Last week ended on a very promising note for me. I have one prospective client contacted me via my Linked In profile (it needs a SERIOUS rehaul), and another client I actually found on Anne Wayman's job list could also turn out to be a very good thing…
Still, I wonder because this prospect and I have been locked in a back and forth dance of sorts every since Wednesday when I first responded to his job offer. He promptly responded with interest outlining several more projects his business needed right away. So I sent him a detailed scope of the three he highlighted as the most important.
The waiting game begins
By Friday I had told him everything I could without sending him the completed project. I forwarded email an agreement and payment information to receive the down payment so that I could get to work and meet the proposed deadlines. But we would dance around getting started bit longer…
I received an unexpected call from him on Saturday morning as I was wrangling my brood into submission (it was raining outside for the second full day if that gives you any indication of what I was dealing with). He apologized for calling me on a Saturday, but really wanted to discuss the project more. He asked if I could set aside some time during the day.
I broke my own golden rule
I don't know why I even answered the call – I try not to work on client projects over the weekend unless discussed in advance. I also prefer not to set a precedent where clients think they can contact me whenever they like outside of my normal working hours (which are anything but, but he doesn't need to know that, right?). I felt like this was a project I should make an exception for, so I asked him to call me back in an hour.
I think his call was more about verifying that he was actually dealing with a professional before he forked over his money. I can't be mad at him for that. When he called back, he indicated that he would be sending back the signed agreement and down payment soon.
Now it's Monday. No agreement and no down payment to get started on a project that needs to be completed before the end of this month. Don't get me wrong, I know that some projects take longer to get started – especially when you're dealing with a brand new client. I guess I'm guilty of impatience, especially when I'm ready to get started.
I also know that prospects say they need projects done and fail to follow through quite often. That's just the nature of the freelancing beast. I'll just keep my fingers crossed on this one, but keep pushing forward.
I'm curious to know how other writers handle projects that get stuck in the discussion phase. Do you just move on until the client makes up their mind?