Monday, April 10, 2006

Why Doing LESS for a Client Can Earn You More!

When working creatively -- eg, creating logos, figuring out the angle of an article, designing a website -- most go over and beyond for the client. However, this can cost you business in the long run. Why?

When you give clients too many choices, it can lead to indecisiveness. This is not good because it makes YOU look unprofessional. If a project doesn't turn out the way a client envisioned, who do you think is going to look bad? That's right -- you.

Most clients will NOT say, "You gave me so many choices that I got confused and chose poorly; hence, I realize the outcome isn't what my superiors wanted so it's my fault." What they're going to think is, "You didn't listen to what I told you and that's why you presented so many options."

Solution: Ask a lot of questions up front to be sure you understand what the client wants. THEN, present them with a couple of really good options -- both within the parameters they've given you -- from which to choose. This way, they'll be able to make a decision fairly quickly and easily -- and you'll come out looking like a genius. Why?

Because not only did you give them what they wanted, you gave them a few powerful options. This makes them feel in control, ie, they made the final, "brilliant" decision.

The worst that could happen when presenting fewer options is that you are so far off the mark that they don't use you. However, if you've listened closely, you should be able to tweak what you've presented and have it approved.

Caution: Be careful if a client keeps asking you to rewrite, revise, redesign because this means THEY don't know what they want -- hence, you'll almost never be able to please them. This type of client will almost always be a pain to work with; so, better to move on.

Conclusion: Making clients look good is easy -- listen closely and ask lots of questions up front. Then, you will be more likely to give them what they want. Once clients feel that you "get them," more work will inevitably follow!
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