26 August 2012
Tips & Tricks
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A long-term client relationship often starts with trust

by sixrevisions

Trust is an important component of any relationship. When it comes to freelance work, trust can encourage a client to want to work with you again.

A long-term client relationship often starts with trust. A client will most likely want to continue working with you if they believe in your capability to deliver the product they need

Why Returning Clients Are Good

Maintaining your existing clients is great for many reasons.

Having already worked together, you now know more about each other, which helps in any sort of cooperative situation.  if you’ve decided to continue working with a client, chances are good that it’s because you enjoy working with them.

In addition, working with the same client enables you to bypass many one-time tasks, thus saving you time and resources.


Tips for Building Trust with Your Clients

Now that we’ve discussed some of the benefits of keeping your existing clients, what follows are some of my tips for building trust with them.

Show That You Care About Their Expenses

Establish a relationship where your clients see that you’re being a custodian of their expenses. Show them that you care about spending too much of their money.If they request a feature that you know won’t move them forward with their goal, or might even be detrimental to it, tell them why and also recommend better options even if the option is to scrap the feature.Sacrificing billable hours for the benefit of your client’s project will go a long way to building trust. This will not only lead to a better product that you can proudly display in your company’s portfolio, but also says a lot about how much you care about the client’s success, which is a compelling reason to continue working with you.

Learn About Their Business

You want your clients to view your work relationship like a partnership. By knowing as much as possible about their business, you stand a better chance of creating a better product for them.The more you know about their business, the more they’ll feel that you’re a part of it, and the more likely they’ll be encouraged to continue working with you.Being knowledgeable about your client’s business will give them confidence in the products you build for them.

Be Honest At All Times

If you play games, you’ll get caught.

For example: Don’t pad hours when you feel you’re working extra efficiently, and take away hours when you feel you aren’t at the top of your game. Be accurate when tracking your billable hours. You can use software like Billings, FreshBooks or EnterYourHours (Full disclosure: I’m a founder of EnterYourHours) to track your time (as well as invoice your clients) as accurately as possible.

A client will see genuine honesty. They’ll also see if there’s something fishy going on.

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