153 – Losing clients before you even get them

Discussion – Losing clients before you even get them

WP Builds is brought to you by...



GoDaddy Pro

This is a little mini-series based upon the book ‘Watertight Marketing‘ by Bryony Thomas. It might be a good idea (although it’s certainly not essential) to go back and listen to the following episodes with you have not already. These are the episodes which came before this one:

So, what’s this episode all about then?

This is about that time in the client / project lifecycle when they (the client) have made some kind of commitment to use your products or services, they might even have signed a contract, but you’ve not delivered anything yet. It’s a time when they can still ‘get away’ from you. Yes, you might have a contract in place whereby you can insist that they are obliged to give you this or that, but honestly, have you ever enforced this, or is it better to just let them walk away and save yourself the legal fees and headache of trying to get them to pay up what they owe you?

David calls this ‘The Welcome Window’. You think that you have them as a client, but it’s still possible for things to go wrong.

Want to get your product or service on our 'viewed quite a lot' Black Friday Page? Fill out the form...

Now, it might be that in your process, The Welcome Window is pretty short and you don’t really worry too much about this. But for longer projects, this period of time might be many months. There’s been a verbal or written agreement, but you’ve still not started on the WordPress website. The client still needs to send the assets over, they cannot decide upon what pages they really need or what palette of colours they’re going to finally go with. You know how this goes. It’s a dangerous time and one in which you and the client can grow apart, and ultimately, they might even walk away. Not good!

One of the things that we discuss is the fact that the first job that you require from the client, getting copy, assets and all the other stuff that you might need… well, this is a pretty boring job. They’ve got all excited about the new website that you’ve promised to create, but then they have to go off and gather up images, make videos, write effective, SEO optimised copy, before you even start work. I can see how this might be a real turn off!

So what can you do to make this Welcome Window a more positive experience? One of the things that you can do is to send out some documentation to explain the whole process in more detail… giving them the low down on what it is that they’ve signed up for and what the next steps are. This welcome pack could be nothing more than a summation of what they’ve signed up for, but it could be anything that you like. Perhaps some sort of small gift might be in order? What about a little video to say thanks and here’s what you do next.

I guess that you’ve got to be careful about this though. If you set up the entire process to be automated, then it might feel a little hollow. We can all spot the email with {merge tags} and this might actually be a little off putting… a chance to do something nice could have been spoiled.

  • links to how to videos
  • thoughts about blog posts that they might like to create
  • David is giving away access to some of the data from his previous app purchases, such as analytics data, all explained with videos
  • Recently got I got an ‘after chat’ email ready. It’s a sort of recap plus and honest pros and cons list of working with us
  • A welcome pack to include the following:
    • Confirmation of their service package
    • Photograph, biography and contact details of their assistant, their back-up assistant, and the team manager
    • For the personal touch, they added a link to a report on each assistant giving some insight into their personality
    • Links to the most popular blog posts
    • Log-in details, to-do lists and account management area
    • Links to how-to videos on using the client log-in area
    • A link to an archive of client newsletters with details of how to amend contact preferences
    • A discount voucher to use against the pre-packaged template products

As I’ve said many, many times before, I find that keeping in touch with clients via the phone is the best thing that I have in my arsenal. I am happy to call them up and tell them that things are going to take a little longer to get started. I’m pleased to say that this basically works! Also, I’m pretty upfront about saying that, even though I have your deposit, it’s still going to be a few weeks before we can make a start – almost zero push back on this front too. I should make clear that the kind of WordPress websites that I’m building don’t take all that long and so I can have complete oversight over this, and don’t rely on a team to assist me with any of this.

Mentioned in this episode:

Watertight Marketing book by Bryony Thomas

The WP Builds podcast is brought to you this week by…


Omnisend is the top-rated email and SMS marketing platform for WordPress. More than a hundred thousand merchants use Omnisend every day to grow their audience and sales. Ready to start building campaigns that really sell? Find out more at www.omnisend.com

GoDaddy Pro

The home of Managed WordPress hosting that includes free domain, SSL, and 24/7 support. Bundle that with the Hub by GoDaddy Pro to unlock more free benefits to manage multiple sites in one place, invoice clients, and get 30% off new purchases! Find out more at go.me/wpbuilds.

The WP Builds Deals Page

It’s like Black Friday, but everyday of the year! Search and Filter WordPress Deals! Check out the deals now

Transcript (if available)

These transcripts are created using software, so apologies if there are errors in them.

