As a freelancer, you don’t have a whole business full of people standing behind you, so much of your success will come down to what you say to clients. More importantly, it’s about what you should NOT say to clients.
Here are a few of those things.
Don’t say you’re not very busy
Every freelancer faces times in their careers when they have no work coming in, but you don’t need to let your clients know that – they might think there is something wrong with the services you provide if you are not working.
And if you say you’re really busy, but you’ll probably be able to squeeze them in, they’ll appreciate that you are working extra hard to keep them happy.
Don’t say you can do everything
As a freelancer, there’s nothing wrong with being an expert in a particular field. In fact, that’s why clients pay you. So don’t say you can do work in areas you’re not familiar with, especially when you’re given a project that’s scope is still open and liable to change.
And anyway, clients will quickly find out if you are out of your depth, and will regret signing a contract with you.
Don’t ask how you can use your expertise
As a freelancer, you are somebody who runs a business selling your expertise to clients. Businesses don’t go out asking customers how they can be helped; they show the customers how they can help them and make their lives better.
Freelancers need to tell clients how their services can help them, rather than asking the clients for suggestions – it makes you actually look like an expert.
Don’t tell clients that a job is easy
Not only does telling a client that a job is easy insult your own skills – it might be easy for you, but most people don’t have your expertise – you can also catch yourself out if underestimate how long it will take. A job might take longer than expected, but if you charge per project, you’ll be losing money. Also, if a client thinks they’ll be giving you an easy job, they might not want to pay you as much money.
Don’t tell clients when you can or can’t work
When you tell clients days on which you can’t work before you have made a deal, it sends strong signals that you are not going to be dedicated to them, or be available when they need you.
Once they’ve decided that you’re the person they need, you’ll be able to tell them when you can’t work.
Don’t tell clients about previous bad clients
Not only is talking about old clients who you didn’t like very much unprofessional, it will also make a client who you are trying to get work from think that you might also say some unpleasant things behind their back.
Don’t tell clients you can worry about payment later
As freelancers are running a business singlehandedly, any slow payments can seriously affect your cash flow and ability to pay bills. Be clear from the beginning about your terms of payment, and don’t be lax on chasing payments or clients might take you for granted.
Don’t rush clients by telling them to hurry up about making a decision
Choosing the right freelancer is an important process for a business, so they might sometimes take longer than you’d like to choose you as a freelancer.
If they’re taking a long time because it’s a tough decision, they’ll quickly decide to not use you if you try to rush them.