Want Your Work to Delight Your Clients? Make Sure This Happens First…

It’s impossible to please all of the people all of the time (so goes the cliche). But as a freelancer, pleasing clients stands as the most effective way to secure more work and gain referrals.  Why wouldn’t you want to please clients all of the time? It’s counterproductive to aim to do anything less. That’s how I see it anyway.

Pleasing clients doesn’t mean achieving perfection on the first try. Perfection is quite subjective, anyway. Is anything I write perfect? Is anything a web designer creates perfect? Is anything an artist paints perfect? “Perfect” is in the discriminating eye of the beholders and depends upon their frames of reference and expectations. It’s generally that way with clients.

And while perfection may not be achievable, satisfying – even delighting – clients is. Before you can accomplish that, however, there’s one thing you need to do. And you need to do it each and every time you work on projects for your clients.

Freelancing Rule to Live and Work By: Make sure you’re happy with the work you’ve done BEFORE you submit it to your clients.

Will that 100% guarantee your clients will be 100% thrilled and require no tweaks? No. But you’ll be much closer to achieving satisfaction if you yourself are pleased with your work than if you feel only half-happy with what you’ve completed.

BEFORE sending work to your clients…

  • Ask yourself…

    • “Was I clear on what the client wanted/needed from me, and did I fulfill it?”
    • “Did I do the very best I could?”

The answer should be “Yes” on both counts every time.

  • Sleep on it.

Try to plan your work a bit ahead of schedule so you can finish it a day in advance. Don’t submit it right way! Instead, let it sit overnight, and then look at it again the next morning. Chances are you’ll discover you can make a final tweak or two to make it even better before sending it to your client.

Keep in mind each and every client will be different. You’ll find some easier to please than others.  That’s precisely why it pays to get in the habit of ensuring YOU are always pleased and proud of your work before you hand it over to your clients. You may still need to make some alterations to what you’ve done, but by holding yourself accountable to you, you’ll always be closer to delivering an end product your clients will love.

Your turn! What are your secrets for delighting clients with your work?

By Dawn Mentzer
Another post by the Insatiable Solopreneur™

4 comments on “Want Your Work to Delight Your Clients? Make Sure This Happens First…
  1. Steve Smith says:

    Great advice Dawn!
    A few things that I strive to achieve with my clients are: be sure that it is a great fit prior to striking the agreement…for my business the key questions are: Are you ready for change? What time and resources are you willing to commit to that change? And what will happen if you do not change?
    Based on their responses I make a judgement on their commitment level and how that aligns with my skill set and most importantly do our values align?

    Knowing that it’s okay to say no is powerful and if we decide to go ahead with the project the next step is setting clear expectations.

    • Dawn says:

      Thanks, Steve! What you said about making sure it’s the right fit from the beginning is very wise. That’s something we should all make an effort to do in our businesses. Having qualifying questions incorporated into a process for evaluating opportunities can definitely help ensure clients are a good match and that we’re equipped to serve them well. Smart insight! Thank you for sharing it!

  2. Bob Benhardt says:

    The let it sit over night is so very important. I keep tight schedules with my customers in order to keep things moving forward. Which also puts things, at times, very hectic for me when all cylinders are firing. As attempting to get 6 hours in the field a day at a minimum, the background paperwork, estimates, web site etc can become daunting.

    Even that being said, I let every estimate or cost proposal ‘simmer’ at least six hours hours before giving it a fresh review with fresh eyes. Often times to the benefit of the company.

    Also, the great fit with the client is so very important as we have discussed recently, Dawn.

    Have a great day!

    • Dawn says:

      Thanks for your comment, Bob! Even a few hours to let something “simmer” (great way to put it!) helps. Sometimes deadlines, jeopardized by other responsibilities, won’t allow for an estimate or work to sit longer than that. It’s always wonderful to hear your take on things!

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