5 tips on how to handle a request for more work from an existing client
As a small business it’s great when an existing client asks you for more work. Who wouldn’t feel valued and appreciated (we do!)? It’s tempting to say “yes” to any work that’s offered. Client = invoice = payment which is always a good thing? Or is it?
As a business owner every new piece of work should be a positive experience. It should be profitable and leave both you and the client satisfied with the result and the experience. Sadly, in our experience that’s not always true. Some clients are just not a “good fit”. If you have ever, for example, ended up doing more work than you anticipated or left you wanting to give up, you’ll know what we mean.
Having done work that feels like a ferocious battle (and that’s being positive) we want to share these tips to help you achieve more positive outcomes when working with existing clients.
(1) Ask yourself, “do I really want this work?”
If you have worked or are working currently with the client, use the benefit of that experience. Think about:
- Are they easy to work with?
- Are you able to achieve the outcomes you want/expect? Or, did the client attempt to sabotage their own results?
- Do you end up doing far more work than you expected/priced for?
- Do you enjoy the experience?
Create a few questions you’d like to ask the client. Asking the client why they have come back to you can be a great leveller. How would you feel if the answer is “because you did such a great job” as opposed to “because you’re the cheapest”?
This way, you are giving yourself the best chance of achieving a profitable and great outcome for both of you.
(2) Knowledge is power
Different clients require different levels of input and attention. Having worked with the client already gives you the advantage of knowing needs. You can tailor your offering and manage everybody’s expectations. For example, knowing the client drove you to distraction because they write 10 emails a day and expect a same-day response allows you to tailor your proposal accordingly to restrict this or to price for it.
(3) The price is right
Following on from this, your knowledge of the client means you can price properly. So, if the client expects more attention, you can factor in the time you spend and do it in a positive way which is vital when you are pricing work.
(4) Take charge
Allowing yourself the time to reflect puts you in a powerful position to take the work … or just say no! Whilst most issues can be resolved, some things can’t or take so much time in resolving that it’s not worth it. Accepting work knowing there will be issues causes resentment and holds you back from going out to find work that will be more profitable and much better for you and your business,
(5) A written agreement with clear Business Terms
Finally we get to the legals, make sure:
- Your business terms spell out how you work with clients and
- Your written proposal or schedule always clarifies what work you are providing
Getting your agreement in writing won’t put off the right client but will provide a clear and less stressful way to work together. It enables your client to get the service they want and you to get properly paid on-time, making it a good experience for you both.
Not every piece of work with an existing client will be a breeze, but these tips will help you find clients who are a “good fit” with you and your business. With Law Hound, it’s not just about dealing with terms and contracts, its examining how you want your business to work for you. Talk to us – details below.