Sunday, June 29, 2008

Meeting Clients in Person


Getting used to communicating with clients online wasn't too hard. There are a million ways to do it. But, when you're doing a local project there may come a time when a client wants to Meet in Person.

It looks like I'm going to have to meet with a client and a collaborator fairly soon for a mid-scale project that I've taken on.

That's right- not through email, not through Google chat, not through IMs. It won't be a suit kind of meeting, but it will be the kind where you have to put on a bra, get in the car and go somewhere. I haven't had to do this in several months. The last time I discovered several pros and cons of the face-to-face client meeting.

Con:
You can't wear pajama pants or eat egg rolls while you're meeting. You actually have to let the client dictate the space and parameters.
You have to be there at a specific time- not just a certain date or a range of dates. The client tells you the exact hour that you have to work. Oh no he di'int!

Pros:
For a complicated project, or one that involves several people working together, it really is the best way to communicate. You can collaborate more easily and get a feel for how to make the project turn out the best way possible.
You can see all of those buildings and trees and things you keep hearing about.
Sometimes a face-to-face meeting can get you and client working together better than days of emails. This saves time for both of you.

Whether it's with a suit or without, eventually most writers will have to meet with someone. For the most part, I think it's best to talk to clients in person the way you talk to kids- keep a pleasant tone in your voice and try not to swear too much.

2 comments:

Kimberly said...

Hi l.shepherd:

I prefer to work virtually whenever possible. I'm more efficient. I have done face to face meetings with clients, but gas prices and having to rearrange my schedule make it a pain. I charge a flat consulting fee when I meet clients in person. The fee is absorbed into the price of the project if they decide to hire me. If they don't hire me, I don't feel like I was wasting my time (and gas).

L. Shepherd said...

Oh yes- my time during the meetings get charged. I haven't met with anyone that I don't already have a project going with- gas prices are keeping me home plenty right now.