Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Good Client, Bad Client

Have you ever found that sometimes you get a client who is so eager to please you, that he plays the 'good client', even if he is not yet your client?

Sounds confusing? It actually is. Let me explain how this usually works. This client is generally not from a large or multinational company whose employees are quite 'time and cost' conscious. This client is usually from either a smaller company or perhaps even has his own outfit. He wants some work done and is quite adept at negotiating better rates for it. He has a lot of questions to ask; in fact you may spend a few hours or even a couple of days answering his questions and getting really excited with your potential new job. And in the end, the 'job' inevitably falls off and you are left picking up the pieces.

In the 90's, I ran my own events and conferencing company in Dubai called Eventus. I had a small budget, large sponsor fees and no clients to start off with. The competition was fierce and being a girl with no backing or support, it was quite difficult to get the company off the ground. I needed clients to pay for my fancy studio office and secretary, and I needed them now! So I pursued a lot of 'good client' leads and got really excited, only to find that end of the month, none of them had materialized. It took me a couple of months to figure out a true good client from pretend good one and it's a lesson I've carried with me through my business career.

A really good client will either know what he wants and when he wants it, or be happy to rely on your professional judgement. Of course there may be delays, and yes he may have questions; but he'll also realize that time is money, for both him and you. He will be happy to discuss fees and come to a quick agreement and sign a contract so work can start. If there are to be delays, he will be honest and upfront about them.

A client who is not going to hire your services on the other hand, with hedge and haw with a lot of apologies and promises to make good. He'll for some reason, not wish to hurt your feelings and take the indirect route to saying no. This is not to say that such a client will never make good on his promises. He may, but just be prepared for a long wait.

© 2009 Usha Krishnan Sliva
Freelance writer Usha Krishnan Sliva has years of article and copywriting experience. To get more free tips and writing ideas, subscribe to her ezine-Getting It Write, today.

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