Selecting Clients and Managing Expectations2552

Student TParker private msg quote post Address this user
We've had several recent threads on working with clients and or potential project partners. I mentioned that vetting before signing on with someone was important to me. Then, of course, I had a situation where I began to work with someone and we are not a good fit. Fortunately, she assigned me a single milestone and we discovered after its completion that we were not a match. (Thanks Susan for helping my bruised ego recover.)

Debriefing that particular contract with my husband, I noted that before I began the work the client had made his "Spidey-senses" tingle. We discussed the reasons why to help me improve my own "won't end well" radar. When I have more time, I'll try to share some of my specific tells to watch for.
In the meantime, I thought perhaps some of you might want to chime in on this discussion.

When it comes to choosing clients or business associates what warning signs have you learned to recognize?
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Teacher SusanDay private msg quote post Address this user
@TParker firstly you are welcome. I think you've really hit on something though. We often underestimate our intuition when it comes to dealing with people and potential clients. Sometimes we are so keen to close the deal that we miss subtle warning signs that we are not a good fit with a person.

I think it's valuable to spend time imagining or creating a vision of who almost perfect client is. That way, we can at least have an idea and a set of expectations which will guide us.
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Teacher Rev private msg quote post Address this user
In all my years of work, in a multitude of fields, I've only had a handful or so of client negotiations where something "didn't feel right" (what you call Spidey-senses, @TParker). The first time, I ignored it in favor of the potentially big payday offered. It want decidedly bad and I learned never to ignore that feeling again. And I haven't.

That doesn't mean the all contracts or client engagements have gone well since then. I've had a few failures, but none of the ilk of that first one. I also now know how to gracefully extract from a poor choice, too. I've had a couple of those recently and I still learn from each one.

I don't think it ever gets completely gone from the equation, but it does get progressively better.
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