Give clients deadlines,even when you don’t need to

Yesterday, I mentioned that keeping on task is easier when you have something to motivate you. Another trick you can use is artificial deadlines. Even when you have your month stretching out before you, put deadlines in your proposals. Tell clients when they can expect work from you. This helps in two ways. First, it ensures that you finish work by the deadline, so you can collect those precious consulting fees. Second, it makes you look a lot more professional. Would you want to drop off your clothes at the drycleaners’ if they said they had no idea when they’d be ready? Would you stand in line at the movie theatre if you had no idea when the movie would start? Would you pay money for anything without any indication of when it might arrive? Probably not. So respect your clients (and yourself) and include deadlines in your proposals.

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