It can be difficult to navigate the situation when dealing with a prospective client.
On one hand, you want to show them why you’re the best choice. On the other hand, you run the risk of giving away too much information without anything in return.
What makes the situation more difficult is that freelancers love what they do and love talking about it. When you get the chance to speak with a prospective client about a potential project, it’s hard to go overboard.
However, one great way to keep yourself safe is by simply weeding out the bad prospects.
“1. Pre-Qualify Clients to weed out the prospects.
One way to do this is ask for the budget and the timeframe as early as possible in the conversation.
What if a prospect repeatedly declines to reveal either or wants to know why this information is important to you?
Tell them tactfully your clients always provide a budget range and timeframe so you can properly schedule resources to deliver the results. A business person will not be hostile to this argument, even if still shopping around.
If the prospect balks at answering after such an explanation, then there is a good chance the person is either trying to uncover your rates or snatch your knowledge without any intent of hiring you.”
See the other 5 tips at Freelancers Union.