Congratulations! You just landed a no client. What are you going to do to make sure that you retain their services?
Neil Patel, who used to consulting prior to finding success with Quicksprout, reminds us that consulting has a high churn rate. But, if you follow his advice, you’ll increase your chances of keeping them for longer.
- Set realistic expectations from day one.
- Give them a gift for the kick-off call. Neil used to send his clients cookies or snack on the day of the kick-off call.
- Have a weekly 5-minute call to keep them updated or answer any questions that the client may have.
- Send your clients industry updates to keep them informed and make them feel special.
- At end of every month send your clients a report that illustrates the work that you have done.
- Neil also sent his clients a monthly survey so that you can track your performance and find out ways to make your client happier.
Another tip from Neil is one that you’ve most likely heard numerous times before; you have to dress to impress. If you walk into a meeting wearing a pair of worn-out jeans and a hoodie, do you honestly think that the client is willing to hire you? Even if you are the most knowledgeable consultant that is being considered, you’ll probably miss out if the other consultants are wearing suits. Why? Because they come across as a professional who knows what they are talking about and should be taken seriously.
Neil states that once he began to dress to impress, he was able to charge more money, have potential clients listen to him, and even having individuals come up to him during conferences.
The Customer Isn’t Always Right
While you are getting paid for your services, you always have to remember that you were hired because you possess a set of skills that the client does not. In other words, don’t let a client tell you how to do your job. That doesn’t mean that you can do whatever you want, it means that you have a responsibility to what’s best for the client. But, you’re the expert and they’re not. To keep them satisfied, make sure that you keep them update with your progress and show them reports.
There are other instances of when you may have to fire a client. For example, you may have a client that you get along with personally, but they never pay you on time. Even after you’ve brought this to their attention, they continue missing the due date. If you don’t want to do damage to your cash flow, you’re going to have let that client go and move on to someone who does pay you on-time.
To avoid potential headache clients, ask any in your network if they have worked with them in the past. Or, just Google their name or business and see what comes up. Does their website look fishy? Are there complaints about them of message boards? Did they leave an inappropriate Facebook status bad mouthing their ex? Look for any red flags prior to working with a client – also do the same on your end.
No matter if you have the same candidate for years, have had to let them go, or can’t accept a project because you don’t have the time or experience, you should always have the best interest of the client in mind. While you may have have disagreements or face roadblocks, you have to be a professional. If you fire a client, refer them to another consultant.