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How to dismiss a potential client
fire client hassle potential
Nealreal

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 2368 posted 6:53 pm on Jun 2, 2006 (gmt 0)

How do you get rid of a potential client who seems like he'll be a big hassle? I've already given him a few quotes and he says he'd like me to do a job for him, but I honestly do not want to work with this guy.

 

Terabytes

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 2368 posted 7:03 pm on Jun 2, 2006 (gmt 0)

go with your gut feeling...

(IMO) usually that's best in the long run...

There's lots of people "out there" that can do "the job"...

rocknbil

WebmasterWorld Senior Member rocknbil us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 2368 posted 7:13 pm on Jun 2, 2006 (gmt 0)

Tact one, absolute honesty. "I'm sorry but we just can't work together, thank you for the offer." If you don't mind building a reputation for being blatant and up front, this can work to your advantage.

Tact two, whatever wedge you can gain access to to turn them off, use it. For most clients this is money, but this one can backfire - if you charge triple what it's worth and they **really** want you they may still want to move forward.

Personally I stick with tact 1. It has made some enemies but the clients that are loyal are loyal simply because of an unbreakable trust.

andye

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 2368 posted 7:24 pm on Jun 2, 2006 (gmt 0)

You could do it like this:

Think about the underlying issue, and then explain to him why you don't want to take the project in terms of that issue.

For example: you say he'll be a big hassle. I guess that means you think he won't be able to make his mind up, will pester you a lot, and generally need a lot of contact / hand-holding / face time. So, kind of an account management issue.

You could say something along the lines of: I don't think that we're the right firm to take on this project, because we don't have the account management staff we'd need for the amount of liaison with you (the client) that this project will need. I'd like to recommend This Other Firm, because I think they'd be able to give you a better service on this one - give Joe Bloggs there a ring on ### #### and he'll look after you.

Worth a try?

hth, a.

bhartzer

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 2368 posted 7:28 pm on Jun 2, 2006 (gmt 0)

Until you've actually worked with him you never know what it will be working with him.

If it's a money issue (doesn't sound like he'll pay) then tell him you require payment upfront. Then after you get the money you'll feel that you need to do the work.

Gut feelings are good to go on, but I've had clients be demanding up front and then after you've done some work for them they totally trust you and leave you alone. So, you never can tell.

Nealreal

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 2368 posted 7:38 pm on Jun 2, 2006 (gmt 0)

I agree with your comments, especially the gut feeling. The client doesn't understand web design and coding, but wants to be able to modify the coding.

Also, I'm a designer and he's a designer. He wants me to build another website based off the design he will create in photoshop. So this will take my design skills out of the loop and reduce me to just coder. Something I'd rather not do.

I think the gut is telling me something. But just how to break it to him... because I've given the impression that I will work with him.

Also I actually dont know of any coders that would help. Should I just pick a web company in my area and refer him to there?

bufferzone

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 2368 posted 8:04 pm on Jun 2, 2006 (gmt 0)

I have found following strategy to work quit well.

The first thing to do is to price your self out of that marked. Set your price in the (very) high end of what you can ask. You donít want the job, but if he insists the price will make it fun anyway.

The second thing to do is to present a contract that will bind him hard. Make sure that the contract specifies precisely what you are to do, preferably with a max time frame attached. Then you specify the cost if you are to do more, work over the time limit, etc. etc. making the earnings even more funny if he acts up.

Most people will get the signal and if they donít you get paid very will for your hassle

pageoneresults

WebmasterWorld Senior Member pageoneresults us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 2368 posted 8:08 pm on Jun 2, 2006 (gmt 0)

How do you get rid of a potential client who seems like he'll be a big hassle?

I just let them know up front that my business model does not gel with their requirements. That's usually the case.

If the money is right, and the project looks promising, I'll consider taking it on but with stipulations for the client. The main stipulation that we do it my way, no if's, and's or but's. ;)

You can mold a client after the fact. ;)

rocknbil

WebmasterWorld Senior Member rocknbil us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 2368 posted 4:48 pm on Jun 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

Until you've actually worked with him you never know what it will be working with him.

After a while, you get to know where someone's going and where it will end up by the nature ofthe questions they ask, for example,

The client doesn't understand web design and coding, but wants to be able to modify the coding.

These are the worst. The when they get trapped they often throw it all back at you - "I'm an artist, not a geek, that's why I'm paying you, you're supposed to make it easy for me to look good!"

Like pageone says, if you decide to move forward have a cast iron contract, but often you can see the bad ones coming that will be more trouble than they are worth.

decaff

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 2368 posted 11:30 pm on Jun 4, 2006 (gmt 0)

"You can mold a client after the fact. ;).."

