#129: A Script for Tough Client Conversations, with Treasa Edmond

In today’s episode, writer Treasa Edmond walks us through several client scenarios many of us struggle with—scope creep, treating us like an employee, not paying us on time—and gives us the script for what to say and how to say it. This episode is like Treasa is handing us all templates on great client management.

Treasa is the owner of Edmond Editing and Writing. She is a ghostwriter and content creator in Missouri. She gets straight A’s for knowing how to communicate with clients—as Melanie witnessed in a writers’ Facebook group. So, she’s here today to teach us her wisdom. In addition, Treasa is currently writing a book about client management and how to have these tough conversations, so Deliberate Freelancer will keep you posted on her book, which may be published within the next year or so.

Is the customer (or client) always right? Treasa learned from her business owner parents the importance of standing up for your business. She combines customer service with client management.

A problem Treasa sees often is freelancers who allow clients to manage them or “run the show” for the project. But the freelancer is the one who needs to take charge. Other challenges include not setting boundaries or not communicating well.

To improve communication with clients, you need to first focus on your mindset and see yourself as a business owner. View client relationships as partnerships, and use the word “partner” as a verb and noun when talking with clients.

Miscommunication and conflict come from an attitude of “you and me,” not a partnership. Instead, use the “royal we” or inclusive “we/our” language. For example, when there’s a problem, you could say: “It looks like we’re having an issue here. This is how I think we can resolve it. Does that work for you?”

Treasa sets boundaries early on—when she agrees she’s going to have that initial discovery call. She emails the potential client a questionnaire before the call. If they don’t fill out that questionnaire, that’s a red flag. Another red flag is not telling you their budget, even if it’s a range.

Treasa believes in taking control of the client relationship from the beginning of the discovery call. You could say: “I’m very glad you’re here today; we have some great things to talk about. My first goal is to learn more about your project.”

Treasa walks us through several situations and suggests how we might respond. Listen to the episode for her suggested language.

Biz Bite: Bonsai client management system for freelancers

Resources:

Edmond Editing and Writing

The Writing Mindset (about writing your book)

Treasa on Twitter

Treasa on Instagram

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