[thelist] Customer requirements: simple?

Martin Burns martin at easyweb.co.uk
Wed Sep 8 19:25:21 CDT 2010

On 8 Sep 2010, at 03:32, Matt Warden wrote:

> On Tue, Sep 7, 2010 at 4:51 AM, Alex Beston 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.

Qualifying leads is very important - you only ever have a limited amount of opportunities you can pursue and fulfil. Don't waste time on the rest.

That said, turning down non-qualifiers can be done well and in a way that doesn't burn the relationship. And sometimes, doing small things can be a useful training exercise for your junior staff - a lot of agencies do charity work for this: get the kids doing something small that they can get excited about having bigger roles that normal in but won't risk blowing a major contract.

If you're *really* not going to pursue something that starts as a 'quick and simple' enquiry, the best way to qualify leads is to make it very clear in your outbound, non-personalised communications (web, print) what it is that you *do* do. Showcase the complex ones. Avoid the 'no job too small' type language. That way you get prospects to self-qualify.


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