But can you remove the mold from the client if they go bad on you after working together for a time?...

Always listen to your gut feelings...it may be something casually said in a conversation with the potential client...or they are promising more of something later ... for more up front from you and less from them...or any other comments that trip your red flags...(you can bet they are doing the same...to more or less a degree)...

You simply need to work the relationships from a place of balance...and honesty "With yourself" and then with the potential/current client...

kartiksh

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 2368 posted 7:08 am on Jun 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

i just denied a client like below

We will not be able to do this job at this time. I am sorry but we have decided not to proceed further with this RFP.

percentages

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 2368 posted 8:58 am on Jun 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

>but I honestly do not want to work with this guy.

Well, sending him quotes probably wasn't a good starting move!

As PageOneResults said above.....money does the trick 99.9% of the time.......if you make a quote....make it really outrageous!

On the odd occasion that strategy might fail, watch "House" on Fox for a few hours, then you should be in just the right mood to be totally obnoxious to the potential patient.....oooopps, I meant client!

Should the client get past both of these obsticles.......hooray, they are the perfectly trained potential client, and you achieved that before they signed the agreement :)

Nealreal

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 2368 posted 12:41 pm on Jun 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

Yeah, I realized that the client may not be a good one but after giving the quote. And after that I reflected on some of his past conversation and concluded that it might be wise to ditch him.

But sense I gave the quote and I don't actually know what kind of client he'll be, as someone mentioned on the board, I will do the initial small job for him with a tight contract, I will explain everything and make sure he understands. If it works out (which it won't) I will refer him to another design firm online.

bsterz

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 2368 posted 12:51 pm on Jun 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

I'd drop him right away. Figure out a way. I have had many of these types of clients and have since backed out of a couple of jobs based on interactions that have happened after the bid.

Tell him you're sorry, give him another resource to check out, and RUN. You're doing him a favor too you know.

b

sanity

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 2368 posted 3:11 am on Jun 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

You've given him a quote but have you said when you can start the job and how long it will take to complete it? Perhaps a starting date a month or two from now will encourage them to look elsewhere without you having to say you'd rather not work with him.

Nealreal

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 2368 posted 2:58 am on Jun 10, 2006 (gmt 0)

Thanks guys. It worked. I no longer have to deal with the client. I just told him the deal - that I was unable to handle his project and it'd be best to use another company. He said ok and I refered him to someone else.

hunthunt

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 2368 posted 9:12 am on Jun 14, 2006 (gmt 0)

just do what you want guy.

jonabyte

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 2368 posted 11:59 am on Jun 21, 2006 (gmt 0)

Charge them double the normal fee and demand 50% deposit. That way if they pay you get your normal money up front and extra for the hassle. Or they will reject the proposal.
Works for me evey time.

criznach

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 2368 posted 7:16 pm on Jun 21, 2006 (gmt 0)

Also, I'm a designer and he's a designer. He wants me to build another website based off the design he will create in photoshop. So this will take my design skills out of the loop and reduce me to just coder. Something I'd rather not do.

I've done this a few times and am starting to think it's not worth it. I'm pretty connected to the local fine art scene and have had several artists approach me about building a site that they design. I'm in the middle of the 3rd one, and what's ultimately happened is they get ultra-picky about the design compromises you'd normally make in building a site.

They've said things like:

"none of those fonts are going to work with my design"
...or...
"can you make that text break how it is in the photoshop document"
...or...
"Of course I want search engines to find it - can't you make the text invisible and use a jpg with my fonts?"
...or...
"can you move image x down by about 1/32 inch"
...or...
"why does my full-page background photo look grainy?"
...or...
"I've decided I don't like element x, so I'm sending you a new photoshop files of all of the pages"

Even it you make it clear that you need to bill for the time, you may indeed be reduced to a code monkey. The endless tweaking required to turn their "perfect" photoshop documents into a site can really drag on. Especially if they want to make changes themselves. At least when you design from scratch, you can build-in some design compromises from the start.

Good luck!
Chris.

Bennie

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 2368 posted 7:07 am on Jun 22, 2006 (gmt 0)

It's really easy, decide they are wasting your time and get me to write them a letter (actually either way).

Seriously though, bring it to a head, set a date or budget that will get them thinking very seriously about your proposition (you could use it as an opportunity).

gpilling

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 2368 posted 4:26 pm on Jun 27, 2006 (gmt 0)

Recommend him to your biggest rival and send the headache client their way :)

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