What do you want your Graphic Designer to offer you?

dot design

Thought I'd throw this question out and see what came back, as I think that designers (myself included) and potential designers clients could learn from this.

So, what services or qualities do you want from a Graphic Designer when your considering using one, be it for a brochure design, logo design or website design?
I think gone are the days when "design qualifications" are sought after and important in securing a job, for example, when was the last time somebody asked you if you were qualified in Graphic/Website Design?

I think nowadays above all a portfolio speaks for itself, if I am looking for a website designer or similar then I will check out their portfolio, no portfolio and I am not even slightly interested.

Second would be testimonials, if I was spending a lot of money then I would want to see what others have thought of the service.

One of my pet hates is logo designers with bad logos and website designers with bad websites, the amount of times I see website designers offering W3C compliant websites and their own site isn't even compliant! If they can't get it right for themselves what chance have they got of getting it right for me?

Competitive pricing is also important, 99% of the time I will not go with the cheapest quote and will pay that little bit extra if I feel a company will offer a better quality of product/service. This is our USP and trying to sell this to customers is VERY difficult as price ALWAYS seems to win, I blogged about a similar situation here: Cheap Printing