A Potential Client Called, Now What?

A step-by-step guide to getting them to say yes

First step after a potential client calls: Do the happy dance! (Insert mental image of Snoopy with blurry feet here.)

How to Handle a Potential Client CallWhat a thrilling moment to know that someone is actually interested in hiring you as their writer. And why shouldn’t they be? You have all this great training. You’re fantastic at what you do!

But the happy dance usually ends when the next question crosses your mind. How do I convert them into being an actual client?

It can be tempting to breathlessly wait for them to get done telling you what they need, so you can give them a quote. You’re excited to get the ball rolling. But you need to slow down. If you do ask them some questions first, you’re almost certain to be disappointed with the results of the project.

Here is the process I go through when talking with potential new clients. Maybe it will help you.

Note: The actual placement of the happy dance in this sequence may vary.

Find Out What They Really Need

So the client calls you up and says she needs four blog posts (or whatever). In her mind, she just needs something to fill up this months’ worth of website content. But maybe what she really needs is something different.

How can you know?

The answer appears all over Wealthy Web Writer and throughout the AWAI programs. At this point, you really need to listen to your client and ask the important questions rather than be thinking ahead to what you’ll charge them. Ask your client what she hopes to achieve? What are her goals? What would success look like to her?

And, of course, you’ll want to know the details of the assignment she’s giving you without making it obvious that you weren’t listening before. Take notes!

If, for example, the client is hoping to drive more traffic to her site through your amazing content, red flag that information for a possible upsell and make a note to yourself. Your client doesn’t just need blog posts — she needs traffic. Understanding that opens the door for you to pitch additional ideas to her … projects that could help her grow her traffic.

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About Wendy Strain

Having worked in journalism for a long time, I completed my Master's degree in English with special distinction in technical writing and literature and went into grant writing until office life and health came into conflict. I am now working toward a career in copywriting, particularly web writing and grant writing, seeking a satisfying and rewarding career experience.View all posts by Wendy Strain

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