Too many clients and not enough time is almost a thing of the past with today’s economy. There may not be enough clients going around these days in most businesses but time is still short. Don’t get stuck babysitting your clients when you can finalize the project scope in minutes rather than hours.
Time to move the clock forward, not backwards.
1. Phone – Listen, Speak Quickly. When you speak with a client for the first time, listen and listen intently. It’s good to hear out their needs and get a brief overview of their business, but some people just like to babble. It sucks time like a leech on a clock. The only thing to speed things up with clients is talk fast. If you always talk with your clients like you’re in a hurry, they will always assume they are taking up too much of your valuable time (which you have little of). The best part is they send you their follow up questions through email.
2. Meetings – Short and Your Out. There are some exceptions, but for the most part, first meetings can last over an hour especially since SEO is harder to comprehend for some clients. Always tell the client you have a meeting (whether you have one or not) right after this one. It’s your preemptive way out of the meeting. If you enjoy the conversation and want to extend the meeting, you can always look at your phone and say your meeting got pushed back or canceled.
3. Emails – Descriptive, but Short. Write and respond to your emails with well thought out questions. Getting email after email from the same person about the same project might as well be instant messaging.
4. Bumpings (running into a client out locally) – Be Polite and Busy. Greet the client in a polite manner. No matter what you’re doing, you have to act busy. For all they know you could be late for a movie or just running out for milk. The more you cross paths with them out (let’s say at the store), the more questions or concerns they will have for you about their project. You’re off the clock and this is your time now. Make use of it.
5. Closers – Sell Yourself Hard. There’s nothing more taxing than being on the phone with a client while you try and close the deal. You sell yourself, offer them the world and they STILL need convincing. This conversation could go on until you either get tired, get aggravated or your phone battery dies. Tell your client to take some time to think it over and call you later in the week. They may leave you or go look elsewhere, but they may be a client you don’t want.
(photo by poiseon)