Standing my ground....

Colin

Major Contributor
It feels good to take a stand. I just received this email (from someone I've not done business with before):



Hi,

Company X has just painted our 35’ moving truck white in preparation for lettering. Would you be able to send preliminary art work ideas and a quote for lettering the truck? I have attached photos of the truck (prior to painting) and also a sample photo of one of our lettered trucks. We are very open to updating/improving on the lettering shown in the sample photo.
The van body on the truck that needs lettering is 26’ long, and 9’ 7” high.

Attached are a few photos of it.

Thanks very much,


Wendy.




---------------------------------



My reply:


Hi Wendy,

Thanks for the email. Yes, I could certainly improve upon the old design.

As designing the job is an inherent part of doing the job, we don't proceed with design & layout ideas and emailing proofs without a design deposit. This policy has unfortunately been necessitated by a long list of individuals who in the past have literally stolen our very good design ideas and had them executed by another shop, leaving us uncompensated for our time and intellectual property rights.

We always do provide a colour proof of design/layout concepts, and would be happy to help you with this important aspect of your business' presentation. We accept Visa and AmEx. Design deposit would be $500.00



Thank you.....

 

Colin

Major Contributor
At times I want to place a giant banner on my website that says:

"DESIGN TIME ISN'T FREE"
 

Jillbeans

Major Contributor
Every time I get an email like this it makes me want to blow a gasket.
My knee-jerk reaction is to get defensive.
But people really don't realize (most of the time) that we don't just design for fun.
"can you show us a few ideas and if we like them we'll go with your company?"
GRRR
I think your reply was appropriate.
Love....Jill
 

Rick

Certified Enneadecagon Designer
You should see what's coming soon Colin... a crowdsource sign design site...
 

Mosh

Major Contributor
Too harsh, No need to explain yourself on why you need a deposit. Would be more
professional to just give her a ballpark figure based on what you have in mind of doing.
Once they agree to the price then go into design deposits....
 

Colin

Major Contributor
Too harsh, No need to explain yourself on why you need a deposit. Would be more professional to just give her a ballpark figure based on what you have in mind of doing.
Once they agree to the price then go into design deposits....

But she did say this:

"Would you be able to send preliminary art work ideas"
 

skyhigh

Major Contributor
I think there are more tactful ways of saying the same thing (or dancing around the subject, if you will).

If I had received that email, I would have started out with some pricing based on their current artwork / size of truck..... then moved into my speal about improving what they currently have. I try never to throw out any pricing in an email, although I would let them know your design time is a separate issue.

Your reply makes it too easy for the reader to hit "DELETE", and move on to the next sign shop's email.
 

klemgraphics

Active Member
Have a good one going right now myself. Local PD wants a new car design and are eager to use a local shop as they have not done so in the past. So using their crude drawings I figure up a price and call them with it to make sure there is a budget for what they want. The response I get is "that is very doable, go ahead and send the design as soon as you can". About a week after I send the design for approval I called to make sure they received the design and they said "can you also send over your quote again, then I will be able to let you know next week if we will be able to use your company". WTF that is why I called you with the price first, and they never gave me any indication that this was being bid on among other shops either. Luckily it didn't take very long to design as I will probably be underbid.

Good for standing your ground!
 

Colin

Major Contributor
I think there are more tactful ways of saying the same thing (or dancing around the subject, if you will).


Your reply makes it too easy for the reader to hit "DELETE", and move on to the next sign shop's email.

She did reply with this:

"I do need some kind of pricing estimate for design and lettering before proceeding with a deposit."


I said that I would give a ballpark estimate.
 

oldgoatroper

Roper of Goats. Old ones.
Have a good one going right now myself. Local PD wants a new car design and are eager to use a local shop as they have not done so in the past. So using their crude drawings I figure up a price and call them with it to make sure there is a budget for what they want. The response I get is "that is very doable, go ahead and send the design as soon as you can". About a week after I send the design for approval I called to make sure they received the design and they said "can you also send over your quote again, then I will be able to let you know next week if we will be able to use your company". WTF that is why I called you with the price first, and they never gave me any indication that this was being bid on among other shops either. Luckily it didn't take very long to design as I will probably be underbid.

Good for standing your ground!


When a customer is vague like that, I always say, "So, you would like to go ahead and place your order for this? Lets write this up, then... "

That always reveals what their stance is...
 
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Mainframe

Very Active Member
Too harsh, No need to explain yourself on why you need a deposit. Would be more
professional to just give her a ballpark figure based on what you have in mind of doing.
Once they agree to the price then go into design deposits....

+1
 

iSign

Major Contributor
Too harsh, No need to explain yourself on why you need a deposit. Would be more
professional to just give her a ballpark figure based on what you have in mind of doing.
Once they agree to the price then go into design deposits....

+2
 

John Butto

Very Active Member
Colin, do not think you will stay in business for a long time with your attitude that everyone is trying to rip you off. Sounded like the women was offering you work and you shot back to her about the money thing like she was trying to take advantage of you. Take Mosh's point of view and get your foot in the door. You are not the only Circus in town. This design thing that everyone talks about with getting their money up front, well some of the things I have seen on here and if I had to pay $500, I would be the one that felt taken advantage of. Not saying that you should work for free, and I know you sometimes can't you can't get blood from a turnup, but design, art, production, it is all the same, just tell them in a nice way like Mosh and ISign agreed upon and see that it does work.
 
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