Read Full Transcript

Welcome to the WP Builds podcast bringing you the latest news from the WordPress Community now welcome your hosts David Waumsley a Nathan Wrigley.
Hello there once again and welcome to this episode 153 of the WP Builds podcast. This episode is entitled losing clients before you even get them. It was published on Thursday the seventh of November 20. My name is Nathan Wrigley from picture and word .co.uk a small web development agency based in the north of England and I'll be joined a little bit later in a few minutes or so by David Waumsley from David Waumsley.com so that we can have our discussion which as I've said is all about losing clients before you even get them.
But before we got on to that just a couple of links to. Alert you to WP Builds.com forward slash subscribe. You can use that link to get connected to all the things we do over at WP Builds. Those things might be for example Sterling signing up to our newsletter list. That is the Box on the left hand side.
Or you could use the Box on the right hand side and you'll be able to sign up to our alerts email. I'm going to really strongly suggest that you do that one. So that's the blue box on the right hand side over at WP Builds.com forward slash subscribe. Because if you do that, I'm going to be sending you some plain text very very very simple to read and easy to dispose of if you don't even want to open them.
Emails about Black Friday deals that are coming up now they're going to come thick and fast in the next few weeks in as soon as I hear about them. I'll send you an e-mail look at the title. See if it's any interest. If not throw it away. If it is open it up and you'll be able to see in just a couple of lines what the deal is and so on and so forth on that page as well.
You're going to be able to sign up on your favorite couple podcast player. Join our Facebook group of 2300 WordPress has and there's other things like our Twitter feed and so on as well. The other link to mention would be WP Builds.com /black over there. I'm going to be putting the deals that I email out from the list.
I've just described. So that's WP Builds.com /black. It's a filterable and searchable list of Black Friday deals some of them. Although they haven't yet started they have in fact announced the dates and the percentage is off so you can see half a dozen or more right at this moment. So WP Builds.com forward slash and black if you would like to keep up with those.
I really appreciate it. If you feel that you could click on any of those links because it certainly helps keep this podcast going. The other link I want to mention is WP Builds.com forward slash advertise. Feel free to use that form to get yourself on the wp builds podcast and get your product or service in front of a WordPress specific audience.
I'll be like these guys. The WP Builds podcast is brought to you today by WP feedback. I'll client Communications eating up all of your time. If so, check out WP feedback. It's a visual feedback tool for WordPress. That's specifically designed to get you and your clients on the same page. You can check that out at WP feedback dot Co and Page Builder cloud.
Work faster in your page builder of Choice by reusing your Cloud save templates Import and Export any layout to any of your WordPress websites page builder Cloud works with Elementor Beaver Builder Breezy Guttenberg and many more and you can get a free trial up and running today at page builder cloud.com.
And by Page Builder framework, do you use a page builder to create your website's the page builder framework is a mobile responsive and lightning-fast WordPress theme that works with Beaver Builder Elemental Breezy and other page Builders with its endless customization options in the WordPress customizer.
It's the perfect fit for you or your agency. Go to WP - page builder framework.com today and we really do genuinely honestly thank our sponsors for helping us put on the wp builds podcast. Okay, let's get stuck into it today. Shall we are episode is called losing clients before you even get them.
We've been running a little miniseries based upon a book by. Somebody called Bryony Thomas that book is called watertight marketing episode 149 was all about marketing funnels not existing episode number 151 was called are we leaking clients? And today's episode is all about losing clients before you even get them.
Well, this is about that time. When clients may have committed to you. They may even have signed a contract possibly paid a very small deposit or something like that. But there's this window where they're not quite on board with you and we don't want clients to be leaving us at that point. So David and I have a chat today about what it is that we do what it is that we haven't done the bryony suggests to make sure that we don't leak clients away from us during this crucial period between the time where you.
Have made first Contact on the time where you actually start delivering things. It's a really interesting chat, and I hope you enjoy it. This is consumed with choline losing clients before you even get them and we're following on from our last discussion and we're still working to water type marketing by Boney Thomas, which is a book we discussed before but they do stand alone as topic so in.
This one who will how to explain this Nathan. I really got to talk about. So last time we spoke we would actually talking about forgotten clients. We were talking about those existing clients who perhaps didn't know any longer what it was why they were paying as money and all the other things that we did.
So we were leaving money on the table. In this case. We're looking at something that she's identified as another potential leak and that's when. I think you've got a client and onboard they may even have paid you but in fact, this is kind of the welcome window. This is the period where they're on high alert really judging your services.
And this is still a potential area where you could lose them even though they've committed to paying or maybe even signed a contract. So that's the area. We're discussing today. So just to be clear. This is not the this is not necessarily the period of time in between which you've spoken to the maybe for the first time you've established that you know, they need a website and possibly what they need, but there's no payment.
Are you are we specifically talking today about the period after they've paid but you haven't really delivered anything yet. I think so mostly although I think it can include because we're going to move on to the next topic that's actually in her book, which will be looking at more how your kind of getting people to make that kind of initial commitment or that contact with you.
So it could indeed be in my case as I like now for them to chat to me as the first conversation so it could be the Gap in between them chatting to me and booking. So I think the keen and then I. They don't go onto book or it could be after they booked before I actually start building their site. So I can't these all areas where I think it's the welcome window where you think you've got them as a client or a customer and it's all going, you know can go wrong.
Yeah. I think we look at. Too much. Do you know no not really and in my case as well, we'll find out later. I haven't have really had too many problems with this particular aspect. But there's I'm sure that lots of people had you know this what did you call it the window of something the welcome window is what you refer well area, which they might get away despite the fact that you believe you've got.
Yeah, and the place she's making is that you know, the fact that them handing over the cash is really just the beginning. It's not there and it's not when they are effectively emotionally connected to you. They haven't actually made that a commitment to you. So I suppose it becomes more obvious with other businesses.
