WHAT TO EXPECT WHEN DEALING WITH CLIENTS
I know you have beautiful dreams of becoming a bad-ass writer earning cool cash with a bulk of clients on your trail.
You imagine a client giving you a luxury call, you get the job done in the snap of a finger and the next day, you’re smiling your way to the bank.
Awesome expectations you’ve got there.
If only wishes were horses…
Hang on! Don't get me wrong.
I’m not here to ruin your rosy fantasies, but as good as that sounds, working with clients is not all glam and sunshine. Trust me, dealing with some clients can be stressful and downright annoying. It's often worse for newbie writers who are not used to the tricks of customer relations.
Here’s a piece of advice for you.
Before you start canvassing for jobs, learn the tricks and ethics of effectively managing your clients. Remember you’d be dealing with individuals from different backgrounds, cultures, and personalities all with their own package deal.
If you don’t get your onions right, you will be mentally, physically and emotionally worn out from each transaction and that is the perfect recipe for frustration in this business.
Inasmuch as you don’t want to work for some crazy Joe, you'll find out soon enough that it is almost inevitable. I also thought it would be all fun and smooth sailing until I came on board and got the rudest shock of my life.
In today’s episode, I will be sharing with you some of the things you should expect when working with clients and tips on how to address such issues.
You’d love that right?
Let’s dive right in
- Unrealistic Demands And Expectations
They say difficult clients are clients who know what they want, but you would agree with me that working with a client who is constantly dissatisfied with your output can be extremely draining.
Oh heavens! Some clients can be a handful. They will sap the life out of you with their incessant demands and tirades, you’d be left gasping for air.
Sometimes, it could be a personality clash or their expectations are simply out of this world. There are times when I am tempted to yell at some clients,
"I am a Writer not a Magician!"
How do you deal with a difficult client without jeopardizing your reputation?
Set clear work terms and conditions from the get-go. The expectations of both parties should be stated explicitly to avoid any form of misunderstanding.
Document every stage of your interaction for easy referral. Keep proof of your conversations, record phone calls, backup mails and screenshot chats.
Such documented paper trails protect you in case a client goes back on their words.
If a problem arises, keep calm. Even if the client is screaming to the rooftop, do not be tempted to revert. If you must respond, do that in a stern but polite tone.
Next, listen to their complaints, ask follow-up questions for clarity, review your work and proffer a solution.
- Debt And Payment Hassel
Nothing is more painful than rallying around clients for your pay after doing a good job. Have a written contract which gives details of the job, payment terms and expected outcome which must be duly signed before work commences.
Set your payment timeline and send soft reminders occasionally. Always send an invoice immediately the terms of transaction have been agreed. The invoice should include payment deadline and penalty for late payment.
You can decide to withhold the final or original copy of the work until payment has been made completed.
More often than not you will meet clients who would rather trade your skills for 'exposure' than pay real cash. In such cases, be an advocate for your work and insist on being paid for your skill, time and productivity.
You can only stop clients from expecting free work from you by learning to say "No!" when such ridiculous offers are made.
- Fickle Clients
These are clients who can't seem to make up their minds on what they want. Your transactions with them are like a mirage quickly fading away with the breaking of dawn.
One minute they are enthusiastic about patronizing your services, the next minute they ghost on you.
Don't be too pushy with such clients as they may feel pressured and walk away. Use the non-sales approach with such clients to show them the benefits of your services. A little teaser like a mini PDF version of their book project could get them excited.
But don't be cajoled to go out of your way to impress them if you are disposed. Always count the cost before making such moves.
Don't get it twisted. Your clients are not your enemy. They are actually the lifeline of your business because without them you won't be in business in the first place.
However, to get the most from your relationship with your clients, you must set the terms of engagement.
Are there any client related issues you would like me to address? Simply send an email to me and I will respond as soon as I can.
To your continued success…
Founder, Millionaire Writers