If getting a job is a challenge, keeping a client is a feat. That's what I've learned from the seemingly horrible experience of financial crisis. Many strive to get a job, but few has the wisdom to keep those clients. Many get hired for weeks or months but few last for years, nor get a repeat transaction.
If you are having this same problem you are not alone. You've probably thought life is so unfair and employers are opportunists, taking advantage of the employment drought. But that is not always the case.
I couldn't forget my interview with John Jonas when he said “When you get a job, keep the job” I'm sure John has some great experience why it made such an impact to him. But the question is, how do we keep the job and turn from being a part timer to a full time, full pledge freelancer.
1. Speak Your Mind
– It's been taught many times and preached repeatedly how important communication is. So speak your mind. Getting your idea across is essential to ensure that you and your client are working on the same page. It's actually a common mistake to us, that we keep things to ourselves when we have doubts or hesitations instead of saying right there and then. And the longer it gets stuck in your mind, the more destructive impact it will make if those hesitations and doubts turn to be an essential element for you to deliver the needed results. Don't be overcome by pride that will tend to make you feign that you know things. Accept that you need an answer to all those questions at the back of your mind. Don't guess. You're job is not to be a clairvoyant or a psychic.
2. Learn to Negotiate
– before you can keep the job, you must learn how leverage your negotiation skills to be able to get the job. Negotiation simply means becoming more flexible in many terms or aspects like schedule, pay rates, scope of service and other issues. It means agreeing on certain terms that is tolerable to both parties and would bring out mutually beneficial working relationship. Negotiating means sacrificing a part of your comfort zone but not necessarily a lost but a reduction only.
3. Underpromise but Over Deliver
– alright, I know sometimes we tend to become so engrossed in writing those cover letters and proposals but be very careful, you might just end up ruining your career by giving too much assurance to your client. One basic rule, be REALISTIC! Don't promise the whole universe. They might believe you. Stick on what you can deliver, and when i say deliver, I mean delivering with excellency. It means giving a wow factor to your client's experience.
4. Don't Get Stuck
– Don't let yourself stagnate on what you know, strive to learn new things that you can offer to your client' and his future needs. Exercise those brain cells! Or else, you'll get eaten up by the younger, more energetic, affordable newbies. Keep up with the trend in your field and you'll never regret you did.
5. Ask for Feedback
– if you've worked with someone for years already, don't get too relaxed and so secure. Times change, moods sway, and most of all, this world is full of surprises. And the worst surprise you'll ever get is a final handshake from a client whom you “thought” was satisfied. Asking for feedback or evaluation on your performance is a good way of thwarting this kind of situation. It will make you aware of where you stand and what step you should make to resolve any issues that may be critical in keeping the business.
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