When you work as a consultant, especially if you are independent, it is good to look at the long run so a few things can help:
- Have a methodology, do your homework. If you come in for a meeting, come with questions to ask, maybe a mock screen of what you think it will look like. It will encourage discussion
- Ask for reference/testimonial in writing after a work is well done... it may be hard to keep in touch of the person years later and it is always handy. IF the customer is happy, they will be happy to oblige.
- Always provide a few extra features and make sure the client knows they were provided as an extra feature (obviously get paid)
- If you provide a discount, make sure the client knows he is getting something for free
- Always take notes in a meeting, it will allow you to remember the client's ideas and concerns
In the end it is about perceived value about your work and keeping the customer happy.