As a freelance writer at networking events, it is easy to sit back and let potential clients ask all the questions. While there is nothing wrong with listening and answering questions, you should feel comfortable opening up and asking some questions of your own. Not only does this show more interest on your part, but it gives you a better idea of whether or not the client is a good fit.
Here are three questions to ask potential clients:
What is your timeframe for completion?
Don’t be surprised if you run into somebody who is willing to give you a job on the spot. However, many of these people expect to receive the completed project within a very short period of time.
Tip: just because you are speaking with a potential client in person does not mean you have to agree to the project and its terms. Don’t be shy about negotiating and explaining your stance.
When do you have time to speak more about the project?
Let’s face it: a networking event is not usually the best place to close a deal. This can happen from time to time, but don’t expect it. Instead, your focus should be on setting up a phone call or one-on-one meeting for the near future. This is when you can really get down to business.
What are you hoping to accomplish?
This one question can lead to more work than you ever imagined. Take for example a client in need of a sales letter. In this case, they are probably interested in one thing: finding new business. Why stop here? Suggest other methods of doing the same, such as a corporate blog. You never know when one job could turn into a long term relationship.