[thelist] how do you manage/respond?

Barney Carroll barney.carroll at gmail.com
Sun May 31 17:11:46 CDT 2009

Todd is absolutely right on this one.

If the client believes they are the sum and parts of your universe, then
there is no reason for you to act as though there are any considerations but
their own - that's just arrogant of you.

Barney Carroll
Web designer & front-end developer

web: www.clickwork.net

mobile: +44 (0) 7594 506 381
home: +44 (0) 118 975 0020

twitter: @barneycarroll

2009/5/31 Todd Richards <todd at promisingsites.com>

> I think you missed my point.  I don't go around tell each of my clients
> that
> they are one of many.  Reminding them of deadlines that they have missed
> once or twice before is like telling a kid he can't have a cookie before
> dinner.  It just doesn't register.  But they do understand having to wait
> on
> me, and somehow seem to "figure out" what content they promised me so I can
> get their stuff done.
> What's the difference between that, and telling them that you can't start
> their project until "date x"?  That obviously means you have other
> obligations.  Clients aren't stupid, and any decent client will know they
> aren't your only one, and probably HOPE that they aren't your only one.  On
> the other hand, my wife would HOPE that she is my only wife.  Two totally
> different things.
> What if you want to hire someone to paint your house, and they came out and
> started to do prep work while you pick out paint.  Yes, when they are ready
> to paint, I still haven't picked out the paint.  Do they say "tomorrow is
> your deadline to get your paint picked out"?  No, they say "if you can't
> get
> your paint picked out by tomorrow, we are going to have to postpone
> painting
> your house for two weeks because of our schedule."  I'm not shocked,
> thinking that I'm their only client.  I realize my house isn't the only one
> that they have - and am OK with that because they've done a great job for
> their other clients.  So I get what they need so they can get started, or
> else I have to wait.  They don't keep pushing back the deadline and putting
> off the other houses they have scheduled.  Perhaps if they had plenty of
> crews to paint, they could be more flexible.
> And I think you're wrong in that clients don't know what content is or try
> to play stupid.  In the planning stages, I explain that my job is to
> advise,
> design and develop the site, and "your job is to get me your content - you
> know, the stuff that goes on the pages."  If they CAN'T figure that out,
> then you probably need to rethink the client.
> My clients can't be my "only" clients 24/7/365, unless they want to put me
> on their payroll, which I'm sure they don't.  My clients typically call me
> and say "I know you're probably busy but as soon as you have time..." or "I
> know this is last minute so as soon as you can get to it..."  And when I do
> squeeze them in they are even more appreciative because they KNOW they
> aren't my only client.  And they refer me to others.  I'm not a huge firm
> with lots of people working for me.  It's just me, so I'm sorry if I have
> to
> be straight forward with them at times.
> Todd
> -----Original Message-----
> From: steven streight [mailto:vaspers at inbox.com]
> Sent: Sunday, May 31, 2009 11:14 AM
> To: todd at promisingsites.com; thelist at lists.evolt.org
> Subject: Re: [thelist] how do you manage/respond?
> Many clients have no clue what "content" is, or pretend to be dumb.
> But I think it's wrong to tell a client that you have other clients, other
> projects that you need to work on. They know that, but hate hearing it.
> Each
> client wants to feel like The Only Client.
> It's like singles dating, "Hey babe I can't see you next Friday, I'm dating
> some other gal that night."
> Remind them of their own deadlines, but not that you have other clients.
> I will still
> try to deliver sooner than that, but I want them to know that the world
> doesn't revolve around them (even though some months it might!), yet when I
> deliver I want them to be able to tell others that I "really take care of
> them" - which many have done (and why most of my business has come from
> word
> of mouth).
> When I've been waiting on content in the past (or any action that the
> client
> has been dragging their feet on), or THINK that I may end up waiting, one
> of
> the things that's worked well for me is a quick note to let them know that
> there are other projects that I have in the pipeline that people are
> waiting
> on, but since I put you (client) first, I want to give you all my attention
> while I can.  If this timeframe isn't going to work for you, then we need
> to
> settle on what is done thus far and figure out when it's convenient for
> both
> of us to get back to work to wrap this up.  In the meantime, I will go
> ahead
> with my next project.  It's amazing how quick they can suddenly make time
> for you.
> Steven E. Streight
> http://www.pluperfecter.blogspot.com
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