I know you’re expecting to read about how clients asking you to throw features in devalues your work.
It shows you that they don’t value you and it’s a red flag about working with them, because there is always going to be one more thing that should get ‘thrown in’.
You expect me to tell you that you should stand firm and offer to remove features to add these ones in.
While I don’t disagree with any of those things, you need to step back and think about what it means when a client asks you to throw something in.
It’s about client education
Some clients out there work in industries where they do throw in little things regularly.
They also account for that in their pricing all around. So that little thing that was thrown in actually raises the cost of all the rest of the items on the bill.
Usually they don’t have experience in the web industry and they expect it to work the same.
It doesn’t and we don’t throw things in, especially for first time clients.
You don’t know if they’re ‘awesome’ clients yet.
A music venue
I have worked on the site for a music venue in the US for years. I think they were my first ‘big’ client and they continue to bring in around 10% of my income each year.
They are easy to work with and understand technical issues as they arise.
A while ago they had to let a staff member go and needed to change all the passwords on everything that the staff member had access to.
On Saturday, when I usually would be charging weekend/rush rates.
Because I’ve worked with them for years I stopped everything I was doing and helped them and I didn’t charge rush rates.
I did charge my normal rates, but not rush and they were happy for my help.
They have never expected things ‘thrown’ in, so I really don’t mind going the extra mile for them which is essentially what throwing things in is.
It’s about client value
When a client asks you to throw something in, it reveals how much they value the feature.
It tells you they don’t value the feature at all.
They don’t know how it’s going to make them more money or save them time.
It’s not something that external or internal people have been asking for and is a major pain point.
It’s just a way for them to feel like they got some ‘extra’ out of you.
If it was really something that they valued they wouldn’t ask for it to be thrown in because it’s small. They’d ask if it was included in scope and if not, what would it cost to get it done.
It would be important enough to make sure it was in, even if it cost money.
That feature they want, doesn’t even matter to them outside of a moral victory. It’s entirely useless and a waste of everyone’s time all around.
I don’t throw things in for all the reasons you expected at the top.
More importantly, because my client doesn’t even value it and I do things of value.