159 – My nephew makes websites too

Discussion – My nephew makes websites too

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This is another of the discussions that we’ve had concerning the book ‘Watertight Marketing‘ by Bryony Thomas. In that book she discusses the idea that there are so many ways that we can ‘leak’ clients away before we’ve completed their work.

Although, no mandatory (!), you might benefit from listening to them in the order that they were created, which is as follows:

Today the podcast is about the fateful process of needing approval from others. Gosh, I’m sure that we’ve all experienced this at some point in our careers as WordPress website builders.

The client needs to seek approval, whether knowingly or not, from other people before they can make decisions. The title of this episode is a little bit of cynical nod to this… you know how this goes…

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“My nephew is quite technical, and he thinks… [insert banal, meaningless, irritating comment here].”

But it’s true. People want, or need, other people to give their approval before the job is considered completed. The problem that we face is that we don’t know who these people are, and more worryingly, we don’t know anything about their real expertise in the decisions that need to be made.

So all of this is happening in the background, away from us, until it’s too late. The nephew has sown the seed that all the buttons throughout the site should be #FF0000; and use Comic Sans. The client, having a great relationship with their nephew now starts to believe this, “because they’re good with technology”, and they come back to you with this apocalyptic vision of how the website should be amended.

This is, of course, over doing it, but the point is valid. Is there a way to overcome the objections of the clients’ friends, relations, bosses? Can we find out who these Powers Behind The Throne are before they create havoc for us?

Perhaps the best course of action is to explicitly ask the client who these people are. Ask them to tell you about all the people whose opinions are going to be sought about this project. At least if you know who they are, you’ve got chance of knowing what’s coming?

One of the things that I like to do when starting a project is to make sure of two things:

  1. Make sure that all the decision makers are in the room during any meetings. Cancel the meeting if they cannot all be in attendance.
  2. Ask that only one person is going to the conduit for all conversations about the WordPress website. This creates a nice barrier in which all the nephews can fight and argue in their own time and the final ideas come to you directly via this one person.

I got these ideas from WP Elevation and I’m happy to report that (in the main) they have worked really well for me.

David has a funny story about a project that started going south when the girlfriend of the nephew mentioned over lunch that she wasn’t sure about the logo he was going to use! Unless David had asked about why the logo was now in question, who had they talked to, he would have been in the dark and unable to explain that sometimes you’ve just got to let the pros get on with their job.

This is all a little dramatic, but there’s a serious side to this as well. It might be that there is a set of protocols in place at the clients’ workplace, a list of people who need to me informed (and who can inform) about the WordPress website. Do we need to know about all these people and what level of interference they are able to get away with?

Perhaps though, there are things that we can do… processes that we can put in place. What about a thorough contract? What about explicit FAQs that you need the clients to read? What about Terms and Conditions? What about Roadmaps and milestones.

I’m not too sure that we truly get to the bottom of this one, and I’m certain that no matter how litigious I become, this will happen to me again many times. But thinking about it is, I suppose, at least going some way to working out a solution which works best for me, and perhaps you too?

Mentioned in this episode:

Watertight Marketing by Bryony Thomas

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Transcript (if available)

