Get advice on how to deal with jerks at work Check out the book 'Jerks At Work' and other titles by Ken Lloyd Ph.D. Return to the homepage Learn more about Ken Lloyd, Ph.D. Submit a question to Ken Lloyd, Ph.D.

You asked, Ken answers ...

This item is filed under these categories:
Decision Making E-mail Sales and Selling Persuasion

I am an independent contractor trying to land an important project with one company for the past 9 months. Most of my correspondence is by e-mail, and the person I am dealing with keeps saying that they are almost ready to make a decision, but they need a few more weeks. I've met with him and everything is great, and then it's back to e-mails and delays. Do you have any ideas?

This is one of the real problems with being an independent contractor: the independent part is great, but the contractor part can pose some problems. Many independent contractors experience exactly what you are going through, and that is why you should pursue several projects simultaneously.

It is possible that your prospect is stringing you along, but frankly, if he is not interested in working with you, it would be easier for him to say so. You should stay in touch and continue to let the prospect see the value that your services add, while focusing on the prospect's needs and the ways that your services will meet them. All of your contact with the prospect should conclude with a commitment from him, such as for a future meeting or decisions by a certain date.

At the same time, consider the following questions: are you actually dealing with the decision maker, and, secondly, is this company truly looking for what you offer and can they pay for it? If the answer to each of these questions is "yes," then your "yes" should be coming, hopefully soon.

Comment on this item

Your name (optional)
If you leave this blank, we'll list you as "Website visitor"

Your comments
Please keep your comments focused on the topic. Thanks!