So if. Or if you order something online for the first time you may have paid your money, but your judgments about that company are going to depend on how quickly that item was delivered and whether it met your expectations and even though that maybe doesn't quite apply to us because we may have had more conversation and somebody may have even gone as far as a contract.
I still think. This is probably still relevant. I still think it's the difficult point and I I must admit until I read a bit from this book. I never really thought about it. I think when somebody appears to have made that commitment then it's just I'm focused on well, let's get the. The end of the Practical side of doing the job over.
Yeah. I think the the difference with let's say for example, I don't know a company online that you're buying a pair of socks from or something like that. You know, you're you're going to purchase the socks and the the measure of the quality of this company is something like how quickly it comes what the box looks like whether it's in good shape.
When it arrived in whether they're the right size the gold size that you ordered and all that kind of stuff. So the deliverables are really easy to measure and can be can be turned around quite quickly. Whereas with a website. The deliverables are really kind of at this point completely and flocks.
You don't really know what they want because you haven't gone down that. Process potentially figured all that stuff out. And also it may be many months until something actually is going to be delivered to them. So there's this long long period of time where where you appear to all intents and purposes from their point of view to be doing very little but you might be really busy, but there's not a lot to show for it sometimes.
Yeah, exactly. And I think the the classic Model which isn't as I clean my mod lawyer, so we're going to be hopeless at this is discussion for sure, but it is when you get people signed up to a contract and then generally, you know your place in the responsibility on them to get their content together before you will start the build and to me, you know, if you're if you're thinking about.
But this book is saying it's probably not the best experience then is it because you've given them a really hard task to do and you maybe just go dead quiet. So their first if you like except that the first experience of your business is just some hard work to do. That's a really good point because building a website does require a lot of boring content to be handed over and Gathering that content is stupendously on interesting, you know, whether that's text content or pictures or biographies of people spread throughout your company or whatever.
It might be. It's not particularly exciting and yet that is very likely the one of the first things that they'll be instructed to do that Allied to the. But you know, they might not understand what your process is. They might not get that they've got to share it with Google drive or some online platform that you've paid for.
Yeah, I again it hadn't really occurred to me. But the first task is really boring. I'm just wondering if if this is indeed what many people do as their first task or maybe at this point. It's possible to insert something simple. Interesting and something that kind of gets you together on the same page that you can do quickly turn it around quickly demonstrate quality in the same way that I described about receiving the socks in a nice box and they're the right size and so on.
Is there something that you could do which although not actually substantively delivering anything to them might at least make them think oh, oh these guys are taking me seriously. Yeah, I think so. It just sounds to me. It sounds well. I don't think I would listen to much without thinking about this to what the clients expecting from this or do much because I'm you know, as I said, I'm focused then on the job and I think I don't do this now, but I used to and I think it's even worse if you're working kind of one of these agencies who like to do it in secret and have this big Tada moment where you present.
What you think working on for the last month? Because that's even a longer period and that's a gap really where they haven't they paid the money but they haven't really got to experience your your business is such that you haven't, you know made any kind of connection with them. So I think that's dangerous.
She talks and in the book, I mean she's obviously talking about all kinds of businesses. So she talks about. Let me just go and have a little look so I jotted some of these towns. So these may not be relevant to us. But she talks about how you could have welcome packs. You know that you you email so we at least they know something's there that you you spoke about this when we talked about this earlier you ignore these don't you I do let's say for example in the case of my utility company.
So I've just changed over my gas and electricity supplier and they obviously do do that. That's clearly a part of their strategy. They send you more or less a duplicate summary of everything that you've agreed on the booking form and you've agreed to in whatever transaction you've gone through.
They send you a summary of that and and it's very quick. Well at least in my case was very quick to realize this is there is nothing new here. This is simply okay. Here's what here's what we've promised. Probably some people will file that away as a as a method of kind of proving in the future that this is what they paid for, but in every case, I'll just Chuck it straight in the recycling.
Yeah, it's probably okay. I was hardly listening. They're actually because you said doodoo and my niece would be sniggering there. Haha. That's the level that we've got to know but I did but the thing is if. You know, the whole world is not like me will Heaven Help Us that that it would be presumably a certain amount of people will be deeply impressed.
And also depending on what it is. I mean the fact is that example, I just gave was very uninteresting, you know, the documentation that I get from my utility company is. Pretty boring but that could have been turned into anything. It could have been a free small gift. It could have been just like a little postcard saying thanks very much.
Got to have you onboard. It could have been something personally signed. I remember when I joined WP elevation many many years ago. Somebody hand wrote a letter. To say thanks for joining and it wasn't a trivial thing. It was like 10 15 lines long handwritten signed at the bottom. And that was so out of the ordinary that I was really impressed and kind of went back to the company and said wow, thanks for that that really made a difference and that probably took a few minutes.
But it totally suckered me and I thought that was really impressive. Another thing that I think you could insert this point again, trivially easy to do would be just like like a bon giorno video Bongiorno being a sap which caters for this exact moment where somebody is just got on board your platform and you want to sort of say thank you so much.
You shoot this quick video paste it in an email. And you're dumb and I think things like that in in this day and age where everything is automated. We're trying to make everything as streamlined as possible reduce the humanity putting the humanity back strikes people as astonishment lie out of the ordinary and you know, go back 50 years.
It would have been the norm now, it's not so it's unusual and makes you feel like warm and. Yeah, no, I think this great value in that but just interesting lie, you know, you said you don't really look at the welcome packs. But if there was nothing good, do you think that's still better than nothing at all?
