Help me to write a convincing letter requesting jobs
November 8, 2011 12:54 PM   Subscribe

Freelance Filter >> How to approach my client diplomatically on a letter?

I work in an industry that's changing dramatically in the last decade due to technology advances. Now my degree is more or less useless because many amateurs are taking over the market.

Long story short: A client that was my mainstay and paid all my bills stopped sending work a while back - that wasn't totally unexpected, I knew they thought that I was getting "expensive." Yesterday I got a mass memo (sent to all freelancers) basically complaining about the sub par quality of recent jobs (that I didn't do) and informing that their clients have been constantly rejecting the projects and sending them back with no pay. What a surprise.

In the end they invite us to give feedback.

Now I want to write an email to basically start getting work again. I tried a couple of times and all I could come up with was variations of "serves you right, now stop being cheap 'cause it costing you much more."

But what I want is something brief and pleasant that convinces them that it's more worthwhile to pay me and have everything done on schedule and with high quality.

Suggestions, hivemind?

Thank you!
posted by TheGoodBlood to Work & Money (10 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Dear client,
I read your email about your dissatisfaction with other freelancers you have been hiring recently. I would welcome the opportunity to work with you again and I'm certain you will be satisfied with my work. Please let me know if you have any upcoming projects that I can help you with.
[Whatever signoff you prefer],
posted by chickenmagazine at 12:58 PM on November 8, 2011 [1 favorite]

I frequently answer ads on CL for "interns" to do what I do as a professional. I point out that saving money by having the unskilled amateur do the work frequently results in more money being spent later on, because of the errors, wrong assumptions, etc.. It's semi-obnoxious, but I've gotten a number of clients from this practice.

So, you might point out that a job done right the first time saves money, time, stress and good will. And that YOU do it right the first time. As they may recall. And that you would welcome the opportunity to work with them again.
posted by Ideefixe at 1:00 PM on November 8, 2011 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Dear CrankyPants --

I read your letter of day/month with interest. It's unfortunate that Whatever Industries has been put in this position but not entirely unexpected; I've seen the same result with some of my other clients, though never articulated as clearly as in your memo.

Over the past X years, I've produced a body of work for Whatever that I'm proud of. I remain committed to delivering projects on schedule and with high quality, and if you decide that this is ultimately the most cost-efficient path for Whatever Industries, I'd look forward to working with you again in the future.

The Good Blood
posted by DarlingBri at 1:02 PM on November 8, 2011 [16 favorites]

Response by poster: Thanks so much!
posted by TheGoodBlood at 1:46 PM on November 8, 2011

Nothing constructive to add except: bravo, DarlingBri. Really. Well done.
posted by trinity8-director at 1:54 PM on November 8, 2011 [1 favorite]

Name, sorry about your problems -- it's just a matter of finding people who are serious and experienced and having a good in-house process to manage them. You know I do that kind of work very well, and I think we should work together again. Call or e-mail anytime.

contact information
posted by michaelh at 3:10 PM on November 8, 2011

Contrarian opinion: Don't send a letter. It seems...dunno...petty isn't the right word. Not sure what is. Not personal and persuasive enough. I'd make direct contact with the folks you worked with before, maybe take them to coffee or lunch, and talk with them. @michaelh has a good talk track "hey, hate that you've had issues. You were always happy with the work I produced, right? I'd love to be your go to guy again, and I'm cheaper than loosing deals". This is a time to use personal relationships to set the tone and differentiate yourself from all the competitors hitting "reply".
posted by kjs3 at 4:45 PM on November 8, 2011 [1 favorite]

2nd-ing the more personal approach. You don't need to point out that the people they hired instead of you sucked. That much is obvious. Nobody likes to hear 'I told ya so' even if it is only implied.

Since you have a relationship with this person already, I would just go with something simple like:
"I got your memo. Sorry to hear about the situation you're in. Just wanted to let you know that I'm still available... let me know if I can help."
posted by spilon at 6:34 PM on November 8, 2011

Response by poster: kjs3 and spilon, they actually laid off the people with whom I had a personal relationship.

I did write the letter, almost identical to DarlingBri's template. They never replied directly, but today they sent me a new project! How cool is that?

Thanks, DarlingBri and Metafilter!
posted by TheGoodBlood at 10:17 AM on November 11, 2011 [1 favorite]

Oh! I missed this update somehow. Yay for work! Congrats, super happy it worked out :)
posted by DarlingBri at 10:53 PM on November 19, 2011 [1 favorite]

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