When I first started freelancing, I totally loathed client consultations. I didn't even offer them unless a client requested one - and even then, the urge to say no was VERY strong.
Why'd I hate them so much? Put simply, it was because I'm an introvert, and the prospect of having to sit and awkwardly talk to someone who was thinking of giving me their hard-earned money was daunting, to say the least.
I was always scared that they'd ask something that would catch me off guard, or scared that I'd get nervous and talk too much.
I even wondered if free consultations would give too much value away - like a potential client could learn EVERYTHING I know in one 15-minute conversation.
I can't express how wrooong I was.
These days, I don't take on a client unless we've spoken over Skype/Zoom, and here's why:
When you have a real discussion with someone and actually hear their voice, you can easily see whether they're a good fit for you or not.
I like potential clients to hear my voice and see my face because it helps them put trust in me.
I started converting more than DOUBLE the amount of potential clients into booked clients after I started offering free consultations. Let's face it, people want to hire real people! Someone is far more likely to hire you if you feel like a real human to them, not just a distant freelancer they've been emailing.
Client consultations are a MUST. But they can seem overwhelming and scary to introverted freelancers, so here are my top 10 tips to help you master client calls as an introvert!
01. Limit the length of the call
Tell your potential clients that you offer free 20-minute consultations and most clients will respectfully stick to that timeframe.
If clients go over that timeframe, it will usually only be by 5-10 minutes.
As long as there's a boundary in place and you've emphasized that boundary, you'll have a reason to gently bring the conversation to a close if it starts dragging on and you won't feel unreasonable doing so.
To make sure your client understands your free consultations are only 20 minutes long, be sure to state that number in:
• Your step-by-step process on your website. (You have this on your site, right?? ;) )
• The initial email you send them about scheduling a call.
• Your online scheduling app, as you can see below. (I recommend using Acuity Scheduling* or Calendly to schedule client calls! These apps show your potential clients the times and dates you're available and allow them to book an appointment that gets automatically added to your calendar.)