5 rules of dating (that also apply to clients)

You’ve been honing your best lines.
You’ve started putting yourself out there.
You’ve even contemplated ironing your shirt.

But that prospective client just isn’t getting the hint.

At Word Monster, we have years of experience building successful client relationships virtually. In fact, we wrote a whole blog post about it just last month. But how do you attract those clients in the first place?

To find out, we’ve explored the cutthroat world of online dating (you’re welcome) and distilled our findings into five flirtatious rules. So, if you’re looking for ways to establish successful, authentic client introductions this Valentine’s day, read on.

You might just woo the client of your dreams.

1. Make the first move

You’ve met someone (a client), and the two of you have a connection (on LinkedIn). After checking them out (on their website) you’re beginning to feel like they could be a good fit (for your company). And it seems the feeling is mutual, as they react to your posts — with the lightbulb emoji no less — and start following you on Instagram. So, why haven’t they hired you yet?

There could be a number of reasons why they’ve failed to snap you up. Perhaps the right opportunity hasn’t come up yet, or maybe they assume your client roster is already full. Or they could simply be waiting for you to make the first move. Fear of rejection (professionally and personally) can hold us back from putting ourselves out there, and no one is immune to it. This means that simply by being the one to reach out first, you’ll stand out amongst the crowd. And remember, the worst thing they can do is say no.

2. Honesty is the best policy

If you ever dip your toes into the Tinder dating pool, you’ll soon find that things are murkier than they first seem. From poorly-photoshopped biceps to profiles that just say “I’m on here for a joke lol”, you need your wits about you when trawling for a great catch. The same applies to finding potential clients. If a client’s promises of unlimited budgets and full creative control sound too good to be true, they probably are.

The best way to attract the worthiest clients? Be honest yourself. Being open about your company’s values, culture and expertise from the start may save heartache in the long run. So, put it all out there. #NoFilter

3. Don’t make it all about you

If you’ve ever been on a date with someone who would not let you get a word in edgeways, then you know how frustrating a one-sided conversation can be. I mean, it’s great that you’re so into CrossFit, Dan, but my glass is empty and you haven’t asked me a single question all night! Anyway, I digress.

Verbal diarrhoea can be equally off-putting to your prospective clients. As tempting as it is to start telling them everything about your company, instead ask them meaningful questions, and sit back and listen. Asking your clients about their needs (without rushing in with the solution), will help build that all-important rapport, creating a solid foundation for your burgeoning relationship.

4. Lay down the ground rules

So, you’ve wooed your client and want to take the relationship to the next level. But before you do, it’s essential that both parties are comfortable with the working arrangement. What projects will you be working on, and for how long? What are the preferred communication channels? Who buys the popcorn? Okay, the last one is probably not applicable here, but you get the idea. Setting boundaries and expectations from the start will help keep the client sweet, and stop things getting salty (mmm…sweet and salty popcorn).

5. Know when to let go

Your client looks great on paper. They are successful, have a healthy budget (or at least they say they do) and the work looks interesting. But that elusive spark is missing. While it’s tempting to grab every opportunity like it’s a free drink at a (pre-pandemic) speed dating event, it’s important to know when to let go. Maybe they’re not the right fit for your business, and vice versa. Letting go will open both parties up to finding the perfect match. After all, there are plenty of fish in the sea.