Approximately twice a month I get together with some friends. We either go out for a bite or occasionally get together at one of my friend’s house. We are five freelancers that met one day at a meet-up we attended about 6 years ago. It started off as a casual conversation while waiting for a presentation to start and it ended up in a nice friendship among all five of us.
These lunch meetings are great, it´s nice to exchange ideas, to learn about each other’s experiences and to talk your own language.
After ordering our food, Marcy told us about a great client she had worked for. That morning she went to the wrap up meeting that gave closure to a 7 month project she was intensely involved in. The client told her that next year they’d be contacting her for another implementation as they were completely satisfied with the outcome of the project and her constant and professional performance throughout the full 7 months. On top of that, they asked if it was ok to refer her to other businesses.
This is what every freelancer wants: close a great gig, know that you’ll be hired for the next one because the client is absolutely satisfied and be referred to others. Marcy was undoubtedly excited and was thinking what to do to add another distinction to her service. She asked us whether we thought it was a good idea to send them a gift in appreciation and as a special “thank you”. It was true, she was really thankful for the opportunity, but she also wanted to stand out and assure she’d be the one hired next year for the following project.
So this generated a conversation in which we all expressed our thoughts as to what was appropriate, kept a business tone but at the same time made the service a bit more personalized.
We all agreed that it was a great idea to find an additional and distinctive action to close a great deal. For example:
– Send a gift to the people who hired you
– You can mark your calendar to follow up in a few weeks to see how it’s going.
– You can also prepare a summary/presentation/handout, whichever format you want, that shows what was accomplished and clearly highlight the “before and after” scenario
– Many times by exchanging emails you discover a new way to keep helping that you could have missed initially
Apart from that, the importance of updating your website/portfolio and use it with your next clients. At times clients are willing to add testimonials; this is great advertising.
Once I arrived home, I sent an email to a client I had worked for last month. I asked him how things were going and if he was satisfied with the results of the project we had worked on. He not only answered immediately saying things were great, but he also showed appreciation for following up and checking with him.
What do you do to take good care of a great client?