In this article, you'll learn how to...
- Maneuver to handle less-than-polite prospects
- Navigate the process of landing a new client while saving time and resources
When the client (a life coach) called just before Thanksgiving, he was filled with urgency and enthusiasm. "We need copy for our website," he said, "and it's got to be ready in three weeks. Can you get me a quote today?"
"Yes," I said. For I like to be accommodating. Especially when I hear from a prospect in distress.
Soon after our call ended, I started putting together an estimate. Sure, I had other things to do, like wrap up some work for paying clients. But Mr. Life Coach needed an answer ASAP. So I placed those other priorities aside and got him a quote that afternoon.
A Lesson in Courtesy
If you run a business, you know how much work is involved in creating a proposal. For a copywriter, it goes something like this:
- Review the client's website and other collateral.
- Weigh all the research that would be required (competitive analysis, interviews with key stakeholders, etc.).
- Consider the subject matter and deliverables to calculate the time needed for writing and revisions.
- Add up the numbers and arrive at a dollar value.
After all that, I write an estimate, along with some observations and recommendations, in a coherent, thoughtful proposal. Depending on the project size and complexity, this process can take 20 minutes... or two days.
Once the proposal is ready, I email it to the prospect. And then the wait begins. Some clients get back to me within a few hours. Then there are people like Mr. Life Coach. One day passed. Two days passed. No response. Fearful he might have been hit by a bus or something, I checked in later that week. Still nothing. In fact, I haven't heard from him since.
Some ground rules are in order for such situations. In particular: if you request a quote from me, I owe you a timely response. And, in return, you owe me the same. You might think my quote is too high. You might find another writer who's a better fit. That's OK. Either way, just let me know. I'm a big boy—I can take it.