In a conversation today with one of my favorite fellow designers, a less than favorite subject came up. We were comparing notes about clients with an Achilles heel I’ll call quality blindness. These are the folks who want high quality marketing pieces, but are unwilling or unable to deal with the dichotomy of having champagne taste on a beer budget. We can all relate to that – after all, we’re in a recession and everyone needs to pinch pennies. But what’s troubling about these clients is that while they expect to get the big bucks for their own work, they won’t acknowledge that other professionals also deserve to be paid for the value of their services. It translates to “I should be paid what (I think) I’m worth, but not you.” HellO??
And the irony of it is that they need the quality marketing design in order to get the high-end work. Some dots aren’t being connected here, notably the ones that would help them understand that if their marketing looks cut-rate, prospects will assume the same of their services. Bye-bye high-end jobs.
So there’s two ways that this talk needs to be walked:
1. Businesses that want clients willing to pay for high-quality work had better position themselves as firms that deliver quality and deserve to be paid accordingly. For that they’ll need high-quality marketing materials, which aren’t available at bargain-basement prices.
2. So if businesses want the kind of marketing tools that brings in that level of work, they should be prepared to pay fairly for the quality of the design that they’re receiving, just as they expect to be paid fairly for their work.
I guess you could say we’re talking about the Golden Rule here. Or maybe karma. Respect cuts both ways, doesn’t it?