The fact that you have been welcomed on board effectively. Yeah. I don't really know. I mean again going back to the example of my utility company there was literally zero value in it. So when in the bin and and in the end, I just sort of thought. Well that was a waste of the Earth's resources and.
Tiny fraction of my time, you know, they're the so it didn't certainly didn't get any sense of all I'm going to cancel. This is ridiculous. I just got a sense of well, okay, so a computer system automated that somebody put it in an envelope and here it is. There was no value in it. But at least it was a it was a you know, it was a touch Point somebody had done something but I feel that could have been done better.
I mean, it could be anything couldn't it could be like a phone call. It could be where these Bongiorno videos it could be a highly personalized email. It could be a thousand different things, but I think putting something in. The road and I have to say I do not do this. I'm not trying to claim that any of this is something you know, I've got no wisdom on this.
I just suddenly thinking about it because you brought the subject up for this topic today. That would be a very good thing to do and I can't for the life of me think why I don't do it except for the fact that soon as the deposits been paid. I'm thinking great. It's done. I can now use treat them as my normal client and put them in my normal process which hasn't really got a great deal of humanity in it.
He said guiltily. Yeah. Yeah, and I think that that's the whole value of this section of the book. I think just to remind us that this is probably a delicate point where we think we're safe and we're probably not yet in the clients mind safe. They're still hilar judging us the most there was a few other things in welcome pack wasn't the only thing that this book came up with so it's suggested some other things like you.
I want to send them something that links to some of your how-to videos something that I can list of blog posts or something that might be relevant to what they need. So, you know particularly in the example where they might have to do the hard work at getting together their content for you. You know, I think it might help to provide them with some help along the way to doing that.
Yeah, you know, I. I suppose the problem the problem with all of this stuff is if like me time pressure is not extreme though, you know, my my day doesn't involve, you know, seriously minute-by-minute appraisal of what I'm going to do each and every minute I can find that I've so my memory would be my problem remembering to do it.
So yeah if I put in my process. To do something. Let's say it's to make a little welcome video and send it out to them with me. Literally saying thanks so much. I'm really appreciate it. Will I'll send you some information in the next couple of days about what you need to do, but I'm really thankful that you've joined us.
It would simply be a process of me forgetting that would but if I put it in my process that I that I go through then I probably wouldn't and I would do it. Yeah, I don't you know, I think this is this whole series and this book is about trying to think where all the gaps where all the leaks are and then try and put some kind of process.
So you make sure that you don't end up losing people just ignorance or just forgetting it. So I think you know, that's you know, I going back this is not today's topic but on the last topic we were talking about. Clients, actually the discussion made me get on and do something and I think I was mentioning about some of these appsumo deals that I bought that I haven't given to clients or not using so I did that recently.
So I contacted them did a video on my existing customers the Forgotten ones and now I've made it part of my process. So after I've built the site and they're on our hosting after certain length of time then I will add in something so they can get their Google statistics in an easy form. So it's a little.
Add to remind them. So yeah, there was just one of my because I won't get to cover this anywhere else, but it was just that conversation. We had last time allowed me to think about what I'm going to do next as part of my process. So that will be built in now. Yeah. Yeah interesting. So you've built that in you've costed that in that's fine, but you don't reveal it to them.
You keep that completely silent and then you drop it on them as. Totally unexpected. Oh it we just thought we'd do this for you. We've been thinking about you and we thought wouldn't it be good if you had some easy access to analytics data. Yes, really? It's really interesting. I like that. Yeah.
Yeah, so it's going to be a process. So, you know, so I get reminder say oh you got to you know, tell them about this and add this and it's a little value add a little system to do it. So in the same way it was trying to trying to think about how we could do that with this Gap but as we discussed earlier, I don't think it's so much a problem with us because we do this real Personal Touch and get straight on with the job.
Don't worry. Yeah more or less. In my case, I would get straight on with the job. I mean, there's never like a list of seven jobs sitting dormant that need to be you know gone through normally. It's okay. I've got one job finished that one got the next job and I'm very Frank, you know, I do say I've got three jobs before.
It would be your turn and that's going to take two months or whatever. So I say you probably won't hear from me for a couple of months, but it doesn't mean anything but you understand that it's not beginning straight away because there's only me but also as I've said, So many times before for me the phone is my best friend actually speaking to these people.
I I believe for me works better than any automated system and getting on the phone and trying to communicate with people and leaving answer machine messages or leaving a video demo or whatever. It might be. I just find that to be enormously enormously more effective than trying to do this through things like email or automated systems.
Yeah, but you've not lost. So let's say you've got three jobs done and somebody's having to wait. I don't know for five months is does that does it ever go that long if we do not normally as long as that it would I think if. First start I haven't really had too many problems with this because the websites that I build don't take an extraordinarily large amount of time to go from start to finish but also the the thing is I will make it very clear at the beginning.
You know, we're going to put you in I call it the roster. I don't know where I got that word from because I don't use it in any other sphere of my life, but I call it the roster and I say I'm going to put you on the roster and you are in second place or third place or whatever so you'll be third in line and.
In the same way that when your website is being built, you'll appreciate the fact that I'm working on that only you've got to understand that there's other people in in front of you in the queue and nobody's to my knowledge not book to me because of that or has found that weird. They've just stamina they just accepted it and you know, I'm pretty pretty honest about how long it's going to take.
You know, you'll be six weeks before we start no problems. What about you? Yeah, but I don't really have a problem. I mean, I guess I've learned from you. I've learnt that need to put more of the personal touching when I first started and of course, you know, my colleague has been dealing with people on a personal level.
She's putting most of the work for me. So my experience is quite Limited. But I did I was taken by some of the arguments that you know is expecting people to come to my website and go through my booking form and I was considering should I try and you know get rid of these time-wasters up front but only recently and this is really recently I decided that I need to get people to come on their chat with me.
