Hello, 

In today’s issue I would like to talk with you about working remotely with clients. Working with clients itself is not, easy.¬†

But working with the clients 100% remotely is the real challenge. 

For you it’s¬†challenging¬†because:

  • It’s much harder to keep the people engaged in the project
  • If you don’t get paid, there’s no place when you can go and “discuss it”
  • You can’t meet with the client live, or present him/her the results of your work live

But it’s challenging for the client as well¬†because:

  • (s)he doesn’t trust you
  • (s)he doesn’t know you
  • if you somehow “scam” her/him, they got super limited opportunities of how to solve the issues
  • 100% remotely collaboration is “new”, thus the perceived uncertainty is much higher.

Those are real issues.

You may ask: “Is it even worth the struggle?;¬†Shouldn’t I just work in the chilled local environment?”

My answer is:¬†Yes, it worth it. And I will do my best to prove it to you in today’s issue.¬†

Enjoy.

article

6 Tips on How to Work Wit Clients 100% Remotely

Working locally is good to start with. But once you got some experience, entering the¬†global market may bring you enormous returns¬†(both in experience and $$$, especially if you don’t live in the USA/ Western Europe).

 

Here’s the three steps approach, that proved to work in my past:

  1. Empathize with your customer¬†(try to imagine what worries would you have, if you should spend $2500 on the website, and send the money to some “unknown” living abroad).
  2. Create a system¬†(based on your “emphatic experience”)
  3. Use the system and improve it based on real-world feedback.

Below are my 6 tips, which you can use as an starting point:

1. Overwhelm Your Customer With Social Proof

The less trust is there naturally, the more trust you need to bring purposefully.

Working in the remote mode is a highly “low-trust” venue.

How can you fight this reality?

  • Make sure your references are easily available and trustworthy.
  • Show your face on the calls / your website.
  • Put one reference even into the actual proposal.
  • Give the new customer the contact to your previous customers so he can contact them and ask on you.
  • If possible video review > text review

The exact steps are niche-specific, but the general principle is… well… general.

2. Be 100% transparent in Your Communication From the Very Beginning

Especially the newbies find it an interesting approach to “try to bluff” where they live.

They buy a USA SIM, check the New York weather, and then cold call to NY firms and chat about the “lazy rainy day we got today” while sitting at 45 Celsius in Delhi.

I get what’s tempting on it. But it’s not worth it. Trust me. You got just one name and one reputation.

It may bring short-term gains, as it may be easier to close the sale but if the client finds the truth, your deal is done, and your reputation is destroyed.

Keep patient. Don’t cut the corners. And keep in mind: Your goal is not to close the sale tomorrow. Your goal is to benefit from the global remote economy in 20 years.

3. Create a Good System of How to Stay in Touch With Each Other – Regularly

  • Set up a weekly call where you will present your client with the results of the last week’s work (if it makes sense in your context).
  • Send notification to the client once you need his opinion/feedback, or once you finish a part of the work.
  • Know your time-zones, and if needed hop on a call.

The project is owned by both you and your client. Staying in touch is a great way of how to keep the client engaged and “in the project”.

4. Take Deposit

If you got at least some references, taking the deposit is not optional.

It helps you in several ways:

  • Clients are more engaged, and care more about the project as (s)he got some “skin in the game”. In my experience with deposits, projects get finished much sooner, and much smoother.
  • It forces you to build trust in the very beginning – which is a good incentive to capitalize on.
  • You don’t risk working “for free” or being somehow “scammed”.

How big the deposit should be?

It depends on your experience, niche, type of work… but anything between 10% – 100% may be a reasonable depo…

5. Be Easily Approachable

If you live in the same city as your client, the client is much calmer.

Knowing that in the worst case scenario (s)he can come to your office, and solve the issue, is a huge “mental insurance”.

Online you gotta replace that kind of insurance.

Replace it by being extremely approachable:

  • Use shared calendar
  • Check your email at least 2x every day
  • Let your customer know, in what time zone are you in, and where are you available on the phone
  • Keep in touch on a regular basis

And if you think it’s not necessary just try to imagine you’re your client, and you may change your opinion rapidly.

6. Do the Previous Steps WITHOUT Being Asked

It seems like obvious advice – yet the reality proves it isn’t.

Don’t let ask your customer for social proof or references. Don’t let them in the darkness of not knowing what you work on. Ever.

Optimize your whole process in a way the customer gets all the important info (and assurance) without having to ask you for it.

Pick the tips that make sense to you, and try to build your own unique system.

Keep in mind: You wouldn’t make a bulletproof system on the first try, but if you don’t start, you won’t get to the bulletproof system in 5 years either. Good luck.

“You wouldn’t make a bulletproof system on the first try, but if you don’t start, you won’t get to the bulletproof system in 5 years either.”

Good luck.

P.S. You can sign up below to get the next issue

book

Remote

Remote is the book on remote work from the founders of the 37signals company, which later turned into Basecamp. 

It’s definitely not a “must-read”, but if you’re interested in getting the most out of the remote work, give it a look.¬†

You can skim the book pretty fast, or you can check my article on topic HERE.

resource

feedbag.io

Feedbag is a light-weight tool for getting the feedback from your clients. I like to use it especially with clients who find InVision too complex, and like to cooperate on the process heavily. 

If you want upload a printscreen of your website there, you can use the GoFullPage Chrome addon. 

You can check the Feedbag HERE. 

Hope you like today’s issue, and let me know about your experience with working with clients remotely!