It’s all fun and games running your business until you reach a point where you need to have those not-so-fun, tricky conversations with a client. What do you mean I can’t just ignore the problem until it goes away?! Don’t worry, we’ve been down this road before and we’ve got you covered with our best advice for handling the top-ranked toughest conversations with clients (according to our Instagram followers!)
“It’s not you, it’s me.” Rejecting a new enquiry or telling a client you can no longer work together, feels a bit like a break-up. Similarly to the dating world, even the most amicable rejections are never fun conversations to have. But, just like you might go on a first date and not feel the spark, you might hop on a discovery call with a prospective client and not feel aligned to work together.
While you technically can go the route of an excuse, such as saying you don’t have the capacity at the moment, honesty is always the best policy. We always recommend following up with a recommendation of someone who may be better suited to them. Luckily, in our Email Templates for Service Providers, we have a handy copy-paste script for you specifically for this sitch. Written with all heart and friendly professionalism, you can let those not-quite-right-fit clients down gently. No hard feelings here!
Oof, it’s one thing to reject an enquiry as a business owner – but receiving a rejection stings just as bad, if not worse. We’ve all been there, you have a super excited prospective client jumping on to book a discovery call with you, they sound very keen to get the ball rolling, you’ve sent off a beautifully presented proposal with tailored service options, and then BOOM. Radio silence followed by a ‘Sorry, XYZ reason we can’t proceed working with you.’
We won’t lie, it sucks to pour time and energy into the enquiry process and get nothing back. Sometimes it’s not your fault either – you can do everything right and be the best fit but clients simply change their mind or don’t need your services at this time (or at all). The best way to handle this is to be gracious. Thank your prospective client for reaching out and considering your services, wish them luck, and let them know that they are welcome to reach out if they need help in the future. Relationships are everything, especially in business. Try to avoid burning a bridge whenever possible. You never know how something may pan out later!
BRB, typing an email to say ‘pls pay me asap or else’ – okay, just joking. The key to handling late or unpaid invoices is keeping a delicate balance while being confident and firm. You’re the expert in your field providing a top-notch service. We know nothing feels scarier as a business owner than following up with a client who hasn’t paid their outstanding invoice but you’ve got this.
Though it may feel like you’re being too mean or pushy, it’s extremely important to set these boundaries, as early on in your working relationship as possible, so that your limits are not to be pushed. The more you let things like late invoices slide, the more likely your clients are to take advantage of you – even unknowingly – because they know you’re ‘super chill.’
Standing up for yourself is easy, breezy with our copy-paste Email Templates (just sayin’).
Oh, the dreaded scope creep – every service provider’s nemesis. It’s hard to know when to draw the line between completing ‘one extra thing’ as a good-faith gesture to when a client is taking advantage of you and your time. Approaching this conversation can feel daunting, but you’ll feel more confident if you come prepared. Whether you chat with your client face-to-face or via email, we recommend handling the conversation by:
Not sure how to word it nicely in an email? We’ve got an email template for that too, here!
Every business owner should increase their prices eventually. As you grow in your business, upskill and the quality of your services improve, you should be paid what you’re worth. But, how do you kindly tell your clients you’re increasing your prices (i.e. they’ll have to start paying more)? It can feel like a tough conversation to have, but the way you approach it is everything. Here’s our best advice:
Maintaining a healthy dynamic between business owner and client in a working relationship can be tricky to work out at first. This can sometimes lead to unfavourable situations where the client is holding all the cards and you don’t feel you’re being respected as the service provider you were hired for. Instead of letting it sour your working relationship or harbouring any resentment, approach the conversation in a friendly manner and remind your client of the processes of how you operate your business. A quick email and you’ll be back on track!
If handling tough conversations with clients always ends up in the ‘too hard basket’ for you as a business owner, it’s time you meet our Email Templates 60+ copy-paste templates for every situation imaginable – except maybe actually breaking up with your no-sparks Hinge date.
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