I don't care if their waste my time the first thing the First Communication I. With them is to be a booked online chat with their can see them and I can talk to them and I've only recently done this and I think it's I've lost people I'm sure I have even though my client even though my colleague has got them in.
I've talked to people out of a job where I don't think we had any competitor because I've tried to. If you like a doubt the brief for them, and I've really I've made it too difficult for them in the first place. I've asked him to many complicated questions that they weren't expecting. I suppose the the benefit for us both of getting them on the call because I do exactly the same thing.
What if I get a somebody filling out my form one of the first things I say is can we just have a 10-minute chats now that works for me. I've. Always been comfortable talking to strangers fairly decent at it. You know clearly. I'm not the best but I can talk to a stranger and get get I can engage in the sense that I can Strike Up Rapport, I think fairly quickly and if I don't sense that I can also sense that war.
Maybe this isn't gonna work out anyway, but my ability to have a conversation with a stranger. Makes that possible but clearly that's not going to work for everybody. But I'm sure it would work for you. You know, when you when you have in the future start to have more and more of these conversations half an hour is nothing.
I don't think to put into a conversation right at the beginning just to establish if you're a good fit. Yeah, exactly. I think that personality counts for so much if you can get a chatter. I don't know why I was so slow really to do this. I kind of I guess I wanted to work out what it was so I could give them what I thought they wanted which is really a cost for their job and really I've completely turned this around by breaking everything into.
Small component. So I said let's just get started shall we can will work out as we go along because you know booking one build day with me isn't going to break the bank and we could probably achieve everything so I'm very much moved to you know, let me get before them so they can see who I am. And yeah, we are lucky because we've now, you know put ourselves out there.
So we're kind of aware of how we come across. Yeah, I suppose he threw yeah, and we've talked a lot in well, this is hardly public. But the fact is we have spent a lot of time talking over the last few years just to do this podcast and kind of thought a lot about these processes out loud in the same way that if you're just doing this by yourself in your own head or scribbling it down on paper.
It may not have percolated through. So yeah, you're right. We are very lucky in that's it hadn't really thought about that before about how the the process. Making this podcast and talking about all these things as probably cemented in my head to the things that I wish to do and the things that I don't wish to do.
Yeah, good point. Yeah. I wonder how you know somebody well certainly when I was younger. I wouldn't have the confidence to get on a call with just about anybody like I do now these days it's because I'm so old and I don't care any longer. My ego is entirely gone, you know humors there and it will save me in all.
Situations but the younger me I don't know how I would have dealt with this. Yeah. I absolutely concur. The younger me wouldn't have done very well with this at all. I've just. Become better at talking and that's that's obviously something which comes with time. I'm sure that some people at the age of 15 are you know replete with the ability to talk whereas others at the age of 50 will be struggle to talk out loud to a stranger, you know, they won't know what they want to say as well as if you have like a little.
Bullet-pointed list for me. I just go into it completely cold. I literally have nothing pre-prepared or anything. I just get on the phone and start talking. I do like what you just said. Just then about your very clear on what your proposition is, you know by the end of that conversation in an Ideal World you'd have explained to them that.
We can achieve most of what you want to do in a day. That's what our business does. Let's just go for it. And you're right a day's money the amount that you're going to charge for that day is not necessarily enough for them to go. No, no way. I think that's a really ingenious way of doing it and I think you could probably in half an hour persuade very very significant amount of those people.
Let's hope so anyway, Yeah, I think it does seem to work now. Once I'm in time, I've got to go after a lot more customers recently. But since I've got my my systems in place, I do think and I'll will find out as we carry on having these discussions, but I do think it's the best it can be now with the personal chat the low cost investment just to get started and we'll work it out and the QuickStart but even so I still feel like only just recently.
I've been thinking about this whole potential Gap where you could lose people between for me between the chat bar have and they're not booking. So I've tried to build into a process there and email which will be a recap of probably the stuff that I'll end up covering because I'll just want to know how it works and costings and just how we.
Things up, but also a little kind of and maybe this is a bad idea pros and cons of working with us, which gives me the opportunity to sell some of the benefits of a switch. I wouldn't be able to do so easy on the on the call. Yeah, but also to point out. Not negatives about us as such but just some of our limitations like the fact that we you know, we're not next to them.
We're not going to come in and have a meeting with them because we remote workers and that so they need to know about that in advance. That's interesting that you would point out some of the drawbacks of working with you and that initially melas. Very brave. I don't think I would do that. I'd only focus on the positives I think but if you if you if your.
Fearful that they might have expectations which simply are on manageable with the systems that you're going to be deploying. Well fair enough that might be worth pointing out. Yeah intriguing it might be a mistake entirely, but actually there are few things. Maybe this is again and what we tend to do put our own name.
Xiety is on to our clients that we so when we've had an issue with a client with then we kind of project them on all clients in the future. So maybe I'm doing that because of our couple of other negatives that I would put in about, you know, just be aware that if we want to you know work with if you want us to work with other people that we need to know that we're working to one person that there is you're a project manager.
So maybe you know putting that kind of thing is it's too much of a negative I do like. Say idea those sending us or summation of what he wants that you've spoken about and possibly agree to whenever I go to us or client meeting. I always ask if I can record on my phone everything that we've talked about and make it very clear that that.
Thought you know that audio file will be destroyed. It's just for my purposes and then I then I come back to the office and I'm scribbling notes at the same time. So I got a paper version and I would say in 90% of the cases. I never listen to that audio ever because my notes are good enough, but occasionally, I love stopped taking notes for some reason or other or want a bit of clarity on what was said and so I'll go back and listen with through.
