Last week, when I went to Boston to give a talk for BostonCHI "How to Say Things Your Clients Don’t Want to Hear," I sent my dog, Charlie, to stay with Kimberly, a dogsitter I’d never met before. She came highly recommended from another dog owner, so of course that made me comfortable. But still, not having met this person or seen where Charlie would be staying, I was a little nervous.
But from the first conversation, Kimberly put me right at ease. You know how? She gave me lots of details. When she returned my initial call, she spent a good 15 minutes explaining all about her services: what the dogs do at her house, where they play, who would be there, when and what they would eat, when and where they would sleep (on the couches, apparently). And the more she talked, the more relaxed I felt about leaving Charlie in her hands.
The whole experience made me think about clients who have trouble talking about their work and claim to "not know what to say." What they often don’t realize is how this affects their prospects. So if you get tongue tied with a prospect, remember that, at the beginning especially, they just want to be put at ease. And giving them information will help to do that. It almost doesn’t matter what gets said; what’s important is your openness and willingness to give a lot of details.
So don’t hold back; tell them everything you can about working with you. And see what happens.