The late, great Gary Halbert once wore a hat at seminar he was doing that had “Clients Suck” written on it. Mind you, he was doing a seminar for his clients.
While I disagree with the aforementioned Mr. Halbert’s sentiment, most clients are great to work with, if you don’t set the ground rules ahead of time, you will have a miserable experience.
Setting expectations and laying ground rules at the beginning of the relationship is mission critical.
You need to let clients know what you will do, when you will do it, what to expect and what not to expect. (By the way, you need to do this in any service business not just if you’re a consultant.)
For example, it is mucho important that you layout your communication ground rules, if not you will end up with a client who believes that you’re at your beck and call. You need to tell them how they are going to work with you.
“Mary, here’s what’s going to happen. In three days I’m going to send you the timeline for the project. (You should have agreed upon this in advance as well.) I will send you the deliverables based on this timeline provided that you get me everything I need by the dates we agreed upon. I am working on multiple projects and yours is important to me so any delays are going to really set us back and delay your project.
After you receive the deliverables, you will need to look them over and make notes on changes you want to discuss. Them on [date] at [time] we will get on the phone and discuss those changes. By the end of that call we will agree on any modifications that need to be made.
I will then make those modifications and have them back to you on [date] as outlined in the timeline. Any further modifications will need to be made by your team.”
You need to have this type of clarity around all aspects of the project you’re working on for a client. Not only will you be happier so will your client.
Kick butt, make mucho DEEnero!
Dave “Clients Are Cool” Dee
P.S. In order to work with clients you need to get clients in the first place and that means you need to know how to sell. If you missed my live Psychic Sales training last night, I’m doing it again on Friday at 11:30 a.m. ET. This is NOT a recording. I AM doing it live so I can interact with you and answer your specific questions.