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.

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!

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.


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.