[thelist] Customer requirements: simple?

Martin Burns martin at easyweb.co.uk
Wed Sep 8 19:15:51 CDT 2010

On 8 Sep 2010, at 21:24, Joel D Canfield wrote:

> On Wed, Sep 8, 2010 at 9:10 AM, Zachary Kent wrote:
>> most developers suck at sales and turning away
>> money (even bad money) can be difficult.
> the solution is to get training from someone who is successfully doing this
> and is a good enough trainer to share that knowledge.
> I did it the wrong way for ages. struggled financially and hated work a lot.
> now, we do okay, and I spend most days in a delirium of happy.

Very much agreeing with that - the biggest sales danger freelancers face is undervaluing themselves: going in low just because.

When I was a freelancer, I was looking for work at under £200/d, and taking 1/2d billable pieces of work that took me weeks of sales cycle because I didn't have the confidence to do anything more.

These days (OK, I do work for a top tier employer), I'm turning round £100k quarterly add-ons to an existing contract without really raising my heartrate.

*All that said* - if  you can truly establish that the client does in fact mean a quick, easy piece of work, and you can standardise the hell out of that kind of thing to keep your costs really low, then there's no reason why you can't make a decent revenue stream out of it. Again, while freelancing, I was doing just that for a while with form->email CGIs  at ~£200 a time. Had it down to about an hour's work eventually, once the regular (ad agency) client was trained to provide the right inputs. 

It's your basic Boston Group matrix cash cow - low growth, but provides a nice steady base revenue that can be *really useful* to cover your fixed costs (and in our business, nearly all your costs are fixed costs) through the variability of sexy projects and their sales cycles.


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