to avoid such conflicts is to ask the client the exact specifications that you must meet with your work. Then go beyond that list and clarify other criteria that they might have failed to consider.

When writing an article, it’s not enough to know the topic and number of words. Ask what tone do they want the article to have, among other things.

Additionally, give them a summary list of these specifications and have them conform to it. Lastly, tell them that if they change their mind and wants an output that’s beyond the agreed specifications, then you would charge extra fees.

Present your work confidently.

If you did your best, and know that you meet all the specifications, then it shouldn’t be a problem for you to present your work confidently to the client.

The slightest sign of uncertainty can make the client feel that there’s something wrong with your work. And in return, they’ll be over critical of it, and might request unnecessary changes just to appease that feeling of doubt, which they felt from you.

Be the expert that they hired.

Remember that the reason why they hired you is because they believe that you can do it. They believe that you have the skills and knowledge to create the output that they want.

Thus, when discussing your work, be the expert that they hired. This means openly taking their criticisms, and professionally defending your work from any questionable edits that they are suggesting.

You can say something like, “I see why you want to do that. But in my experience, this design always resonates well with your target market.”

You can then proceed by citing previous work you’ve done that has been met with success. Be tactful with your words. The key is to reassure them that you worked on the project with their best intentions in mind.

Make them feel it’s their idea.

This strategy can be hard to pull off and will take some practice to be effective. Essentially, you need to make them realize that your work followed every bit of idea that they had from the get go.

Some of the things you could say are:

“If I implement the changes you’re asking, then the design would already steer away from the initial ideas that you had, which I believe are much more effective than this new direction you’re suggesting.”

“I don’t recommend doing the edits that you’re asking because you’ll risk losing the message you originally wanted to convey, which I clearly made in this portion of the article.”

Practically, this is reverse-psychology. And it will only be effective if you asked the client plenty of questions early on during the drafting of the specifications.

Talk business and never get personal.

When discussing your work with the client, always remember that the goal is to help their business. When they suggest something that you think is extraneous, ask them to explain how that can help them achieve their objectives.

It also follows that you can clearly justify how your output achieves those business goals as well. And never get personal such as talking down to them, dismissing their suggestions as stupid, or insulting their intelligence.

Such disagreements should always lead to a healthy discussion and never into a heated argument.

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