Kick-Starting an Indecisive Client

There are many reasons why a prospective or current client might be hesitant to start a new project. But there are ways you can diffuse this uneasiness! If you demonstrate your capabilities clearly, explain how the project works, what they will get out of it, and why they need it, it can help alleviate any feelings of indecision.

Image of Indecision by Helga Weber

Let’s touch on some common obstacles you might face and how you can overcome them:

The client does not have a clear grasp of the full project.

Clearly define the project. Make sure you have fully addressed your client’s needs and objectives, so that they can see how your project will speak to both. Although the client might have originally asked for a paid search campaign, be sure to demonstrate how other components like SEO and landing page optimization will complement their original goal. It’s important for both sides to understand the full scope of what’s involved before getting started. And along those lines, every client needs to…

Demonstrate ROI.

A key part of any recommendation is the answer to the question “What do I get out of it?” Make sure there is a clear definition of what you can expect to deliver, and how it will achieve the client’s objectives.

The client is unsure of whether you are the best choice for this project.

Based on the project needs, review past case studies and experience to define why you are the best choice for this project. Sharing industry research, agency case studies and personal experience with similar projects will reinforce that you are a qualified choice.

Convincing upper management of the project’s merit is a challenge.

Although your client understands the need for this project, sometimes he or she needs help selling it to upper management. Show the client that you are confident in your recommendation and offer to meet with co-workers and key decision makers to help bring this project to life.

If they decline the project, determine exactly what their obstacles are. Are they short on manpower or time? Offer up the agency to do it. Are they short on budget? Perhaps there is a way to implement the project over a longer period of time to help bring down the initial investment. Accepting the answer of “it’s just not the right time now” limits your opportunity to try and re-sell the project in another way. Remind the client that you are just trying to help them solve a problem, and if you had a better understanding of the obstacles, there might be another solution.


Most importantly, stay in touch with your client. Regular communication is the best way to identify small problems before they become big problems. Communicating frequently is the surefire way to uncovering new opportunities.

Photo Credit: Flickr’s Helga Weber

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