How to ask for a change order?

Here’s more from the CFC LinkedIn Group, where fellow freelancers are constantly asking and answering questions for each other, as if they were in the next office (when really they’re all across the country).

Today we have a question about scope creep and change orders. The scope for Arin Fishkin’s project has changed, and she needs advice on how to handle it. Here’s what she posted:

I’m creating a logo for a non-profit. We are almost to completion and the name of the business has changed, requiring a considerable amount of reconsidering the solution. I think a change order is appropriate, but it’s out of my comfort zone to ask for one, especially from a non-profit with a limited budget. Any advice?

Fellow CFC LinkedIn Group member, Nando Cabán-Méndez, of CreativeJourneyman.com, says:

I would first acknowledge theirs is a tough situation, and that no one is happy this is happening. I would try to let them know explicitly how I think they feel (in both professional and personal terms): frustrated, disappointed, stressed. The more specific the better. It shows you’re not just jumping in a tight situation for them and taking advantage of it (which you’re not).

I would then try to remind them of the process we went through. The early conversations that led to the concepts that turned into the work you did for them. Make it vivid, so they see they (very likely) got more value for their money than expected (or recall).

At this point you want them to acknowledge this is a new process (because you’ll have to do all this again). They will now expect a quote for the same amount as before. If you’re quoting a better price, it should be a pleasant surprise.

I know this is easier said than done, but I think it beats the alternatives.

Do you have suggestions for Arin? Please share them here or on the CFC LinkedIn Group.

2 thoughts on “How to ask for a change order?

  1. Lois

    @ Nando Cabán-Méndez — I think that your solution is masterful. You have a very human and understanding solution to a hard situation. Speaking to them as personally and vividly (as you said) will help them understand that there was a long process involved and that it is what she is getting paid for.

    Your use of words is very eloquent. Maybe she should just show them your reply!

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