On Tue, Sep 7, 2010 at 4:51 AM, Alex Beston <alex.beston at gmail.com> wrote: > Hi list > > I thought I would throw up a thing for discussion. > > Should we answer email from people who want things that are "simple" and > "just the basics". > > I think it ought to be put down as a red flag client moment and dismissed as > such. I'm going to disagree with some of the responses you've received so far. You're not in the business of educating potential customers on the very business they are trying to get into (running a site in some fashion). It leads to very long sales cycles, and your reward is peanuts for pay and headaches along the way. That said... In my experience a lot of time these are just folks who are very inexperienced with negotiating on price. If they really thought it was simple, they probably wouldn't be coming to you. They are using cue words like "simple", "quick", etc. in attempt to negotiate. So handle it like any other negotiation on price. I'd have the conversation with them. It's not necessarily a waste of time. And you don't have to be the party pooper who is instructing them on their naiveté. Just ask the right questions. "Have you thought about how you're going to handle X?" "What about the scenario when Y?" "Do you already have A, B, & C done and ready for me to take the next steps?" Each time you ask a question like this (to which you probably already know the answers), you're tipping the needle back a bit in the reasonable pricing direction. And it's not a lecture where you are explaining how the world works to them. (You should be able to get a feel in the first 10 minutes whether these guys are going to pay your market rate or not. If not, move on. Even in this economy, no one needs to be inviting headaches.) -- Matt Warden Austin, TX, USA http://mattwarden.com This email proudly and graciously contributes to entropy.