The audio clarify it gets the get their wording exactly what it was that they said, you know the right verb the right time and the right now and you're in because some part of their process might include acronyms and things like that and and then I'll send that back. I don't know how effective that is, but it is something that I've done many many times before I don't do it all the time based upon the feeling I've got if I've come off the phone call or the meeting and I'm really buoyant.
Yeah boy. We really hit it off. We put giggling and by the end of it, you know, probably feel it's a bit much not bother but if you know, if I'm in my normal process, I would send something very quickly. Here's what we agreed. Shall we shall we get on with it? Something like that? Yeah, yeah. I've not recorded any of my chats.
I've often wondered about whether I should or shouldn't I mean I probably need to if they say do do again. I'll be distracted by me. What's to lose? If you offer the question and say, you know, we've got this half an hour slot. I really want to make the most of it and so memory being what it is.
I'll probably forget a proportion of it. How about I record it. Is that okay? And I don't think anybody said no. Yeah, I can't remember anybody saying no, so I do that. It's not for everybody. I'm sure. I think we've probably got distracted Evan we because we're supposed to be just thinking about you know, how in this welcome window.
You know what things we can when we haven't really come up with too much have way. Well, I do think that was I thought that was a good suggestion of the summation of what it is that you've agreed you mentioned before we did this call that something that Paul Lacy inspired you with really kind of.
Well, just a quirky thing to do which I think is really effective just because it's so out of the ordinary. Yeah, so he's on this site a funnel and I was just intrigued so I joined joined it, but I don't know if I got the email of all the emails that supposed to be in the at funnel, but he certainly told me that one of them just.
Once they've inquired initially he sends something out which is to the effect of I was just thinking about you and came across this article. And of course it would could apply to anybody who wanted a website but he just sounded and I just love the terminology just sounded like you were doing something for that person and I thought that's really great.
Yeah, so that I mean. God forbid you you automate that but of course you could but he does nobody. Yeah, dear merge tag coma I was just thinking about you and your merge tag websites, you know, so it goes but it's nice. The language is really effective. You know, it's just thinking of you. And some generic article about such and such a thing.
I probably personally wouldn't send that as an automated sequence. I would probably decide to do that differently and have a bunch of Articles ready pick. The one I thought was best suited in other words. What I'm saying is I have never done that but I think it's a cracking idea, but I personally would do it in a I would probably hand write that email I think.
Or send them a video because I'm so much into sending these little videos nowadays. Yeah, I think that's the thing is it's a process is that I don't think it matters how you deliver? It's just that you know that you need to fill in that Gap. I mean also in the book she just talked about other things and see thinking about lots of different types of businesses.
But where there might be something set up that the team manager that you have. Makes a personal call to their manager after a certain point and that's set up. So, you know, it sounds to me like you don't need to do this at all because you're not had an issue, but I certainly it's just making me think a little bit about where the gaps are and where you know, what I could have on on standby.
It'd be really interesting actually because you and I. Especially when we're trying to think of things to do in this regard, it would be very interesting. If we post this in the Facebook group. It would be fascinating to see what people do because I bet they've all got loads of little, you know, I send them a pen or a.
That was a terrible example. Why did I say man, you know some little trinket some little free giveaway a mug with our logo on it. They can sit on their desk or in you know, like I said a video or I send them something that I know is a value to them. I send them a bottle of wine or so. I don't know there's probably a thousand different things, but we're just trying to make that impression that we were trying to create the impression of professionalism and friendliness in my case and and I kind of feel.
The by showing up to their office by talking to them by having a laugh with them by being on the phone with them. I kind of feel I've done enough, so I probably yes don't need too much of this. And also you're quite I mean the same as when we talked before we record these I often get a little snippet of your personal life, which makes me feel a lot closer to you.
And I you know, you were talking to me about some conversations that you had and you do that. To them as well, and I think that that's kind of endearing. Yeah open yourself up by genuinely end up. Finding out quite a lot about my clients personal lives. I've told you this a thousand times before about the fact that I asked to deal with one person.
So I pretty thorough on that rule and that person can change from time to time but nevertheless it always ends up being one person. That's just just how it is and get to know about them, you know, you and your little things just drop into conversation and I can't help myself. So, you know client the other day just.
I was talking about something and she just accidentally dropped in the husband is a plumber and that was it. I was off how Plumbing, you know, I we're having a bit of Plumbing work done and and you know, if work is delayed because I've had to have had a bit of a family crisis. Like I don't know my one of my children has had an accident.
I've had to spend time off work with them while they're off school or something. I will just say it as it is. I'm not going to try and cover it up just say look. I'm really sorry. Everything's got put back about five or six days because essentially my laptop's been shot because my son has injured himself something along those never had any combat negative Compaq, not once.
Yeah, yeah. Yeah, I think you know humanizing these things. I mean again in the book. There is a mention with the sort of Welcome pack and things that can go in there Pat's photographs or biographies on people who might be dealing with their account. Now that's probably not relevant to us. But in effect is doing the same thing isn't it is trying to personalize the people that you're going to deal with make them feel more human.
So there's that connection. Yeah, I actually lost a client recently and it was so nice after I'd lost them because I you know, very Equitable about it. I I didn't kick up a fuss or truck it to be honest with you. I didn't even really try to keep them on because it was so self-evident from everything that was coming from there.
Sayid that they got it and they got it sauce. They knew from some higher they'd recently made within the company. They'd got WordPress under control so they didn't really need me anymore. And so, you know, I booked a meeting we handed over all the details. I gave him the admin login and told them about the plug-in licenses that they need to take on and all that sort of stuff.
It's all very fine and then a couple of days later. I'm just out the blue got an email, which said. You know, thanks for everything. It's been a really nice dealing with you and if we ever need a new website or anything will come back to you and I just thought well I didn't ask for that that would that made me feel really great.
Yeah, that's fabulous. That's how it should be isn't it? You know, I we can't fill in the gaps here, but I just wonder if there are folks who do get as far as a contract and then there's that's a big job that they've got on something that I've never done where. It's all gone horribly wrong when she do start working.
