You have probably heard the saying, “People do business with people they like.”
Have you ever noticed how you keep going back to a particular service provider or business that may not necessarily be the best in their field, yet you return time after time?
People do business with people they like.
Why is that? Most likely, it is because you like the amazing service you receive or you like dealing with a cheerful representative who will bend over backwards to make sure your needs are met.
If you delve into customer psychology, so many factors come in to play when customers decide to return and do some more business with a company.
Seasoned marketers are well aware of how strongly emotions are tied to a customer’s decision to purchase something. How does the product, service or staff make them feel? Good advertising campaigns are built around this principle – positioning a product or service to evoke a certain emotion.
For freelancers being a likeable service provider is super easy. We can win over a client by implementing just a few simple strategies in our business.
That’s a no-brainer, right? Yet, you will be surprised at how this does not come naturally to some freelancers. Some give off an unapproachable vibe and others are downright prickly and difficult to work with. If you were a client, would you want to continue working with that freelancer? Probably not.
Now I get that we all have different personalities. Not everyone is gregarious, chatty and outgoing. Some are more introverted and shy. But showing some friendliness includes just smiling (or having a ‘smile’ in your voice if you’re communicating by telephone), keeping emails professional but light and warm rather than stiff and formal, friendly banter, and just generally sounding happy to hear from your client.
Every client enjoys working with someone who makes them feel welcome.
Be Easy to Work With
Yes, clients can be difficult, annoying and demanding. They can push the boundaries and some have very unpleasant personalities. This makes it hard to be nice to them. The good news is you can choose not to work with horrible clients. That’s part of the joy of freelancing! You get to choose who you work with.
Once you’ve got some lovely clients on board, you sure don’t want to lose them, now do you? So, be easy to work with. This does NOT mean be a pushover and allow them to take advantage of you or allow ‘scope creep’ to occur. Do set boundaries.
Being easy to work with just means be accommodating, reliable, helpful and willing to meet the odd tight deadline. Your client will love you all the more for helping him out when he’s in a tight spot.
Consistency and Trustworthiness
Most clients lead very busy lives. The last thing they need is an unreliable freelancer who doesn’t meet deadlines, is full of excuses or submits inconsistent work. This makes the client’s life more stressful, and your aim is to make it easier. Everyone likes to work with people who make their life easier.
If you’ve been working with a client for a long time, it can be easy to slip into a lackadaisical frame of mind and not bring your A-game to each assignment.
Approach every job with a regular client as if it is your first one. Put in the same effort to ensure you’re always submitting your best work and doing so on time. Be consistent and clients will learn to trust that you’ll always deliver good work and be happy to send more work your way.
Make Them Feel Special
There are clever freelancers out there who take the time to make their clients feel special.
Some drop them an email from time to time just to touch base, find out how things are going, or congratulate them if their company won an award or received some positive press. This let’s your client know that you keep up to date on their progress and sends the subtle message that they are important to you.
Some freelancers even send their clients a greeting card or small gift on their birthday or around the festive season. Tread carefully though – you don’t want to overdo it and come across as sucking up. Nobody likes a brown-noser! The objective is just to go that extra mile that lets them know that you value your relationship.
Over to you… Share your secret to winning clients over who return time after time!