Basic communications skills with client

Basic communications skills with client

Negotiations before you start: how to bring to the  purchase services

Usually in a personal customer already asked a link to portfolio, know more about terms and price, you meticulously consider. If you have no relevant experience, it becomes torture, as if you’re placed under a magnifying glass. This is uncomfortable and nervous, and this nervousness can be transmitted in messages. Even worse, if the client wants to call (well, who in 2020 calls up, well!).

It is important to switch from self to client to get into his skin. What does he want?

  • to a freelancer it is not thrown,
  • to get a quality, cool, helped him reach his goal (sales, image, coverage, something else),
  • so everything was clear, comprehensible and clear and he knew exactly how to build the work.

That’s all. You need to focus on the needs of the customer and close them. What I write here (with examples from my correspondence):

1. Update items to name a price

“Write, how many sources and what is required at the output. And what graphics (decals) need? If there is, show an example of a finished example.”

This is necessary in order not to sell too cheap or not name too high a figure which could scare away a customer. Remember that you don’t have to name the price of this minute — you have the right to take a pause and think, to calculate the cost of the project. But don’t think too long, otherwise, the customer will think you simply ignore it.

If it is difficult to determine the project cost, calculate how much time it will take, and multiply by the rate per hour.

2. Describe the process

Most often, the customer does not know how the freelancer, it makes him nervous and makes to go to a more reliable (in his opinion), but to expensive agencies. Convince him that you are a professional, and your business processes refined and transparent to the client:

“I will send you a list of questions, it is desirable to answer them today or tomorrow, as far as possible in detail. Study the answers sketched the rough structure of the landing page and send it to you. Agree, something to correct, if everything is OK — you will throw 50% prepayment, and I will start writing the text. The whole process will take about a week plus edits”.

3. Guarantee and shall assure

“I can send you the contract if you want to spend on the SP, or just divide the payment into several equal parts. Write down one of my contacts, if something will happen with the WhatsApp: …”.

Another contact would increase the level of trust in your customer will understand that it is important for you to be connected and to work honestly, and not disappear immediately after receipt of payment.

Here you can clarify about the edits — it is important to indicate on the shore, how many edits are included in the project cost and what does this number:

“After completion of the work for free I make 2 batch edits, this is usually enough to bring it to readiness.”

Anything over should be paid extra. But that’s a topic for another article.

If the portfolio you have even little doubts, and the customer, enable confidence in themselves and reassure him:

“That is the distribution I have not done, so let me make half the letters, you will look and if all OK, continue. Themes very interesting, I have been using a similar product, so it will be great to work on your project”.

So, fasten: do not think about yourself to be included empathy, show professionalism and radiated the confidence that you steep special.

Lifehack: even if you yourself don’t believe, just create a semblance of this belief.

Communication with the customer in the process

Did you catch the project, started to work and even got in advance? Then the fun begins.

First, be sure to check every step with the client! It is important, then explain why.

  1. At first, it amounted to Technical Task. Prescribed there, that should get the output how it looks, what it consists of, maybe, sketched the structure. Agreed in WRITING, and received a firm “Yes, all is well, work” and proceeded.
  2. Made a sketch/draft/prototype by hand. Agreed.
  3. Did the first part of the work. Showed. Explained that it is only half the job, but you want to make sure that we are moving in the right direction.

Why all that all? Then, after the delivery of the project was not the traditional “You did everything wrong, I even wanted to adopt!”. If you are all agreed at every stage, you collect all the anger into a fist and calmly say “Jon Gray, here is the message which you agreed to TT. And here is the message where you agreed on the sketch. And here you have agreed on the first half of the work. If you don’t like it at these stages, we had to say. After agreeing to the work I am undone for a fee at the rate of …/hour”.

If he continues to bend the line and complete the dialogue. Leave yourself in advance for your time and verify that it is ready to continue work if the client agrees on the terms specified by you.

Second, do not hesitate to remind about payment, signing of documents and other things that are important to you, not the client. Do not send finished work, has not yet received the balance payment. Sculpt copywriting, do a screenshot, send in low quality, let the customer sees that the work is ready, but unable to use it.

Sometimes you are mistaken, not the client. He says, “well somehow not so it turned out… we’re kind of not so coordinated”. This does not impact the customer is experiencing, that will not be able to use it in their work, what a waste of money. This could be after approvals if you misunderstood spelled out a task or walked away from TT. In this case, reassure him: “Send the list of edits, will make it today or tomorrow. Can make it right”. The client must see that you are on the result and exactly the same as him, want to do everything beautifully and accurately. Show him that his willingness to cooperate and be responsible for the result.

More about the correction of errors in the process of working on the project, read the article

Marking boundaries

Not only the beginners but also for experienced freelancers sometimes forget about personal boundaries. It is important for your own peace of mind and prevents burnout: if customers don’t pry into your personal space, you will feel comfortable and pleased to work with them. Conversely, once fit, it immediately becomes unpleasant, causing anger and procrastination.

What to do?

Write the scope of the working time. “I am available on weekdays from 10 to 20 h. If you write in a weekend or night look and I will answer immediately as soon as the designated working hours. If something is urgent and without my intervention is necessary, write in WhatsApp”.

Send only the contacts that suit you. I very rarely give my phone number because it’s a very personal touch and I don’t want an inadequate customer I was calling in the event of disagreement. WhatsApp, mail, Facebook — OK mobile-only as a rare exception.

What if this is not done?

On Friday evening you will coordinate tasks, and on Monday morning, an unsatisfied customer will ask you “where are the jobs??? I paid for you!!!”. And you have to explain to him that on weekends you are not working. And that’s your problem, not his: the client expects you to work your schedule, and for him, 2 days of your “inaction” can be critical. So about the timing and output agree in advance.

Night messages are another story. You by definition are not obliged to answer them, even if it very urgent. But then you need to understand which you are responsible, and to think through the moves in advance to complete the project before the deadline, to give instructions on what to do in case of force majeure, when you are not connected. I, for example, have an assistant in the editing, which I give part of the work if you do not have time to date or do I need somewhere to suddenly go away.

If customers do not want to pay

Do not operate without payment. Never.



If customers hang additional tasks that are not included in the work

“Can you do a background distribution?”. You spend two hours on a beautiful seamless background in photoshop, and then the client says “No, no background is better” and you’re angry.

As soon as the customer says something in the style of “And you can still do this?”, you estimate your time, and if it takes longer than 10 minutes, call the price. My rate varies on the complexity of the work, sometimes it is some simple routine that just takes a lot of time, and I jumped on top of a small amount. If something is difficult, then call full time.

If clients offer to do something that will definitely give a bad result

And there are only two options: to convince with the height of his experience and on the basis of examples, that is a bad idea, or give up. If the customer is adequate, he will listen to you. If not, then okay. You are unlikely to convince. Most importantly, immediately identify how it will affect the result: there will be fewer hits, decrease the conversion will spoil the image. The client should understand what is signed, insisting on his idea.

Some suggest to refuse in General in this case from work, but it breathes hypocrisy. You do what the customer pays. Yes, you can warn him of something, but if he wants exactly what wants, you can’t get into his head and strike a pose. To unsubscribe simply because they do not want to have a relationship with some absurdity  — Yes; to give up, because “I’m an artist, I see” — a sign of incompetence. Freelance people provide services for business, creativity and self-expression are personal projects and blogs.

I think so: if you don’t want customers to get in your personal space, not tell them how to build their own business. Perhaps someone will say otherwise, but I have this principle that helps us to earn good money freelancing and delineate responsibility for the result between me and the client.


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