No matter what field you are in, be it graphic design, you must know how to tackle difficult clients. But there is a vast difference in handling a male client and a female client. Now don’t get me wrong here, I do not intend to lay down a gender prejudice here. What I intend to establish is which clients are more difficult to satisfy…male or female?
You might remember my earlier post invigorating the battle of genders with male female logos. But this time around the focus is to differentiate between male and female clients. What are the traits that distinguish the male clients from female clients? Is their concern more on quality or money? Which are harder to convince? Both the genders have their own share of annoying little traits that make them difficult for designers to please. For graphic designers, it is imperative that they understand the attitude and traits of their clients beforehand, so they can handle them accordingly. Let us examine the selective traits of male and female clients.
• Annoying characteristics of female clients:
1. Too finicky or confused?
The first thing about women clients is they are choosy. And by choosy I mean really fussy. They will keep on making multiple revisions of the design and won’t be able to decide on which is perfect. In other words women clients are not easily satisfied.
2. “My heart is on the left but it’s always right”
The longest that I have ever worked on a design project was for a female client. When it comes to making decisions, women clients take much longer than men. This is because they combine emotional factors with their rational decisions. Although their head tells them it is right, their heart keeps telling them there is something missing. God knows what the missing thing is anyway.
3. “Pink suits my complexion”
Although the song goes like “boys will be boys” but I believe “girls will also be girls” no matter how old they get. They will always prefer gaudy and decorative designs over the simpler and sophisticated ones. Just because they have a wardrobe full of pink or it matches their complexion, they’ll insist on having a shocking pink design for their corporate identity. Regardless of how much you persuade them, they will stick to their choice even if it doesn’t look professional enough.
4. Heads I win, tails you lose:
I once played this trick with my nephew, “heads I win, tails you lose”. It took him a week to figure out that he was never going to win this way . The same is the case with female clients…If it’s good, “I did it” – If it’s bad, “You did it”! If they don’t reply, they are really busy. But if you are late in submitting the design, you are irresponsible!
5. “It’s my right to fight for every penny”
Another trait that is found more in women is that they tend to bargain a lot. When you work with women clients, you can be sure of defying inexhaustible bargaining, because they will fight for every penny. The difficulty for designers is to make female clients understand the value of design project and make them realize the costs attributed in it.
6. “No big deal if you did it”
There is one thing that graphic designers should remember while dealing with women …don’t expect acknowledgment since you may never get it! Women can be really rigid when it comes to appreciating someone’s work. This can also be frustrating for designers who desire some recognition and praise for his/her efforts.
7. Questions galore:
When you are working with women clients, you can be sure of one thing…questions galore! Although it is a natural habit for women to ask too many questions, but it becomes a real headache for graphic designers to attend too many questions, some of which are illogical and meaningless.
8. “I am right, you are wrong”
Another pesky trait that I have experienced working with female clients is that no matter how incorrect they are or how illogical they might sound, they are always right. For them it is you who is wrong. Imagine how annoying it is for graphic designers to be assumed incorrect in their area of expertise by a laywoman.
9. “Let me ask my hubby, granny, Mary……”
“I think I’ll have to consult my husband for this”…this is one of the common statements that women clients say to graphic designers. The difficulty is that women like to involve family or friends in their choices. They want to consult their close ones for finalization of the designs. This becomes really difficult for designers who have to refute each and every foolish advice that the client is given by her relatives or friends.