Your Clients are People, Too
Christina Gillick here, guest editor of The Writer's Life this week.
Not too long ago, I was terrified to contact potential clients or apply for any writing projects.
I didn’t have a website because I was afraid someone would find it and want to hire me.
That sounds silly now, but a few months ago, I thought my writing – or my professional skills – needed a lot of work. I kept saying, “I need to finish just one more course …” so I joined Circle of Success to get them all. (COS members get access to all AWAI programs.)
Turns out, my real problem was my lack of confidence.
But luckily, the resources in Circle of Success helped me with all three skill sets necessary for success: professional skills, personal and leadership development skills, and people skills.
I’ve learned more professional skills in just a few months than in years of working on my own.
My people skills have improved with my participation in the forums, networking with my peers, and connecting with potential clients through the job boards.
After a few months of working on all three skill sets, I became confident enough to finish my website and start applying for projects.
And you know what? When you apply for projects, you get jobs!
Recently, I’ve been able to secure several retainer projects, and I won a complete website redesign, including rewriting all their copy, creating an SEO strategy, and training their staff to use social media. These things will keep me busy for months.
As you can imagine, I’ve learned a lot since joining Circle of Success, but let me share a big turning point (and one of the best things I ever heard about working for clients) with you:
“Your clients are people, too.”
Doesn’t that one little phrase make them seem so much less scary? And it’s true. They’re just like you and me. They surf the Internet, fold clothes, and can’t wait until the weekend.
Now imagine your best friend, sitting at their desk with 101 things on their to-do list. They have a big marketing campaign coming up, and they are in desperate need of a good copywriter.
You’d help them in a heartbeat, right? Now picture your prospective clients as your best friend.
This is powerful stuff. It’s a little bit like imagining your audience in their underwear if you were giving a speech.
Try this simple exercise: next time you’re about to make a phone call to a potential client, imagine them as your friend. As someone who needs you and someone you want to help.
Show genuine interest in your potential clients just like you would with your friends. See them as real people with real problems. Be friendly, warm, and helpful. This will help them relax around you and trust you very easily.
Also, let them talk about themselves. People love to talk about what matters most to them. By listening, you’ll learn what you can do to impress them and win them as clients. Don’t interrupt or correct them, and don’t ask questions until they finish speaking.
Before I let you go for the day, I want to give you one more thing to think about:
Money comes from people. If you do not have good people skills and people do not like working with you, they will stay away from you … and so will the money.
So now you know the importance of people skills … Comment below to let me know how you’re improving your people skills, personal development skills, and professional skills.
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