Re: Best way to "pitch" technical writing services
In the past, the client has fired two technical writers. Apparently, one technical writer thought she "knew it all" and didn't ask enough questions and the other technical writer didn't fit in for other reasons.Two things seem clear from your description. First, the client is indecisive. Second, the client has had at least one bad experience with a writer in the past. The two may be connected.
I've worked with difficult clients before and learned a lot. What approach would you take to this situation?
To get this client to the point of hiring, I think you need to take extra care to demonstrate responsibility and professionalism. Show that you will listen to the client's needs by asking careful, detailed questions about the requirements. Lay out the terms of the contract clearly to quiet fears. Then, once you've started working, try to schedule one or two important milestones fairly early, so that the client receives additional reassurance that you know what you're doing and can deliver. In short, act the way you always acts with a client, only more so.
Possibly, this client may be hard to work with. However, equally possible, the client has been exposed to mediocre tech-writers in the past and simply needs to feel confident about you. In my experience, this feeling is very common, so it's not a bad policy to assume that you have to prove yourself each time that you start work with a new client.
Bruce Byfield 604.421.7177 bbyfield -at- axionet -dot- com
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