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

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Nathan Wrigley: [00:00:00] Welcome to the WP Builds
David Waumsley: [00:00:04] podcast.
Nathan Wrigley: [00:00:05] Bringing you the latest news from the WordPress community. Now, welcome your host, David Waumsley. Nathan Wrigley.
Hello there, and welcome to the WP Builds podcast. This is episode 159 and titled, my nephew makes websites too. It was published on Thursday the 19th of December, 2019 my name's Nathan Wrigley, and a little bit of housekeeping, just before we begin, if you wouldn't mind, heading over to WP Builds.com forward slash subscribe over there. You're going to find a whole load of ways. And keep up with all the content that we create and there is quite a bit of it. For example, you're going to be able to sign up to our newsletters. We've got to want to alert you about the content that we produce and want to alert you whenever we come across a WordPress deal. Also on there, you're going to be able to subscribe to us on your favorite podcast player. Please join our Facebook group of over. 2,300 word pressers all helping each other out. It's a very friendly place to be, and there's things like our YouTube channel as well. If you liked this podcast, please feel free to click on the black buttons underneath the podcast player. For example, the Apple one allows you to rate it, and I'm very, very grateful whenever somebody does write to the podcast, because it certainly helps, helps promote it. and I'm very appreciative of anybody who feels that they can do that. Head over to WP Builds.com forward slash. Win you'll be able to get yourself a WP forms pro license. Jared Aitchison was on the podcast a few weeks ago and he donated a pro license, so you can win that over there. And also WP bills.com forward slash advertise if you would like to have your product or service advertised in front of a WordPress specific audience. A bit like WP feed back have done. Our 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, and you can check it out at WP feedback dot C O. One last thing before we begin. I don't know if you're aware, but we do a weekly WordPress news. It's on a Monday. You can listen to that, but also 2:00 PM UK time. We do a live version of that with some special guests [email protected] forward slash live. Okay. That's all of the housekeeping I've got for you this week. Let's get on with the main content of the podcast. It's episode 159 it's a David Waumsley and I having a chat. And the, the rather sort of pithy title is my nephew makes websites too. And the idea here really is that, well, we've all been there before. We've all had a client who's come back and said, yeah. Well, my nephew, who's really good with technology, they reckon it should all be red over there or that we should have a picture of a cat or whatever it might be. And we're following Briony Thomas's water type marketing book. And in that book she proposes 13 different places where we may be leaking clients, and this is one of them. The idea that we were not entirely sure who the stakeholders might be, we don't know who has to give. Specific explicit approval. Perhaps it's a family member or peer group, maybe it's a boss. And so we've got to ask ourselves, how do we find out about who these people are and what processes we can put in place, in order to prevent the nephew having the final say? It's a really interesting episode and I hope you enjoy it.
David Waumsley: [00:03:43] This discussion were called in that my nephew makes websites too, and it's another discussion where we are using the watertight marketing book by Thomas to give us our topics for discussion, and she talks about 13 what she calls leaks, where businesses can lose potential customers or clients in our case. So we're working up an imaginary. Funnel. We're starting at the lowest point at the bottom where our customers, our existing customers are, and working to the widest point at the top where there are people who don't know of us. So I'm just going to recap very quickly on what we've covered so far. So you know where we are in the funnel. We started with forgotten customers. So these are the people that we've got. We may have neglected them and they may not know about things that we do. We talked about poor onboarding. Well, we think we've got a client on board, but they're not actually fully committed to us yet. No emotional connection was the next one. Not having a brand identity that customers can relate to. No gateway, which was having no trial or a product ladder. Something where you can lead people up to the big offering. And now we're moving onto what she calls critical approval. So this is Nathan. I've been able to good chat about this. This is basically that. Most people who are going to buy something, when they're getting analytical, they will start to talk to their peers, their families, or even their bosses before making a decision.
Nathan Wrigley: [00:05:07] So yeah, it's interesting cause I think, I think the title sums it up absolutely perfectly because I bet that all of us have been there. I mean, I'm willing to bet money, actual money that we've all been in the situation where. A client has come back to us and said something. So in, you know, remarkably interesting about a family member or somebody, you know, my nephews, my nephew's Guinea pig, thought that the, the website ought to be more. Green or something, you know, just something bizarre and we've had to sort of swallow it a little bit. And although that will there, although that will represent a small amount of what we talk about today, it is actually way more than that, isn't it? There's quite a lot of depth in this. And, we had to think quite hard about what this actually meant because I think most of this subject is off limits to us. And what I mean by that is. we just simply don't know. We don't know who our clients are talking to. We don't know when they put the phone down on us or leave the office after our meeting where they go, we don't know who they're talking to. We don't know whose confidence they've got who, whose ear is bender, sorry. You know, who's bending their ear and so on. So little bit of guesswork, but we tried to work out some of this stuff. And I think, I think there's quite a lot to say.
David Waumsley: [00:06:23] Yeah, there is. But the reason I asked you much in the way of practical advice, I don't think the book unless I missed it, of course, cause I did skim over this bit trying to remember what was in the book. But I don't think there was much that it offered us other than to be aware that we're not always just dealing with the person we think we are, or the the ideal client isn't the only person that we, we have to think about. Yeah, everybody's got a little network and a, we might need to provide some information for those people anticipated that they're about all we might need to try and make some kind of connection with those people. I think particularly in business.
