Talking To A Client Effectively and Professionally
Being a freelancer and having clients is not like a normal job. You don’t have to go into an office, wear nice clothes, and talk face to face. In fact, most clients rarely talk face to face at all, preferring instead to chat and send assignments through email or messaging apps. This can raise some concerns for newer freelancers, who are unsure how to talk to their clients.
After all, you can be freelancing from your couch in sweatpants and a baggy t-shirt, but you certainly don’t want to sound like that. You want to sound professional, and like you know what you are doing. Thankfully, there are a few tricks of the trade that can keep you sounding professional and can help you leverage the benefits of being a freelancer.
If you can master them, you’ll be talking to clients with a professional tone that also shows off who you are. That’s the best part of it all; you don’t lose your individuality.
Pick Your Tone
It should be obvious within your first meeting what your client’s tone is like, and sometimes they can even pick your tone for you! All clients are different, and some like to get to all business, some like to laugh and joke, some enjoy chatting about personal matters, and some are excited about what they do and who they work with.
You need to be the same. Pick a tone that matches the client you are working with. If they are excited to work with you, feed off their excitement, and work with it. If they are all business, adopt a dependable attitude when speaking to them. If they want to tell you how their day has been, then open up and really listen.
Striking up a camaraderie with your clients might not make you both best friends, but it will make working with them easier. It helps to prove that you aren’t just a number or a faceless email address and name. You are someone with personality, and they can latch onto that.
Be a Human
You never want to show up to a client acting like a robot. Starting every message with “Hello, I’m here, can I have some work” gets old pretty fast. If you act like a robot, then you will get treated like one, and no freelancer wants that at all.
So always make sure to remember the human. Inject a little personality into your conversation, and ask how your clients are doing. Start your emails with, ”I hope you are doing well, or how have you been?” Even if you ask them for work right after, they will see and answer your question about them first.
Now instead of a give and take relationship, you’ve started a conversation. Always try to keep the conversation going as you communicate with a client. If they love your work and praise you for it, thank them. If they are upset with a mistake you made or want you to correct an article, then apologize and try to make it better.
Likewise, If they’ve been good to you, then make sure to tell them so. If you want more information, then ask them questions or request clarification. Remember that you are a human, and the client on the other end of the screen is a human too. Humans have emotions and share them, and that’s what you need to do.
Always Be Professional
From the moment you open a dialogue with a client, from the hiring phase to the working phase, you need to be professional. The client hired you because you know what you are doing, and you need to sound like it always. If you need more work or time to complete existing work, ask for it formally.
If you need to step away from a job because it’s not working out, then create a professional business letter. If you act professional and formal, your client will notice and will treat you the same way during your interactions together. That can only benefit everyone.
Talking to a client correctly is a fine line to master for any freelancer. It takes practice, research, and extra investment. But it will pay off in spades. The relationship with your clients is the bread and butter that keeps your business afloat and allows you to do what you do. Make sure always to keep that in the back of your mind, and you will go far in the freelance writing world.
This article was originally posted at Freelancing Buzz.