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How to Keep Your Cool with Rock Star Clients
by Jennifer Brown Banks
I was pleased as punch, a while back ago, after receiving an Email from a potential client seeking my creative services. And who wouldn't be? Let's face it, new business is to entrepreneurs what sunshine is to plants; they keep us alive and thriving. So I excitedly responded to her with curiosity and mutual interest.
I discovered from her initial Email that she owned her own business, and had obtained my contact info from an on line organization of which we were both members. After assessing ”tentative” goals and outlining a game plan, we agreed to work together the following week.
Through our brief intro, she didn't provide much personal information as to the person behind the project. So in order to get a feel for her personality and strategic direction, I did what most scribes and savvy business owners would do; I did my homework. I Googled her and conducted some research via various on line resources. Wow, was I impressed! This diva had more “degrees” than Chicago's weather! Her bio boasted a doctorate degree, a highly regarded practice, and professional memberships in some pretty impressive organizations. And she wanted me to help her to become a better writer? Imagine that.
All of a sudden my usual confidence was compromised by plaguing questions and the self consciousness of a teenager. What could I teach her that a person of her stature probably doesn't already know? Would she challenge my directives? Second guess my suggestions? Correct my word choices? Condescend? Frown on my fragments?
My mind began to race with ridiculous thoughts! So I decided to have a few pieces of chocolate and take a “chill pill.” After I came to my grips, here's how I got back into the groove and gained perspective.
I present to you, five ways to remain fierce in the face of “rock star” clients.
- Recognize that some of the most brilliant minds have difficulty expressing themselves effectively. If you're gifted with this ability, capitalize on it, don't question it, trivialize it, or compare it to others' achievements.
- Know that a few “high quality” clients can add greatly to your business image and your bottom line. As they say, “we are judged by the company we keep.”
- If you're asked to do something that's a little out of your league, be honest and say so. Integrity is just as important as skill in cultivating repeat business.
- Strive for excellence, not perfection. Replace pressure with pleasure. Truth be told, sometimes we're much more critical of ourselves than others would reasonably be. Do your best, then give it a rest! And have fun along the way.
- “Never let 'em see you sweat.” Others' confidence level in you and your ability will be directly correlated to how much you project an image of confidence and competence in your interaction. If you seem intimated, uncertain, or nervous when presented with a particular project or challenge, it will definitely cause doubt and difficulty for those whose confidence and trust you seek to capture. Play it cool as a cucumber.
Follow these five tips with your rock star clients and you're sure to garner rave reviews and encore requests!
© Copyright 2010, Jennifer Brown Banks
Jennifer Brown Banks is the former senior editor of Mahogany Magazine. She holds a B.A. in Business Management and blogs at Penandprosper.blogspot.com
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