Nathan Wrigley: [00:06:56] Yeah. I mean, essentially in an ideal world, the whole process of pitching a website and winning the contract and you know, the proposal being accepted would be just completely linear and under your control and every step of the way you would. Push something toward the client and they would respond with a nod of the head, and that's kind of how we want it to go. But of course, human beings just don't behave like that. How many times have even your closest friends or members of your family done something which you truly didn't expect them to do? You know, the us completely out of character. I really didn't see that coming. And so it's a little, it feels a little bit like that. You know, they're going to go off and talk to people and then come back in ways that you simply didn't expect. And usually. In the past, I've always put that down to decisions that they had made for themselves. But this topic today and the discussion that David and I have had prior to recording, it suddenly opened up a whole can of worms in that. Now I'm going to be starting to think, okay. Where did that come from? If I felt that it was all going in this linear way, I felt that we were all on the same page. Now you've suddenly raised this quirky objection or this quirky thought. Where did that come from and if it wasn't you, how do I find out where it comes from to try and STEM the flow, if you like?
David Waumsley: [00:08:12] Yeah. Do you want to tell people about if you can, about your decision making process when you have to buy things that relate to the family?
Nathan Wrigley: [00:08:19] Yeah, so it turns out, and this was only upon being a little bit introspective just a few hours ago, I feel, and I wonder how many people identify with this. I feel. Largely in capable of making decisions about family purchases. So let's say for example, at the minute I am looking to get a bicycle for my son. And, I was out the other day with my son and I could have bought a bicycle for my son. We tried various bikes and he decided this was the best one and it was within the budget that we'd allocated for it. And so on. But I couldn't buy it. And the reason I couldn't buy it was because I felt on some level that I needed approval. in this case from my wife, and it turns out I think a lot of my decisions, and again, we're in the sphere of the family spending here. A lot of my decisions. like that I feel on some level that I must communicate what I'm about to do to my wife to get approval. And I think that's probably tied up with the fact that we, we, you know, we, we coalesce our finances and we share all of that together. But I, I am very much beholden. To to that I, I seem to be incapable of stepping outside of it. Now, if it's in my business and I'm thinking about buying, for example, a piece of software or a new computer that's entirely different, I'll, I'll, I'll completely feel autonomous to do that. But if it's family money. I, I, yes, I have to do that double check and make sure that everything's okay. And, and this, this happens time and again, so it's not, it's not something which is, you know, which is unique at this is just the way I behave. And I don't know why. I'm gonna just blame my mother. That's, that's . Yeah. But do you feel any of that, are there any areas of your life where clearly you're thinking about other people and what they may think about your decision to buy or sell or whatever it might be?
David Waumsley: [00:10:13] Yeah, definitely. what does almost the same as yours, but it actually comes from the software for me and I have to make the decision through my wife. I do, you know, you just said mother, and I think that is it. My mother in my household used to keep all the finances. You know, dad just does his work and give some money to her and she did all the rest. So I'm sure that's there. I still got this, it's really sexist. I guess I've got this thing and my wife has taken that role of doing the budgeting. Yeah. Just the counselors and everything. So I, yeah, I feel it has to be passed through her, but you know what? People have got this right. You know, so when it comes to AppSumo, the, the cashback that you could get straight away easily, the, the 60 days, you know, to change your mind and get your money back really works on the lifetime deals that they offer. Really work with her. So, you know, some people have. Maybe, maybe they fought about the fact that these decisions are wider because they certainly make, it's a lot easier for me to get, an AppSumo deal through my wife. You know, she goes, is it lifetime? You know, can you get your money back? What do you use it now? That's the usual one. Well, that's the one where I stumbled, but I have to go to her.
Nathan Wrigley: [00:11:16] Yeah. But it's interesting though, because it speaks. Of the fact that I would imagine there's some sort of psychology going on there, which is spread throughout the human population whereby, you know, even if you believe that the person that you're speaking to has complete autonomy and obviously. You would like that to be the case? If it's a, let's say for example, a sole trader who set up setting up a business and they would, would like to have a website, you're kind of going to be thinking, well, okay, it's just them. They're talking to me. These are the only decision makers. I've got them all in the room. If you like. But they may well be going home and talking to their, you know, their, their partners, their wider family and well, the, the entire network of people that they communicate with, you just don't know where this stuff is leaking out and whose input is coming in. And so. This thing about my nephew makes websites too, I think. I think there's a lot of truth in this, you know, take it home. My 18 year old nephew who does lots of gaming, he's on the computer all the time. He knows how to build a computer ability himself. He's got used very capable. He understands the internet and so on and so forth. he, he thinks this, and so we, we must take my, my nephews decisions on board and. There is probably an element of, you know, like being, being, allied into like tribes going on here, you know, in that sense, if it's my nephew, well, he's part of my family and people, you know, blood is thicker than water. That might be quite important for that person, but it gets much wider as well. And by that, I mean, instead of it being the family, it could be. The company or the board of directors or the particular team that you're involved in. All of these people may be having an input in ways that we simply have no oversight of.
