In yesterday's Part 1, I looked at a few hints that might indicate your client could be interested in a "one night stand." But turning a new encounter into a longterm relationship isn't just up to them. The responsibility also lies with you.
So, am I saying it is a bad idea to take on a new client who (obviously) looks like they don't intend on sticking around? No way! Instead, what I would like to do is offer some ideas as to how to turn this fickleness into loyalty before the job even begins.
1. Get emotionally involved.
It's up to you to jump start a personal relationship. Ask about their kids or pets. Get to know them like a friend by finding common ground. It only takes a couple of minutes and will give you a personal connection right off the bat. Of course, some people may feel uncomfortable with too many questions, so just be sensitive to the situation.
2. Believe in your own worth.
You really do deserve to be treated well, you know. And you deserve to be paid. Like it or not, it is the nature of the corporate world to get something-for-nothing and some people play that game harder than others. If you can accept it for what it is — a game — you can learn to play too, without allowing yourself to be "used" in the process.
3. Have integrity. Be honest.
Honesty and integrity create trust, and is a great relationship builder. Be forthright with your prospects about how you really feel about their projects… what you believe will work and what will not. And most importantly, if you see that they may be getting ready to waste money, come out and say so, even if it means you lose the business. They will remember this and they will hold your opinion in the highest regard for a long, long time.
The bottom line is, listen to your gut instinct. If you feel uncomfortable, there is probably a very good reason. And remember it's always okay to do like you mother always told you, and say, "No," and mean it.
How about you? Have you had good or bad outcomes with non-commital clients? How do you handle these situations?
PAMELA SAXON helps those in arts and entertainment visually express themselves through integrated marketing, as well as helping them to get organized in their social media efforts. You can find her on Twitter, and on Facebook, or sign up for her newsletter here: www.saxondesign.com.
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