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The Client Game

Improve on your client-relation skills by brushing up on these tips.

This story appears in the July 2000 issue of Business Start-Ups magazine.

Your clients often have a voracious appetite and demanding nature. An out-of-control client whose expectations haven't been properly managed can eat you out of business. While the nature of doing good business is to accept that the client is always right, you can avoid problems before they begin. How can you keep expectations at a reasonable level? Here are some tips to review before you go out and get your first client.

  • The primary rule of client care is to establish what your role is and what you expect the client's role to be. Then outline, in writing, what each of your responsibilities are going to be. In the initial proposals and subsequent contracts, make sure you make a list of your deliverables and attach a timeline.
  • Have your client sign off on the written descriptions of roles and responsibilities, lists of deliverables and timelines. Save all documents, especially signed ones, in a safe place for future reference.

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