How to win over clients

Filed by team twago on December 1, 2010

Many service providers on twago (and other intermediation platforms) wonder what they can do to be hired for a project. What does the client want? What are his or her criteria when choosing a provider? How do I get the project?
On the other side, clients wonder how to find the best service provider. How can I be sure of their skills? Which one is the best for me? How will I assess the quality of the provider?

What customers expect from service providers - we've asked them

If a service provider were to walk a mile in a client’s shoes, he or she would be able to easily answer most of those questions. We asked a few of the clients registered on twago what is most important for them in their choice of a service provider and even received a few helpful quotes from two of them.

What clients say

Clients pay attention to specific factors when they advertise a project and choose from a multitude of providers. A complete profile is important for Sybille Wyss of the Basel based Tareno AG. “Service providers who are verified have a bigger chance to getting selected. 3 to 5 references from former projects would be desirable.” Furthermore, a service provider should have a multitude of expertises. Dirk Illenberg of niftybits in Bad Vilbel states: “I am mostly interested in the competences of a provider. The more detailed their description is, the better I can decide whether a service provider is the right one for my project. For me as the employer, references are indicative of quality.”
It is just as important whether our service team has verified the service providers. “The fact that the service provider was verified was a decisive factor for me,” says Sybille Wyss. “It provides an additional security. In the end it didn’t work out with this specific provider, but this was due to his lack of expertise.”
We have analysed all projects ever posted on twago as well as the profiles of all service providers in regard to our verification function and came to rather interesting results. Verified service providers generate about 50 % more turnover than providers without verification. The number of finished projects also increases significantly and the average project volume increases by a third. Unverified service providers usually receive fewer projects with a smaller volume.

The importance of references

The connection between verified references and the project volume is even more obvious. If a service provider had his or her references verified by the twago service team, the project volume increases on average by more than double. The verification can be carried out directly on the twago platform.
The skills indicated on the service provider profile also factor immensely in the decision-making process. “The more detailed, the better,” Dirk Illenberger summarises. “I also found it very interesting that I could see how long a service provider had been proficient in a particular expertise,” says Sybille Wyss.
Evaluations of the service providers by former clients are also important. “One service provider did have a finished project but hadn’t been rated yet. For me as the client it is always a good opportunity to assess qualifications based on evaluations by former customers. Service providers should make sure that they receive an evaluation from their clients as it makes for transparency,” Sybille Wyss says.

How important is the price?

The interviewed clients also provided interesting insights regarding the prize as a selection criterion. “Besides the qualifications and the profile, the prize is of course an important variable. However, in the end the cost-benefit ratio is the decisive factor,” Dirk Illenberger states. “While the prize is important, it is not the determining factor. References and a neat profile are far more important,” Sybille Wyss describes her attitude towards the issue of the prize.
The internal analysis confirms this attitude with most clients. The data shows that the cheapest provider is rarely picked. Therefore, other factors are more important.

How service providers communicate

One of these factors that you as service provider can influence is the communications behaviour. Service providers, who answer the questions of their clients quickly, are held in high estimation. “In the end, I picked the service provider, who was quick and convincing with his answers. It often took only one hour until I received an answer. That demonstrates commitment, and shows that the service provider really wants the job,” Sybille Wyss of Tareno explains.
Clients are looking for extensive communication and service providers who are able to think for themselves. “One offer only read: ‘I can do that.’ Naturally this is rather disappointing. A client can’t gather anything from this one sentence. The letter of offer is an excellent opportunity for every service provider to convince me of his or her unique selling points,” Sybille Wyss explains. Dirk Illenberger likes service providers who think ahead and demonstrate this in their offer letter. “We picked the service provider who already proposed solutions in his offer.”
Overall, clients are very happy with the service providers and the overall service on twago. “Everything went great. How else would I have been able to reach so many service providers in such a short time?” Sybille Wyss sums up her experience.

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team twago brings you the best news about working online as a freelancer and finding the right freelancer for your projects. You can find tips, tricks and guidelines for using the twago freelance platform, plus much more. Team twago is made up of native speakers from several countries.

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