Posted almost 5 years ago

Mikel Berger from Delmar Information Technologies joins us on the podcast to discuss how not to approach a developer. We discuss the various types of clients and how to handle them. You’ll be laughing out loud when you hear what we have to say becuase you have no doubt run into a few of these clients.

  • The “I have an idea and if you write all the code and do everything I’ll split 50% of the revenue with you” guy
  • The “do you know a good student” guy
  • The “I’m sure this is simple for someone like you” guy
  • The “we must use X technology” guy (where X is the totally wrong technology but his distant relative suggested it)
  • The “the first version must every possible feature and scale for a million users” guy
  • The “let’s not discuss my budget” guy
  • The “you must sign my NDA before we talk” guy
  • The “I need this 6 month project done in 2 months” guy
  • The “you need to make my crappy software less crappy” guy

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Sarah McAleer

Nice, I just had this experience. I realized that it is my responsibility to say "no" if I know the business relationship is not going to work. I know what can be done and I know what it's worth. It's especially hard if I want to adopt the project like an abandoned baby left at my front door.

I've also learned that some people will become my friend in order to get free web design advice and work done. Take away the web design advice and work, suddenly there isn't much to talk about, except for maybe Jesus.

almost 5 years ago   Like_icon 5 likes  
Michael Rosengarten

@Sarah, One of the hardest things to do is to learn how to say No.

As designers and developers we are often courted with a high level of regard and I've found this exact treatment can make it hard to turn opportunities down. Saying No is not easy but damn does it feel good a month later when I see that client picked the first person to say Yes; saved myself a lot of trouble.

almost 5 years ago   Like_icon 3 likes  
Abelardo Gonzalez

You are right. I said no to a project a few weeks ago. It does feel good, but not right away, at least for me. But, if I didn't, it would have been a very unexciting quagmire.

edit: Also, if you do get the 6 months in 2 months project, and it looks like something you'd do if it wasn't so rushed, try charging double or more, as an expedite or rush rate. That way you'll get to do a project you like, and you get a rate that makes it worth it.

almost 5 years ago   Like_icon 1 likes  
Jared Brown

In my experience the you don't always have to explicitly say no to the really bad projects.

In a few cases I've asked them for a spec. When they say they don't have one I ask them to write one and send it to me. They usually say they will but then I don't hear from them again. Normally I'd offer to help write the spec, for a charge, but in these cases I'm using the effort on their part as a filter.

Another example is telling them that the 6 month project can't be done in 2 months. I might be able to get it done in 3 - 4 for a rush charge like Abelardo mentioned. This will also naturally filter those clients with unrealistic expectations out.

In my experience the worst thing that can happen in a client relationship is them having unrealistic expectations. When that happens it almost doesn't matter how good your work is in the end. So controlling those expectations from day one and setting realistic ones is paramount for me.

almost 5 years ago   Like_icon 1 likes  
Melanie Archer

The beer recommendations were helpful!

I like the point that there are more potential software projects than there are developers to work on them--entrepreneurs, consider this! So many people approach developers as they would temporary office help: "okay, here are my files, here's a desk, now get to work."

almost 5 years ago   Like_icon 1 likes  

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