Do you I just be interested if people think that it could be down to this issue this welcome window this, you know, high alert time. I'd be really intrigued about that just for the benefit of everybody. It's just so that you know, the the noise that you met for the next few minutes here in the background is an enormous drill outside my house and I can't do anything about it.
It's just going to come on. Go off so apologies about that. I'm not even going to try and hide it from you or edit it out or anything. Yeah, so getting back to the subject. I've been super Lucky in that. I'm sure that this is true every contract that I've had signed has turned into a website. I don't think I've had that problem but my position on this subject actually scares me because I would hate to have to deploy this in Anger we talked about this before we started recording as well.
My contract says that the deposit is non-refundable. The deposit could be as much as 50% of the project depending on what's going on and getting into that conversation, you know, if something horrific happened, maybe it isn't even their fault, you know, maybe their business is suddenly in crisis because of their own cash flow flow problems, and they just want to pull out at this point where you've banked on the money and let's be honest as soon as the deposit arrives.
You probably have banked on a hundred percent of it arriving will assume that you're going to finish the work. Like I said, we had this discussion before and I think in a lot of cases, I probably wouldn't deploy that contract. I would probably just say look, that's fine. I've not really done much.
Okay. I've done a couple of hours. I'll refund you all of it or the vast majority - a little bit for some work that I did start with. Mmm. What do you do? Yeah. I think I would do the same. I mean I've made everything time-based now, and I know there's lots of arguments against that so it's not likely to come up, but I I think I would and I think it would make me reflect on this period whether I did everything because.
In theory, it should never happen should it should be from when they sign up there should be sort of incremental changes that are happening in that relationship. So there should be no surprises. We're suddenly they're asking for a refund because it's gone horribly wrong. I think this is the area we're talking about today is probably the area where we are at danger because we think it's done and we're getting on with the work.
Probably it's the time to be listening more than ever. That's what I feel. Yeah, so I think I probably would because only now talking about it. I'm aware that this is a potential area where it could be wrong. So I probably refund because I would think it was my fault for not. You know stepping people up to the journey correctly.
Yeah, I think oh yeah, it is interesting. Like I say, I haven't had to deploy this in anger but no doubt. There'll be many many stories of people who have had this exact problem. You know that it's all for some reason. It's all gone pear-shaped and they have to pull out and have had to deploy lawyers and all sorts.
Like I say thankfully in my case. It hasn't gone wrong, but you know what it is interesting because before we had this discussion before you and I started talking about this a couple of hours ago, In order to make this podcast. I actually had a really different opinion about what this time represented this time.
When maybe they are either thinking about paying the deposit or have already paid the deposit and you're making us I always thought about this is like the least dangerous time that everything became dangerous after they started to see the fruits of your labor. And then start to go know I wasn't expecting that at all.
I didn't really see this is a danger time probably largely because it's all been fairly smooth for me. Yeah, not that I think it has for me on the whole apart for me talking people out of their jobs. But yeah otherwise, but that, you know, the refunds is a really interesting thing because all of us I think would like to be big people a really fun but you know really if it's going to kill your business.
You just can't can also use other sort of stand your ground. No, you absolutely can't so whilst that was said. In truth if I financially couldn't afford it. I'm sure that I would have to be that person but I'm working on the basis that that I could and the potential stress of getting into a bit of what could end up being a litigious process.
My notes may not be something that I really want to do with that of course and the fact that my contract has never been 100% tested in that case and I don't actually know if it's got leaky holes in it where by any lawyer would be able to rip it a bit. Yeah, probably unfortunately, I'm well, it works both ways.
But really nobody really pays me anything more than I'm happy. Just kind of give back if you like. You can afford to give back. So I mean I'm protected from that reason so there's pros and cons with that. But yeah. Yeah, okay. Well David, I don't know if you've got a lot more to say on this topic.
This is a bit of a warning you're on we're on about 40 minutes already. Is there anything that you want to scoot too quickly or that we don't know which we are done with this one. Okay abscess so that was that was how many what are we on of our little mini series? This was leaked. Number two in Briny Thomas's watertight marketing will get to leak number three.
In a future episode. Yeah. All right, bye-bye. Well, I hope you enjoyed that always fascinating talking to David about these things. He's obviously been reading the book watertight marketing by Bryan Lee Thomas, perhaps it might be a good idea to go and get yourself a copy of that. If you've been enjoying it, there are some links in the show notes, but it's always nice to hear some fresh ideas around the world the very important topic of keeping clients.
No matter what point in the Project Life Cycle you are on. The wp builds podcast is brought to you today by Page Builder Cloud. If you want to dramatically speed up your WordPress websites workflow, then checkout page builder Cloud. It's securely saves all your templates to your own cloud. You can then reuse them on any other website in seconds page builder Cloud works with elemental Beaver Builder Breezy Gutenberg and many more but it's not just for page Builders.
You can save your contact forms at ACF layouts to. Get a free trial today at Page Builder cloud.com and WP and UP one in four of us will be directly affected by mental health related illness wpn up supports and promotes positive mental health within the WordPress Community. This is achieved through mentorship events training and counseling, so please help enable WP and up by visiting wp and up dot-org /give.
Okay, I will sign these episodes off with a similar bit of information and it is to say we'll be back next Thursday for a podcast episode likely it'll be an interview this time, but we're also back on Monday very early in the morning UK time. I release the WordPress Weekly News summation of all the news from the last week in WordPress and then at 2 p.m.
UK time join us at WP Builds.com /live so that you can. Comment on our live news feed me and some special WordPress guests will be chatting through the WordPress news from the previous week and don't forget. If you go to WP Builds.com /black you'll be able to keep up with all of the latest and greatest deals coming in the WordPress space in the run-up to Black Friday.
Okay, that's all I've got for you for now. I am now going to present what I think is the most cheesy music thus far. I would seriously advise closing your ears at this point. Bye for now.

