3 Simple Questions to Manage Client Expectations

CFC 2013 logoLove this post via Strictly Business by our own Colleen Wainwright (a.k.a. The Communicatrix) who will be back at CFC this June speaking on, “Making People Love You Madly: Selling Yourself in the Postmodern Marketplace.” Join us at CFC June 22-24 in SF! Get $100 off (CFC only) if you combine promo code “ILISE” + Early Bird rate before March 15. Register here now.

When I started as a designer many years ago, I had an elaborate–and beautifully designed–series of forms that both the client and I had to sign off on: statement of work, intake, schedule, and so on.

However, it took a while to understand that managing client expectations began well before those forms ever surfaced, during the vetting process. If I was concise and professional (or wobbly or unclear) in those interactions, it set the tone for every interaction thereafter.

I had a huge breakthrough while venting my frustrations with my friend David Seah during one of our ongoing conversations in the late, lamented Google Wave (which we’ve since relocated to the quite nice and similarly-featured Rizzoma, if you’re a fellow former Wave-r). David said that when people approached him about doing a design job, no matter how long or fuzzy the first email or voice message was, he followed up with three questions:

  1. What is it you want to do?
  2. What is the motivation for doing this right now?
  3. What do you think will happen as a result of undertaking this action?

Read the rest here….and watch (or rather listen) for the upcoming podcast/interview with Colleen on her CFC topic. We’ll post it soon!