There are plenty of ways to make sure your vendors and service providers cringe when your phone number pops up on their caller ID, so just use these tactics as a starting point. A little imagination goes a long way to inspire ulcers and induce migraines in every creative team you hire.
Don’t bother to figure out what you want.
There’s no need to give direction or share what you like and dislike. If a vendor is good at what they do, they should be able to read your mind. Keep reminding them that you’ll know “it” when you see it, and that you completely trust their ability to create something amazing.
In between those reminders, make sure they know they are dispensable and there are a dozen other starving artists out there who would love to have your business.
Expect perfection with the first draft, and every evolution after that.
The idea that top quality concepts are a work in progress is a total myth. The really good designers, strategists, and consultants don’t have to go through multiple drafts. If they’re worth your money, they should be able to nail it the first time. Exactly to match that vision you had in your mind, but were unable to articulate.
Don’t be shy about reminding them of your utmost confidence in their ability to get it right the first time. Of course, they should know you will also seriously question whether they are worth their rate if they fail — it’s good to instill a little fear now and then.
Refuse to be educated about your vendor’s creative or technical process.
Why should you bother trying to understand what you’ve hired a vendor to do? There’s no reason to invest time in something that isn’t your primary responsibility.
When creatives attempt to explain workflow or technical details, just insist they get the job done, and the sooner the better. If they say ridiculous things like “re-rendering will take two extra days”, don’t be afraid to call their bluff and make them aware that you totally see through their petty excuses.
Completely change direction when the project is almost finished.
A good vendor should be willing to switch creative tracks at any point in the process, even if the project has already been approved or is almost done. If the vendor tries to adjust the budget, tell them how cheated you feel.
Forceful threats to badmouth their services to all your business connections are also quite effective if a vendor tries to stand their ground.
Ask for lots of extras, then act shocked when the bill is more than the original quote.
Proposals are meant to function as general guidelines, not binding agreements. If a creative team has to pull an all-nighter because you added extra requirements and also moved up the deadline, so what ? Making customers happy is why they exist, so don’t sweat it.
If the bill is more than you were originally quoted, pitch a fit! There’s no reason they should charge you extra just because the job took three times longer than was estimated or because you changed your mind seventeen times.