Support WP Builds

We put out this content as often as we can, and we hope that you like! If you do and feel like keeping the WP Builds podcast going then...

Donate to WP Builds

Thank you!

Nathan Wrigley
Nathan Wrigley

Nathan writes posts and creates audio about WordPress on WP Builds and WP Tavern. He can also be found in the WP Builds Facebook group, and on Mastodon at wpbuilds.social. Feel free to donate to WP Builds to keep the lights on as well!

Articles: 884

Filter Deals

Filter Deals


  • Plugin (23)
  • WordPress (13)
  • Lifetime Deal (5)
  • eCommerce (4)
  • SaaS (4)
  • Admin (3)
  • Hosting (2)
  • Other (2)
  • Security (2)
  • Theme (2)
  • Blocks (1)
  • Design (1)
  • Training (1)

% discounted

% discounted

Filter Deals

Filter Deals


  • WordPress (39)
  • Plugin (33)
  • Admin (30)
  • Content (18)
  • Design (11)
  • Blocks (6)
  • Maintenance (6)
  • Security (5)
  • Hosting (4)
  • Theme (3)
  • WooCommerce (3)
  • SaaS app (2)
  • Lifetime Deal (1)
  • Not WordPress (1)
  • Training (1)

% discounted

% discounted



WP Builds WordPress Podcast



WP Builds WordPress Podcast