What to say when a client insists on adding something new?

All too often a client will ask you for something that you are skeptical about.

They are convinced that it will work for whatever you are trying to accomplish, but you have some doubts.

Your doubts come from 2 places. The first is your experience and the second is from your ego.

Your ego may be in the way

Let me tackle the ego part first. By ego, I mean that little voice inside you that is telling you that you, not the client, knows best.

Paying attention to your ego is a practice in becoming more self-aware. Self-awareness is critical to being professional and being a respected freelancer.

Now you may be saying that you have doubts because you don’t know enough about the request to get it done.

Or that you are resistant because it’s taking your focus away from what you need to be doing that’s already agreed upon.

Either way, you want to recognize, you want to be self-aware, that your bias is playing a small part in the reason you are skeptical. It’s not wrong to have this happen, but you want to realize that this exists so that you can best address the request with the client.

Your experience is often correct

The first part of that skepticism comes from your experience. You are hired because of your skills, but more so because you have an expertise.

The client’s request may be something that is warranted for the project. It could also be scope creep as well.

It’s your job to suss this out properly and professionally.

“With respect to the goals and timeline that we have set out for the project, where and how does this fit in?”

“What changed that makes this the new priority?”

“So that I can be sure to account for this request, can we root this out a bit more? Moving forward without doing so will put the timeline and potentially the budget at risk.”

All of these responses, or any in the same vein, will show the client that you have their best interests and the success of the project in mind.

When you give this little bit of pushback, you’ll not only show that you are a professional, but you are standing out from the countless number of other hands-for-hire out there.

The surprising thing here is that by doing so, the next time instead of the client stating that something needs to happen, it’ll come in the form of a question because you’ve represented yourself as a consultant on top of the skillset you have.

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