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The world of freelancers continues to grow every day as more people are opting for self-employment than getting employed. We can see many entrepreneurs and startups rising to the scene with their Tier-2 and Tier-3 fundings. Isn't this the best period to work? Niche skills receive long-overdue credits, and people finally realize they can pursue passion and skills with much comfort.
A lot of credit for this increase in self-employment goes to the evolution in technology. After all, remote work would have never shined so much if not for the technology. Remote work empowered millions to work in their preferred field of expertise. Also, remote work has been a huge relief during the challenging Covid-19 pandemic. Furthermore, it has enabled people to attain a better work-life integration. However,there is one commonality in most freelancers and people who run small businesses independently. Can you try and guess it?
It is getting clients.
Regardless of the industry, one can never underestimate the importance of clients. They are the most important people for your business. Whether it is a product you sell or a service you offer, without clients, they are meaningless. They help you make sales, and therefore, you must always consider clients' viewpoints. As I mentioned earlier, getting clients has become increasingly difficult today. Now, you can blame competition or your lack of negotiation skills for it. However, the truth behind the struggle is mainly effective communication.
Effective communication is an art. Furthermore, it is communication that drives sales in any business. Every company has a sales department to hire people who excel in sales qualities. However, freelancers and small businesses do not have such luxury and struggle to get good clients regularly. Hence, here are a few tips to help you minimize the communication gap between you and your clients and get yourself more clients, including ones with long-time associations. These tips will teach you about the best way to talk to clients.
Following are some practical ways of communication you can incorporate in your pitching and negotiation matters to attract more clients to your product or service:
Always remember your first date. Not how it went but how you approached it. I can tell everyone where we are at our best in terms of manners and etiquette. It would be best to approach every client with such politeness and a warm welcome. Make them feel valued at all times. Greet them with a warm hello and never forget to use the words like "thank you," "goodbye," and "nice to meet you."
Use the client's name everywhere it is possible. It will help you keep in check and serve as a reminder that you are talking to a person and not a computer. Furthermore, it works as a personal touch when using a client's name in an email. Finally, show eagerness that you would like to talk with them again. And also, you must look to make the first offer for negotiation.
The professional world has taught us many jargons, such as "we thank you for your patience" and "I apologize for the inconvenience." Now, remember one of the best ways to talk to clients is to avoid using that jargon. It is mainly because they may fit the internal industry lingo but may fall off places with the clients. Besides, they seem very automated and impersonal.
You must take as much of a personal approach as possible while approaching a client. Therefore, instead of using the jargon mentioned earlier to communicate, you can say, "I'm sorry about that" and "thanks for waiting." Also, try to talk up the client's vocabulary, and you may notice some are not that fluent in English. If you encounter any such client, ensure that you practice more patience and relativity.
In the age of social media, you can never go unprepared for a client's meeting, especially when you have access to something known as Google. Hence, you must ensure that you spend some time to know the person you will meet before attending any meeting. It will help you immensely in bonding with the client. Moreover, strong bonding leads to a solid association.
There is a common term known as a conversation killer. It happens when you try to prove yourself right or tell the other person is wrong. Don't fall into such traps when you talk to clients. Always value the client's perspective. Part of effective communication is also being a good listener. Don't look for disagreements; instead, look for solutions. The more you focus on solving things, the more you can avoid conversational killers. You can also learn about how to be a confident negotiator as a business leader.
Ghosting is considered a significant problem in the 21st century. It is again due to the social media age. It is like you had a good meeting with a client and expect a callback. However, you get agitated and ghosted when a deafening silence follows the extraordinary meeting for days. The best way to avoid such situations is to decide upon a follow update at the end of your meeting. You can ask your client, "It was nice meeting you. Can we have a follow-up next week?" or so on. Always remember that effective negotiation skills are important while you deal with a client.
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Shellye Archambeau is determined to help you with all possible strategies to climb the ladder of success. She values your feedback. Do mention them in the comment section below.