Three Tips for Handling Your Clients

John Reeve | April 15th, 2008 | ,

It is the unfortunate circumstance of any professional service business that it must interact with a wide range of clients. From the easygoing and easy-to-please patron, to the difficult and demanding dictator, all clients require similar care and feeding to keep the relationship working. Establishing and maintaining a good relationship with your clients is the best way to ensure repeat work and increase referrals. Here are some basic tips for handling your clients.

Designate a point person

It is an interesting phenomenon with any web design project that everyone wants to be a part of the process. The CEO wants to choose the photography and the IT guy wants it built in dot net. And they will all let you know what they think and why it should be. Ask the client to appoint one person as your main contact and require that all communications and directives come from her. Doing this will decrease the mental turmoil of having to deal with too many cooks in the kitchen, and it will require the client to get organized and unified in their dealings with you.

Invoice regularly

Establish a payment schedule based on three or four milestones or deliverables. Invoicing your clients on a regular basis maintains a professional relationship. Invoices are a humble reminder that there is a job to be done, alleviating emotional parasites that sometimes attach themselves to a project. Also, billing a client after a milestone in the project gives them something tangible and quantifiable and makes them more likely to pay on time.

Meet weekly

Hold regular meetings with the client even when you don’t think there is anything to talk about. Often times, you’ll find there is plenty to talk about once you make time to meet. Client delays are the number one reason projects go over deadline. Meeting on a regular basis will keep you and the client thinking about the project. This is especially important when you have clients who are responsible for pieces of the project, like copywriting or product photos. These clients need to be prodded and reminded on a regular basis or you will never see those deliverables and the project will be delayed.

One Response to “Three Tips for Handling Your Clients”

  1. High Level Marketing says:

    There are a lot of good suggestions on this article. Especially about weekly meetings, even if you don’t think they’re necessary every week.

    Amanda <3

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John Reeve
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John Reeve

John is a co-founder, web designer and developer at Pelago. His blog posts are inspired by everyday encounters with designers, developers, creatives and small businesses in general. John is an avid reader and road cyclist.
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Jennifer Payne
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Jennifer Payne

Jennifer is the Director of Quality and Efficiency at Pelago. Her blog posts are based largely on her experience working with teams to improve harmony and productivity. Jennifer is a cat person.
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Michael Payne
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Michael Payne

Michael is a co-founder and product architect at Pelago. His contributions stem from experiences managing the development process behind web sites and web-based applications such as Intervals. Michael drives a 1990 Volkswagen Carat with a rebuilt 2.4 liter engine from GoWesty.
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