SitePoint Sponsor

User Tag List

Results 1 to 8 of 8
  1. #1
    SitePoint Enthusiast
    Join Date
    Oct 2000
    Posts
    89
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Hoi all,
    I am starting to work as freelancer slowly. But I see that I have lack of communication skill with clients. Are there any good source on the net or book that i can buy to improve my communication skills?
    I know it will be better with experience but I dont wanna lose customer because of lack of communication.
    By communication, I mean everything (emails, meetings,...)
    after his/her request for website or just after his/her first question to get info.
    Thanks
    Great Dane
    Gokhan ARLI

  2. #2
    ********* Addict jaiem's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Location
    New York, USA
    Posts
    1,006
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    There are many good books and videos on presentation skills. Keep in mind however that smaller clients might be put off with the strict structured approach often used when dealing with larger clients.

    Eventually you'll need to speak on the phone with the client. Speaking skills are extremely important. Too often people who write good emails seem to choke up on the phone. That more than anything can break a relationship.
    Ocean View Host - Affordable web hosting plans for any business.
    Modern Technology, Old Fashioned Value & Service!
    U.S. Merchant Services - Reliable merchant account services for all business!
    Quality People Providing A Quality Service!

  3. #3
    Team SitePoint AlexW's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2000
    Location
    Melbourne
    Posts
    832
    Mentioned
    4 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    There is quite a lot to client 'liason' but you are clever to recognise it's importance. As is the case with trying to learn anything subtle, nothing can replace practice, but I can give you a couple of hints I concentrate on.

    In phone meetings:
    - Never try to totally script your conversation. Phone calls never work like that, but DO lay your thoughts, questions, ideas, etc out on a big pad. I tend to have question marks, asterisks, underlines, scribbles and boxes spread out over the page. They will help to stop you from going blank if the conversation goes dead.

    - Next time you're talking to a friend on the phone just step back a little and listen to how your voice sounds when it's relaxed and try to remember that sound. Often when we're a bit stressed we talk faster and at a higher pitch than we do normally. That tends to make both you and the client feel even more stressed, and the loop continues. If you can get the conversation off at your normal tone/speed it tends to remain there.

    In face to face meeting:
    - Obviously you don't need to arrive with top hat and tails, but don't try to be too cool and dress down (e.g. old t-shirts, baseball cap) for clients unless you're very, very good at what you do and the client knows it. Presenting yourself neatly is just showing the client you take this stuff seriously.

    - If you have a presentable and knowledgable friend/mentor (or even two) you can bring along to assist - without embarassing both of you - then do it. They don't have to do anything other than attend the meetings and appear credible. It makes you appear like a team with access to a wider range of skills rather than just a guy in a room. Introduce them as 'Joe Bloggs, who helps you with some of the Project Management' or the databasing or whatever, but make sure they can hold their own. This CAN blow up in your face (it never has for me).

    If your partner is convincing enough to hold their own in client conversation they can learn to jump in to save your backside when you start to flounder. That also diverts the attention away from you for a while, buying you some time to think. In a good team this works both ways, each member following, covering and backing up the other/s.

    I probably should turn this into a full length article. There's a lot you can say on it.

    Anyway, hope that's a reasonable start.

    Alex
    Alex Walker
    SitePoint Developer
    SitePoint - Learnable

  4. #4
    SitePoint Enthusiast
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Location
    Brazoria, Tx
    Posts
    34
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I've found that the number one blunder is talking "above" the client. DO NOT SPEAK GEEK. Speak English, and IF your client starts tossing technical speak at you, then SLOWLY feel out their actual level of expertise. DO NOT baffle them with your incredible knowledge....they wouldn't be talking to you if they didn't think you knew what you were doing, your job is to convince them, in plain English, that you are the right person to make THEIR vision a reality, not YOUR IDEA of their vision.
    Veesha
    Be your own ISP
    "Your One Source Web Solutions Provider"
    http://www.eDirectAmerica.com

  5. #5
    ********* Addict jaiem's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Location
    New York, USA
    Posts
    1,006
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Try to show you understand business concerns and business operations. Then they will be more open (a little) to some technical issues.

    It's hard to seperate the business from the technical but you do need to try.
    Ocean View Host - Affordable web hosting plans for any business.
    Modern Technology, Old Fashioned Value & Service!
    U.S. Merchant Services - Reliable merchant account services for all business!
    Quality People Providing A Quality Service!

  6. #6
    SitePoint Zealot
    Join Date
    Nov 2000
    Posts
    109
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Be polite, be tactful, be honest and speak proffesionally.

    Theories remain as theories unless you practice it, and the practical exercises will slowly turn into your experience in future.
    Over 100 Free Wordpress Themes for download
    Get your website a free hosting account
    Dotservant.com professional website hosting since 2000

  7. #7
    Team SitePoint AlexW's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2000
    Location
    Melbourne
    Posts
    832
    Mentioned
    4 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Another quick point well worth remembering.

    Sometimes, after checking out your potential client's current site, there is an urge to show you know what you are doing by 'sinking the boot' into it. Things like "your current site hasn't even got anti-aliased graphics!" or "Nobody is using frames these days".

    Resist this urge at all costs. It's very unprofessional. Try to find something complimentary AND sincere to say about it OR say nothing about it at all.

    Chances are they are quite fond of their current site, but have simply out grown it. You will probably be talking to the person who built the site (or perhaps their dad), so attacking their 'pride and joy' is like like kicking their aged labrador. Not a good way to get brownie points.

    Alex
    Alex Walker
    SitePoint Developer
    SitePoint - Learnable

  8. #8
    SitePoint Zealot
    Join Date
    Nov 2000
    Posts
    109
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Yes, you've got a good point there, this is somthing you'll only learn through experience.

    Some point to add too, do follow-up, let your prospect know that you care for them, let your customers know what you have been doing for them and most likely you will be their first choice for the job. Remember, there are always more than one company eying for the job.
    Over 100 Free Wordpress Themes for download
    Get your website a free hosting account
    Dotservant.com professional website hosting since 2000


Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •