Last week I wrote a post about how I don’t take cold calls from clients. In the comments, Carla said that she just doesn’t interact with clients on the phone much at all.

I hear that since getting on the phone requires a schedule which doesn’t always interact well with real life.

I often means a bunch of emails back and forth to organize the time that works for both of you.

Then you have to prep for the client call.

But you can miss so much

I recently got a very detailed technical brief from a client. Good enough that I could have developed an estimate on it with only a few items to clarify via email.

But part of my client on boarding process is that I don’t start on a project without at least one phone call.

So I booked the call with the client.

We covered some of the technical stuff during our call, but almost immediately the client started talking about their frustration with the WordPress admin area.

They had a big list of things that they found frustrating, all of which were easily solvable, none of which were mentioned on the brief I was given.

I added fixing all those frustrations to an estimate for the client, and charged well in accordance with their frustration.

They took my pricing option that keyed in on fixing their frustrations. That’s the one that had about 30% extra profit in it for me.

I would have missed that 30% if I hadn’t got on the phone with the client.

Streamlining setup

I was tired of all those emails back and forth as well, so I set up a Calendly and set out the times I want to take meetings with clients.

Now I just send them a link to the proper meeting times and they book out the times that work for them.

I even include a form with a required field that asks for their Skype name or phone number. They can’t book a meeting without giving me that information.

Once they book, I get an email and it shows up on my calendar with no interaction from me at all after sending the initial link.

Take away

So start by streaming all your meeting times (seriously you probably spend 15 minutes to book a meeting via email and a month of Calendly is less than 15 minutes of your time).

Then make sure you get on the phone and have a proper value conversation with your client.

Don’t know how to have a value conversation with a client? Not sure what questions to ask? I’m launching a course on October 15th 2014 that’s going to cover value based pricing and value based conversations with clients. If you’re on the email list you’ll get first access to the limited packages (which include consulting with me) on October 14th.

If you want early access, subscribe to the email list.

photo credit: simondee cc