My pal Carl who has years of experience with sales said to me "Rob, in this world we have grinders and we have clients".
Carl continued... "For a client we do anything they want... they respect what we do and they pay their bills without a complaint. Then we have the grinders. They are never happy with any quote, make changes and changes over and over again. Then they try to reduce the bill down even more."
I have clients that I will jump off a roof for. They pay their bills on time, and are reasonable with their demands.
I have run into a grinder or two (or three) on occasion and at the end of the day you can be real busy but not make any money trying to please folks like this.
What can you do when you run into a grinder?
This is what I do:
I deliver my project on time and on budget. But I remind my "grinder" if you give me a brief and I do the work, then you change the brief... it's a different assignment. There will be an additional fee.
Sometimes I lose the account.
But I suspect that the "grinders" are used to that. They go from person to person always trying to get more work done at a lower and lower cost.
What they don't realize is that if they had a good working relationship with a designer, they could SAVE money in the long run because sometimes elements can be picked up from previous assignments or they don't have to "re-invent" the wheel every time they have a new assignment.
To be a successful freelancer, sometimes you have to say no to an account if the amount of time you are spending on them is more than what they are paying.
Bottom line... work with your clients. Deliver more than what you promise and they will always come back to work with you. And if a client turns out to be a "grinder" run for the hills... they won't be happy and neither will you.