The holiday season is right around the corner!
For many businesses, this is the beginning of their busy season. For others, however, the extended vacations, lack of business focus and delay in initiatives can mean a slump in production and a shift in priorities. Traditionally, our fourth quarter is always the best…and the first quarter is always the worst! If you are looking to wrap up a project or keep a client engaged during the upcoming holiday season, try some of these tips.
- Hold a “state of the union” meeting – If you are mid-project going in to the holidays, it is a good time to ask for 30 minutes of your client’s time to address the current status of the project. Show the client quickly what has been done and what is left to be done. The goal of this meeting will be to set the expectations for wrapping up the project.
- Assign tasks to the client – whether it is providing content or feedback, the client should always have a task assigned to them. It doesn’t have to be a complex task, just something that holds them accountable to the project getting completed. A task could be signing off on a proof or sending feedback. Make sure the task is meaningful and not a waste of the client’s time. BE CAREFUL HERE! We know of companies that have lost tens of thousands of dollars in business because they came across as bossy.
- Incentivize completion – many service professionals take a deposit when a project is started and the rest of the payment is due at the completion of the project. This can be a real point of contention if a project drags on for many months. If you are waiting on the client in order for you to complete the project, try incentivizing with a discount or additional service if they meet a mutually agreed upon deadline.
Of course, it is not always the client that can make an engagement run long. We all know the squeaky wheel gets the grease, right? Likewise, a project with a demanding client will often take priority over an easier, less vocal client. To keep a project on track even with an easy going client, make sure your team is focused on the project’s goals and mission. Frequent communication with clear task assignments will help each team member be accountable for a project getting completed on time.