Do you pursue short or long-term relationships with clients?

Last updated by Nick Curran [SSW] 4 months ago.See history

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Treat clients the same way you would treat a prospective partner - that is, with lots of TLC. Think about your first conversation with a nice girl/guy. You have two approaches you could try.

The first kind of approach is where you try and seal the whole deal in one go:

"I think we would work well together, would you like to get married and have two children?"

The likely response would be:

"Get lost you loser."

The second and more appropriate approach would be to ask something like:

"Would you like to have coffee together?"

You have a greater chance that your prospective partner will say:


Unless you are a great salesperson, who has constant exposure to new clients, then I suggest you use the 2nd approach. Clients are likely to be frightened off with huge quotations from vendors that they have not got trust in, so avoid this by segmenting the project into smaller projects. It reduces the risk for the client.

For example:

Thanks for this initial meeting. I will now go and prepare a proposal for you. (You then do the proposal for free, and include a series of release plans costing $100K)

Figure: Bad Example - asking a client to get married after the first date. This is likely to be too big a figure for them to risk on for their first taste of your work

Thanks for this initial meeting. There are two options to consider for the next step:

  1. We could do detailed Specification Review, which is a commitment of 5 days with 2 developers, or
  2. We could do brief Specification Review, which is a smaller commitment of 2 days with 2 developers

Figure: Good Example - a client is more likely to appreciate this approach, they get a choice + they are given an option of proceeding with a small project. There are prospects of continuing the relationship based on how well the previous project goes

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