5 signs you should (not) choose a client to work with
In a world full of severe competition and plenty of opportunities, the service providers, just as the customers, must decide carefully who to work with. This is the way to show the company’s face and identity. Here’s what to look for in your partnerships to speed up your professional development:
- Attitude – Respect is crucial. If a client shows disrespectful or ill-treatment, you better keep distance. As a service provider, your role is not to be a servant even though you are “serving” the client’s interests. He or she states their request and criteria, but you hold the capacity cards. The kind attitude, refined gestures, and warm words are signs to accept that project and start working on it. Good manners are a good start of a common business to grow up.
- Interest – Does the client look rapt at your portfolio? Is (s)he asking questions that reveal the actual quality of your services? The financial side is essential, but do not put it on the table before the opportunity to present yourself and your work. And we mean your interest in the project, too. If you do not feel it motivating, better lookout for another idea. The project tasks must inspire your desire to work, and inflame your business senses. Аn acceptable compromise is when you get a kind of target benefit – for example, make important contacts, gain more target experience, mark a presence in an important niche market.
- Precision – It is about time to focus on the accountability and clearly defined parameters of the project. They may not come first, but they are essential for choosing a partner – both customer or service provider. It is important what you get for your contribution so that the financials correspond to your offer’s grade. The deadlines will reveal if you have enough time to achieve a high-quality execution. Pay attention if the client is open to discuss deadlines adjustment if this is necessary for your opinion. Because it is important to set the starting and final period frames realistically corresponding to the activity. Find out what expectations does the client has, what she/he wants you to achieve, what is the budget, and ask for a prepayment. After all, you are doing business – just good intentions said aloud show lack of commitment. And make a written contract with payment terms. There are customers who, sometimes due to corporate clumsiness, delay the payment. However, this could be a financial disaster for smaller service providers.
- Flexibility – Does the client realize that despite all perfect arrangements, adjustments to the project will be made on the go? The work of service providers is often associated with creativity, and this is sometimes hard to frame. For example, the way you use a gradient, may not be in the nuances the client sees it. Whether (s)he will show understanding or tolerance is important to understand when you make your first steps together.
- Long-term – Some companies are looking for a service provider for a specific project, but if your business is comprehensive enough and you like each other, it will be beneficial for both parties to expand the cooperation in the future. Just like the relationships in the private world – how much and whether a relationship will last depends on the initial intentions, but also is adapted in the interaction process. Remember that you will need time to adjust to a new client. When this happens and is mutually effective, you will already know exactly who you are dealing with and what to expect for your next project together. Realizing the temper of a company and the development direction is a powerful contribution to your operations for this client.
“The art of leadership is saying no, not saying yes. It is very easy to say yes” – the words of the British politician and former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom Tony Blair can be a starting point in choosing a business partner. If you just want to keep on working, you may not be so picky. But remember that smart choice is a matter of intelligent rejection if you do not encounter responsibility, charge, and clarity.