How To Impress Your Client
The art of making an impression and maintaining it
Making an impression
When it comes to impressing clients, you will be kept on your toes at all times. You will be making an impact on your client before securing your work with them, and after. Learn to impress, right from the off.
With all of this in mind, it can be hard to think about everything you must do, especially when you’re nervous. That’s why we’ve come up with a few ways that are guaranteed to always impress your client.
Be prepared and on time
First impressions count. It’s easy to think ahead to fee negotiations and how you will sell your skills. Before you even get to that stage you will be making an impression.
So turn up on time, or even earlier. You never know, your client might be there early too. This is your chance to have a less formal chat and solidify a connection. Maybe you support the same sports team or are from nearby towns originally. Make an impression on your client on a personal level that goes beyond your professional credentials.
What do you do if being late is beyond your control? Here’s your chance to be an effective communicator. Call up and let your client know what is happening, and what time you will be there. Clarify the time if you need to or postpone it with an apology. But the most important aspect is being upfront about it.
Dress the part
While not the basis of your client’s final decision, there are material factors in how you are perceived. Maybe it’s not a formal occasion, depending on the project you hope to work on, so you might not need to wear your suit. But appearing clean and tidy can influence your client’s perceptions of your organisational abilities.
This is backed up by having your necessary documents in the same order. Have them neat and organised to support such an appearance. Keeping organised will help you during the meeting to locate the necessary document at the necessary occasion to elevate the business discussion.
You can also use this as an opportunity to show practical elements of those time management and organisational abilities included in everyone’s CV. If you’re interested in which skills employers like to see on a CV, check out our article ‘Top 5 Skills to Add to Your CV’
What does your client want?
Know their business and industry. Prove you have researched the client and their business. Sometimes it’s an industry you know very well and have been a part of for years. Or maybe you are new to it, such as a web designer offering services to a pharmaceutical company. While your specialised knowledge here will be essential, knowing you have your client’s interests at heart will be that extra mile towards impressing them.
This is easier said than done. Often it can be a matter of following breadcrumbs to learn about your client. Your client’s business might be much smaller, or even a start-up. As such, research the industry in general, but also make it clear you are open to knowing more. Go into the meeting with questions about the project, the business, and about the client.
Sell your skills
Now you know what your client wants – what do you have to complement this?
Turn your skills into examples. Provide the client with real experiences that helped you develop your skill. When did you work best as part of a team – did you beat your deadline? Did your communication impress a previous workplace, and if so did you get any exceptional feedback? Did your skill lead to a long term contract with a client? These are all important examples of how to bring your skills about naturally to impress your client.
What is also important is how you deliver this information. Talk clearly with composure. Speak slowly to show you are controlled at the same time you can hide your nerves. It also gives you the chance to think ahead about what you wish to talk about next.
Be clear about fees
Now that you have asserted your credentials and experience, be clear on what you will be charging for your services.
It can be difficult to talk money during the first meeting but if you are confident in your service then you will need to make sure you are on the same page as your client, and that your client has the same budget in mind. Check out ‘How Do Freelancers Get Paid’ for more insight on how freelancers can negotiate fees and payments.
During the project
Establishing good work habits is essential to maintaining a happy relationship with a client.
Try and keep on the same schedule as your client to enhance regular and sustained communication. If you work best in the evening or have other responsibilities before that, a helpful gesture is to make sure you are still contactable within your client’s regular hours. Work efficiently and meet deadlines. If you go over your deadline, then you may be charging your client outside of an agreed budget which also reflects on time management qualities. Keeping your word is a great way to impress those around you, more generally.
Overall, establishing yourself as someone who is motivated and driven in your first meeting must be reflected in your work. Remember your promises to keep yourself motivated.
When the project is over
Even when the project is done and dusted you are not finished here. As a freelancer, there are always opportunities to work with this client again.
If you are looking to improve on your services, then perhaps send your client a survey to collect constructive feedback. What did you do that particularly impressed your client? These instances display to the client you are looking to improve and provide the best service possible. Gestures such as this may be a factor in working with this client again.
Your reputation precedes you, and clients talk. Making a name for yourself and a good reputation is pivotal to your network, so impress clients even before you meet them.
Before you go
We hope we were able to impress you with this article, and perhaps you’ll be able to take these ideas forward to your next client meeting. To make the most of your account, check out our recent article, ‘Revolancer Plus’. For an enhanced experience on our zero-commission platform, try Revolancer Plus free for 30-days.
Freelance marketplace: Revolancer