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Dealing with Clients

Cold Calling: Separate Yourself from the Bad Guys

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When people tell me that their freelancing business has been slow, I suggest that they pick up the phone and start making calls. Reason: Since cold calls have worked well for me, I encourage others to try them as well.

Talk about kicking the proverbial hornet’s nest. I’m often treated to a diatribe on how much the person hates being cold called.

And I can’t help but agreeing. Why? Because cold calling has a much-deserved bad reputation.

You’ve probably had a family dinner interrupted by those telemarketers who call households between 6:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. They know you’ll be home. And that you’re probably trying to enjoy a meal with your family. The fact that they’re calling at a bad time just doesn’t seem to register.

While some of these dinner-interrupting calls may be from legitimate organizations, more than a few are from scammers. Just keep an eye on your caller ID for a few days, and try this experiment:

While the phone is ringing, enter the number on your caller ID screen into your favorite search engine. If the call is from a scammer, the search results will point to consumer protection websites like:

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5 Things You Never Want to Hear Your Client Say

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You know what you call a client that knows exactly what they want, does not require revisions, always pays you on time and loves colored eggs? You call them the Easter Bunny because they do not exist.

In a perfect world all client relationships would go this smoothly. Unfortunately, it’s not a perfect world. As a freelancer, you have horror stories, but here are five strategies to help you work through these difficult situations.

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To Propose or Not to Propose? Tips for Handling the RFP Process

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Instead, it’s about handling requests for bids, proposals, quotes, or whatever you’d like to call them. Specifically, the ones that come your way by chance.

Handling the “Name Your Price” Callers

If you’re like most freelancers, you get phone calls from people wanting a quote for the type of work that you do. Quite often, these people are looking for prices over the phone. Do you give them out?

There’s a lot of freelancing business advice that goes like this: You shouldn’t give prices over the phone because you may be giving a price that doesn’t begin to cover what the job actually turns out to be. This advice makes a lot of sense because you need to spend time discussing what the prospective client hopes to achieve by hiring you.

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