Quality is undependable
Project success doesn't depend on the quality of your portfolio. We like to think skills are the most important ingredients to a satisfied client. But every day, thousands of businesses invest money into sites that would make you and I cringe. We might feel indignant. We might rant. But the client got what they wanted. And it will happen again tomorrow.
As much as we're tempted to look down on the product, to do so is to miss the point. True, it's not *your* standard of work. But they aren't your clients and the designer isn't promising your work. See, it’s expectations, and only expectations, that determine what makes a happy client. If clients know everything to expect out of the project – from the process to the product – and you deliver on those expectations, then you'll enjoy success. But if you leave things to chance, the mystique of your design chops, or the "quality" of the end product, you can bet on a disappointed client.