What do you do when a client wants to hire you but then drags their feet getting you the necessary material, putting you behind on schedule on their project AND others?
When a client wants to hire you but doesn’t finalize the arrangement by giving you a deposit and/or providing you with the materials you need to get started, you don’t really have the gig yet. You’re still just talking.
At the risk of sounding sexist, it’s like the man who tells a woman at the end of a date, “I had a nice time. I’ll call you.” The woman may understand that he meant that he will call, but the fact is that he may not.
Rather than waiting by the phone (figuratively speaking) for the client to get back to you and give you the green light, you can do a couple of things. One is to get on things and if someone else comes along who wants to hire you, go ahead and take the other gig. If Client A gets back to you, then you can discuss a new schedule for completing the project.
The other approach is more direct. You can contact the client to remind him or her that you need the materials in order to get started on the project. To be diplomatic, ask the client if there is anything further needed from you to move forward. If the answer is no, ask when you can expect to receive the material you need. When you get the answer, you will know whether you should give the client more time or move on.
How would you deal with a client who is dragging their feet? Do you have a question you would like answered in a future column? Share your thoughts in the comments section.