If your business provides a service, some clients and customers are effortless to work with, and some need a little more help. We have a few tips to help when working with clients who require more support.
Some customers need a lot of interaction. A lot. Constant contact, emails, calls, and reassurance can make you feel drained, and possibly like you’re not getting the job right.
This is partly about boundaries, and partly about communication. Micromanaging can sometimes be caused by worrying, so make sure you’re telling them everything they need to know.
It may also mean being firm about unscheduled calls. Perhaps set up check-in points along the project, but it’s still important to listen, and deal with any situations that appear.
Everyone wants to save a bit of money. There’s nothing wrong with it but at the end of the day, you’re selling a service just like anyone else.
It’s entirely up to you how you set your prices and whether or not you’re willing to offer discounts out. The problem with giving discounts is that it’s what the client comes to expect.
Once someone knows there’s a price you’re prepared to consider, they’ll always push for the same amount, or lower. In this case it’s worth saying, very firmly, that you have revisited your pricing structure and are sticking with fixed rates in the future.
They may not be happy and they may go elsewhere, but hopefully, you won’t need to spend an hour or so at the start of every new project negotiating your rates again and again.
Scope creep refers to those clients who always push for a bit more extra work (at no extra cost of course) extending the scope of the project ten minutes at a time. They’re the ones with a tendency to think that ‘just a small something here or there’ is part of the original costing and shouldn’t need to be chargeable.
Perhaps they genuinely think they’re only asking for a small favour, and sometimes you might even be willing to help them out.
It adds up over time though, and you’ll end up missing out on time which could be spent on chargeable work. Be firm when you need to be.
Last on the list are ghost clients. These are people who come to you, ask you to do some work, seem happy to go forward (getting your hopes up) only to disappear.
It could be that they’ve changed their mind, found someone else, or just wanted an idea of what the project would entail.
There’s not a whole lot you can do in this situation except count your losses and move on quickly. It’s always worth following up with an email or call, but don’t turn into Liam ‘Taken’ Neeson about it.
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