Asking The Right Questions
Aristotle once said, "In order to succeed, one must ask the right preliminary questions." He might be old and over-quoted, but he's absolutely right.
Learning to ask the right questions at the outset of a project is perhaps one of the most important skills that a freelancer can master. Simple clarifying questions can save you from a lot of pounding headaches and late-night revision sessions after the project is sent to your client for review. The end result will be an work product that leaves both parties feeling satisfied.
It's great to be eager to please a new client and rush into a project at full steam, but if you don't get all the facts and ask clarifying questions at the outset, your enthusiasm will quickly turn to disappointment and your client will look somewhere else next time they need a job done. If you are building a business, you can't afford not to put the time in and earn enough respect to get repeat-business.
When deals fall through, it's usually for reasons that could have easily been prevented by stronger communication. The assets might be there, and you might have the skills to match them, but an open dialogue about expectations needs to bridge the gap between the two.
If you aren't 100% sure about something, don't be afraid to ask; it's the best way to learn!