Over the years in outsourcing business, I have noticed that few freelancers ask questions from potential clients. Which is bad from a clients perspective. I feel that freelancer is not interested in the job or working with me if they don’t ask any questions. I know some are afraid to ask because they fear to lose the opportunity, but for the overall success of the project, it is good to have a list of questions handy when a new client calls.
So here you are…
A critical question to ask from all new (and existing) clients. You may have used to do bi-weekly updates, but your new clients might want an update twice a week. Always check how many and what way client wants to be notified of project progress. Some way prefer a simple email with details, some might want you to use their project management software or even a weekly chat.
I’ve used all various progress systems over the years. Some clients wanted a weekly Skype call always on the same time, so actually never wanted any update – just an email once I was done!
A great question to ask as then you know your role better. If you are the first freelancer do expect to be guiding the client along the way and also to the work you do. If a client is a seasoned in the outsourcing industry, then you can expect easier project coming up – generally, that is!
I have worked with both new and seasoned clients and both have pro’s and con’s, just like anything in life. With new clients, do make sure finances are to ensure you will be paid as well. On Upwork, this means checking that they have verified payment method.
A question that is often not asked by freelancers, but one that should be cleared during the first client discussion. Before you do a minute of work for a client, you will need to know how will you be compensated on the project. Will you pay based on hourly work or project. What way will you making the payment (if outside Upwork). Don’t be afraid to ask money questions from clients, they
Don’t be afraid to ask money questions from clients, they understand that you are running a business too. This is on my client question list and I will not accept a project/client without a clear understanding of the payment.
This question should only be asked when client themselves mentions urgency on the project, and when the quality part fits in well. Of course, we always want to provide top quality as soon as possible, but that is not always the case. In some projects time is a critical factor and then it is not possible to provide top notch quality at a moments notice. A good example would be in writing/translation services when often you have another person to proofread your content. In that case, it is perfectly normal to ask if a client would rather have the job done quickly or wait a bit longer to get proofreading done as well. So be bit cautious with this question and consider how well it fits in with your tasks.
You may prefer Whatsapp for all communication but your client might want you to use Skype – and be online 9-5 as on-call. Because of the global economy, you might be working when your client is sleeping or vice versa. check how the client wants to be contacted and what day/time is best, or if they prefer email only – then stick to it.
I have stickt rules on communication so this is on top of my question list. I do not take on clients that require me to be available on Skype whole work day or give out my mobile number. Sure I have lost clients because of the rule, but that is ok as I found many that do not mind.
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