It is a really delicate matter to find the clients you want, get to know their needs, and actually do what they want.
Most of the people who will actually ask for your professional help are very busy, and most of the time so overwhelmed that they don’t know what they really want, where to begin and how to convey their needs to you.
Most feel like everything needs to be done all at once, others tell you they need one thing and you actually end up doing something totally different. Here is where your patience comes into play. You have to remember that this is strictly business and nothing personal. If you let your personal emotions get into your task, then you will lose focus and will feel miserable.
Take every task as it comes your way, try to let your client know how things are done without being rude, or sounding frustrated. It takes time to change people’s attitudes, it takes a master to change them into organized and calm beings.
Their state of mind is in panic and you have to prove that you know what you are doing at all times. If for example you are hired to oversee or organize an event, (a wedding, a corporate party etc) you have to be on your toes 24/7. This is because your client has a rough idea of what it is they want, but a myriad of unforeseen factors come in between.
Create a master plan, divide it into smaller sections and update every section daily.
An example: You are hired for a company’s Christmas party.
Your master plan: Create a questionnaire to cover every aspect.
Then, create files for each part of the event. For example: guest list, band or music, decorations, catering
It is easier than you think. Being organized and always have a plan B is crucial. Also, make sure to hand out business cards to the guests, the band, the dj, the caterer. Word of mouth is the best advertisement for your services.
Second chances do not come often, if ever. Once you finish your task and everything goes well, you will definitely get a second chance, in other words you will definitely be re-hired by this client.
Another aspect of this topic, is if you are willing to give a second chance to a client who is really unreliable, flaky, doesn’t want to pay you on time, tries to cut your payment down. Be strong, make sure that if you decide to give someone a financial break it has to have some caveats. For instance, “I will give you a break if you refer more clients to me”, or “I will give you a break for the first month and then I need to be paid my normal fee”. Don’t be shy, you are a business.
As your client demands to get paid their salary, their income from their boss, their fee from something they sell, the same way you need to establish some boundaries. If the client does not want to adhere, then fine, you can let someone go. Do not cling to a bad client for dear life.
Times are difficult, but never so difficult that we should make our lives miserable for a few dollars!
Respect who you are, respect yourself, respect what you have to offer, respect your client. Believe me you will get every ounce of respect back. A tiny percentage might not agree or see eye to eye with you. It’s ok. Let it go.