Wednesday, October 6, 2021

Does Your Client Communication Get in the Way?


When it comes to meeting new people in business, all we can be is ourselves.  Or, maybe putting on an accent of sorts does help in getting deals secured.  If you grew up using a lot of slang, you may have been encouraged by a teacher or someone with authority to slow down, if not enunciate.  However, it's that and the choice of words used in conversation that can make or break a deal.

These days, we have Zoom meetings, chat, or maybe you're still using Skype video.  While these are convenient for those multitaskers, some people still get nervous at the thought of conversing with someone to go over details of the business that you're in.  

For those who hate to converse and would rather just say anything to get the job, you know you're shooting yourself in the foot.  It's a common tactic with those who lack confidence and/or experience.  While it's good to say that you've closed a deal rather quickly, often people who do this have regrets because they don't realize what they've signed on for.

Remember You're in Control

Having a conversation is one way to ease the tension early on.  Experienced freelancers usually give themselves a limit to discuss a proposal or task.  Newbies should do this, especially if you're using an onboarding freelance site.  I've met some characters that will talk your ear off and then an hour or so later leave you empty-handed.  

Even if you get the job or there's another step involved, you can use conversation to gauge things that eventually come out.  Is the client easily distracted?  Do they change their mind or have a new thought mid-conversation?  Are you ever addressed by your first name?  These and other events are worth considering before signing on to do a job.

Choose the Right Words

I struggled with this one in my work life and as a freelancer.  With time and patience (with myself, that is), I improved in a short time.  Sometimes,, prospects want to hear you ramble to see what they're dealing with for the reasons listed in the previous section.

Public speaker Precious Williams has simple advice for engaging with others while selling your services.  Her 5 Tips for a Better Presentation can lead not just to more opportunities but will make you more memorable.  Often when this happens, you may be called for a future assignment or just in case the person chosen doesn't work out.  Remember, when the latter happens you can re-negotiate fees or turnaround times.

Often we, as freelancers, tend to remember the clients that didn't work out so well more than the ones that did.  Taking a constructive approach to client communication and noting where you may have gone wrong is one way to eliminate bad habits.  Even though you may be an articulate individual, what are your listening skills like?  While we all know to be wary of clients/bosses who slander past workers, it may help to notice some of their communication habits.  This isn't to say that a person may be bad but might require a different approach when discussing business.

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