Beware foolish mortals, for you enter a world of creepy clients and jaw dropping jobs. In this last few weeks we have been covering some of the darker side of client behavior and in this lesson I want to cover ghosts.
Ghost clients are those people who seem really interested in your project and then..well then they disappear. In many ways this can be scarier than an angry client or a bossy client. After all, you’ve set aside a chunk of your time for their project and you have no idea where they’ve gone, if and when they’ll get back…and of course they’ve got the rest of the money for this job you were expecting.
So where has your client gone? It’s important to remember that your clients are usually busy people, often with their own businesses and in fact you may well fall pretty low on their priority list.
Contact is king
First of all, be sure to chase the client up. Double check you’ve got the right phone number and email, try and speak to someone else in the organisation if possible. Have a look online and see if they are still active and are breathing. Leave messages, send emails, drive to the place. Don’t panic just yet.
Hold Up, don’t hold on
Generally it’s a good idea to put your project on hold until you’ve heard back, but be clear to communicate that this is happening to the client. Don’t hold on too long though, even though this client may have perfectly reasonable reasons for going ghost, the time you set aside for them is now empty and could be used to earn more money.
A Dummy Script
“Hi there X, as you’ve probably heard from my messages I’ve been trying to get hold of you, I understand that you must be busy. Obviously this will push back our project by X amount of time. If you’ve decided to go in another direction or no longer need my services then that’s okay, just let me know as now you’ll be falling down the queue if not and I don’t want to risk not meeting your deadline.”
If your ghost client goes away and never comes back…then you just start pitching again, and try and take note of why this may have happened. Often it has nothing to do with you or your service.