Working independently as a contractor has abundant advantages – better rates of pay than salaried staff, flexibility, and an escape from the backbiting and subterfuge of ‘office politics’ – but what does the intrepid contractor do when urgent input or feedback from clients is needed? “Err on the side of caution” is the answer offered by the PCG.
Just about anyone who has begun contracting will have noticed the benefits, but there are some inevitable difficulties accompanying such an independent role. A key difficulty revolves around this simple fact: sometimes, busy clients are notoriously hard to contact when you really need important answers.
Herein lies a danger: making repeat phone calls and/or rattling off strongly-worded emails can make a contractor look just a tad on the desperate side, which is a quality that is unlikely to endear him or her to the client and may start irritating a pressured client who has bigger fish to fry first. Getting a reputation as a pain in the derrière is not the best way of securing new business. Remember that clients talk to one another and word about a contractor who is beginning to feel like toothache can travel fast, putting other firms off too.
The PCG article advises against going on a “wild goose chase” if initial calls have not been returned. Frustrating as it may be, it is important to be clear about personal limits and refrain from further efforts to get answers if a handful of initial calls have yielded nothing. Time might be better spent working on other projects or attracting new business.
In short, be dynamic and direct and do not be desperate.