When working on a new project with a new client, it’s more than a little challenging to understand their expectations. You can learn about your client in various ways, but ascertaining their specific requirements is no cakewalk.
More often than not, freelancers and employees find themselves feeling stuck and uninspired when working on a new project.
It doesn’t matter if you have the best expertise and skills in the industry if you can’t convert them into something that benefits your boss. The easiest way to ensure you and your clients are on the same page and that you execute their vision is to communicate with them effectively.
Open communication with your clients will lead to better results for them and you. Think about it, if your ideas align with your client’s, then you can carry out your work without fear of conflicting with their vision for their projects. However, this isn’t as simple as it sounds.
More often than not, clients are in a hurry to get their projects over with. If you’re working with a big client, then this might be especially true. These clients are often dealing with several projects at the same time, which doesn’t leave them with much time to devote to each project.
Your best bet in such a scenario is to gain clarity on your project in its early stages. If you ask your client to sit down with you when you take on your project, then you have a better chance of following it through the right way.
Moreover, it’s crucial to understand how your skills fit into your client’s requirements and how you can harness them. There are several cases in which employees are highly skilled and qualified, but fail to execute their client’s ideas due to a misalignment between skills and vision.
Therefore, when working with a large company, you should first discuss how your skills factor into their project. Also, you should communicate your availability with your clients and work your way around their schedules.
However, be careful not to compromise on the time you’d otherwise allot to other clients to accommodate a large client.
Long-term client relationships are the bread and butter of every freelancer and agency, so you shouldn’t make the mistake of undermining its importance. You should be especially wary of jeopardizing relationships with smaller clients if they give you a regular stream of work.
Remember, you need to gain a clear idea of what the client expects from the finished output of your work. For this, there’s no shame in asking them for help. After all, better communication will help you save precious time and money for both you and your client.
Ironing out the finer points in each step of your project will allow you to allocate your resources accordingly. To do this, you need to decide on a convenient mode of communication.
Some clients are more than happy to respond to a dozen emails a day while others might end up terminating your contract if you badger them with more than two emails a day!
Okay, this might be an exaggeration, but you get a general idea here: the mode of communication matters. At your first meeting with your boss, ask them whether they’re okay with calls, in-person meetings, or emails.
After you discover your client’s preferences, assign members from your company to the project that are most comfortable with this mode of communication. If you’re working alone, then you have no choice but to make your peace with your client’s choice and update your communication skills in line with the same.
Once you sort this out, it’s time to ask your client for some clarity on the deadlines they generally work with. This will help you understand how you can rearrange your existing commitments to accommodate your new deadlines.
Also, asking your clients for help will help you understand their communication styles. This understanding will enable you to establish a sense of ease and comfort with your boss which always leads to a smooth working relationship.
Another reason why you should be upfront with your boss and ask for their help is that it’ll be a good learning experience. Every company has a unique mission and work ethic. If you want to expand your set of skills and knowledge, then you should listen closely to what each boss has to say.
Working with clients in different industries (or different niches in the same industry) will help you level up in no time. Besides, doing so makes for a fun and interesting experience. If your client is approachable, you can work with them to focus on the nuances of your project so you can perfect it.
Lastly, we strongly recommend reaching out to your boss or client for help so it makes your work a lot simpler. If you’re a reputed freelancer and have several demands on your time, then you likely won’t be able to spend too much of it trying to understand each project from scratch.
Having an approachable and helpful client in such a scenario will pave the way to a fruitful execution on all accounts. Also, when talking to your client, make sure you ask them about any pitfalls they experienced while working on projects similar to yours.
Doing so will help you more than you think. After all, it’s easier to excel at what you’re doing if you know how to avoid common mistakes.
At the end of the day, seeking help from clients is one of the best things you can do to ensure you excel at your project. Therefore, you needn’t hesitate to reach out to them and nurture a healthy working relationship.