4 Steps to Successfully Take on New Clients
Working in the service industry you always learned the customer is right and you have to do anything possible to please the customer. Doing business for myself in the past I can tell you that that is 100% wrong. If you have a service that rocks and you can sell them on the service you can always be in control.
So if you are ready to learn how to successfully take on new clients, let’s go!
Set Expectations – When I work with people I clearly define exactly what I am going to provide them. This lets them ask me questions or any concerns they might have. Getting everything out on the table at the beginning really sets the standards on how a project is going to go. Setting expectations with your client on your very first call can nail down all of the important issues like communication, billing, timeline, and any other potential issues.
If you are looking for a more detailed way on how to set expectations please read “Stress-Less By Setting Expectations with Customers” by Elizabeth Grace Saunders. This is a great article.
Update With Progress – Put yourself in the client’s shoes. If you are paying money to get a project completed wouldn’t you get excited if you saw some progress? Communication on progress goes a long way and can even allow you to delay the project a bit by making your client happy with the progress. I use a great tool called BaseCamp for many projects that I have worked on with clients. This helps me organize simultaneous projects at one time.
Push Back or Explain Extra Costs – This is where setting expectations really helps you out a lot. Expectations is your contract and you can always tell them, “Remember how we said adding extra features mid progress to this product will take extra resources and I will have to quote you extra?” If you were very firm at the beginning on what you said you were going to do on your project then doing this will be easy.
Deliver Product & Set Expectations Again – The most important thing to do is to set expectations again. For example I would tell them I will support the product completed for 30 days. Give them guidelines saying if it is my fault that something is broken then I will fix it. After those 30 days I would have to charge.
This puts some fire under your client to test out the product quickly so if there are any bugs they will be resolved. If everything is resolved and the project is completed then you and the client will be satisfied and would want to work again in the future.
Every situation and client is different. Following the process written above puts you in control of the service you are providing. After doing many projects in my life I know I have cut corners because I got comfortable. If I think back at all clients that gave me the most problems it was because I did not set the proper expectations.