David Waumsley: [00:13:00] Yeah, yeah, absolutely. We've got to try. I mean, the, the thing is to try and find the person with the power to veto anything, can we, and I don't think that's going to be, obviously we're going to have different types of clients and even I have different types of clients, so, you know. The last one I found out about only because I asked was actually the nephews, but the nephew's girlfriend over a family lunch had persuaded my client that they needed a new look for their site and a new logo. So all I. Heard initially was the client saying that they needed, they're going to get somebody to do a new design, and I was a bit putout why, but I hadn't done the original design and I'm now the person looking after it and doing tweaks for them. My colleague did the original design and I agree it doesn't need a new one, but I was just surprised she didn't ask me first. I was, I'd been doing tweaks, but it was only because I asked her and I think it's the first time I've actually done that. I actually found out the whole dynamic of. Their family lunch chat and what the husband wanted from the site and why, you know, the, the nephew's girlfriend was coming into the equation. Really fascinating.
Nathan Wrigley: [00:14:06] Let's, let's sort of hone in on that, cause that's interesting. So let's say for example, that, you suspect that there might be other people at play or even. Or, or even let's maybe take the position that from now on, we all ought to suspect that there are other people who, who've got there. you know, they've got their irons in the fire. How, how did you glean that information? Cause I, I literally can't imagine the conversation that would have resulted in the client saying, Oh, yes, you know, the, the nephew, the nephew's girlfriend or whatever, ended up saying that we needed a logo. So that's now very important.
David Waumsley: [00:14:43] Well, I think it's because, you know, I've done a lot of work. I've made a lot of little videos for her explaining how to do things on the site and various videos that I felt I could ask the question more and I don't know how I would do this with a new client. And that's really what we're looking at, isn't it? Losing those. So I don't know. I'm going to have to think about this a lot more about how we can ask.
Nathan Wrigley: [00:15:01] So you've just, you've got a very chatty relationship with this person. You know, you felt, you felt able to just sort of have a, have a wide ranging conversation of which you felt able to drop in that, that question, where's this come from? Okay, well that's fair enough.
David Waumsley: [00:15:17] You know, when you know somebody, you can kind of go, Oh yeah. Well, why not me?
Nathan Wrigley: [00:15:19] Yeah, well, that's the best. That's the best of all worlds, isn't it? but I suppose so one of the things that, that I try to do, when I have a new client is in order to, and I hadn't really realized it was for this reason. For me, it was more about decisions getting drawn out in time and, you know, a decision that I needed to be made quickly ended up being. a board meeting discussion that went on for three weeks, and my agenda was shot to pieces because I have no idea what the company's agenda is in the background. So my approach is to, is to request that all the people who. Are going to be making any kind of decision they be in the, in the meetings that we have. So let's say that we're having a new website for a while, I don't know, an automobile manufacturer or something, and there are seven people in this company and three of them, it's been decided that these three people could have any kind of impact in the, in the website. Well, I would like all of those three people in the meetings. And some of the advice that I've been given has been to call off the meeting. If you show up and the three people are not there, if only two of them are there, you just simply turn around and say, ah, that's a shame. nevermind. We'll just rebook it because of the way that that can come back and bite you. Add onto that the fact that I ask that. there is only one person after that meeting is finished, who, who has the kind of the ability to, to communicate with me. And so all of the, their decisions go on in the background. And I'm only dealing with one point of contact. But of course that it turns out, introduces in a way this problem because I'm only communicating with the one person. But I know there's three of them, but I've got no way all of a sudden of communicating with those other two. So in some ways it's a win in other ways. Maybe it's not so good cause I've lost the, the, the contact with the two other people who might be interested.
David Waumsley: [00:17:21] Yeah, that's fascinating. You know, I'm just thinking back really to the first big job I did and there was no way of me being able to insist and get the work because, they were Chinese company and ultimately everything had to go to the president who was in China who I don't think spoke very good English. I was dealing with this sales people who were in Canada who also Chinese. Yeah, I don't think I would have ever got everybody to the table. So this just happened again with an a, another company that I deal with do do furniture, and I'm done a lot of jobs for them, but in each. Time I've dealt with this staff member who's come to us, you know, we do the websites cause I don't think the board of directors are that interested until it gets started. So I have to do a deal with that person really effectively knowing that these folks will intervene somewhere at the end. I've talked about this before. They were the ones where they were the ones where I think we'd finish the site and the directors came in and said, Hmm, could it be in reverse? Like everything that's white now could be black. You know?
Nathan Wrigley: [00:18:22] Oh, Oh, yeah, yeah, yes. Yeah. Oh,
David Waumsley: [00:18:26] I mean, they, you know, when they realized what that meant, they changed their minds. But the, you know, I think this is something that we, we'd be taught really, I guess by most people to guard against, but sometimes just to get the work and just to get something moving. You kind of. Have to swallow it and just be aware of what's going to happen.
Nathan Wrigley: [00:18:42] Yeah, the what I was just saying, it was kind of like an ideal representation of what I would try and do. And, and as I said, it was advice. It's advice that I've been given and I try, I have tried to do it and I think largely it's been beneficial, but also I've completely failed to do it. And a good example would be, I was on the phone, I don't know, two or three weeks ago to a client of mine, and they suddenly wanted to. Put me in touch with somebody who's just been hired in the company and, and I just let that one go cause it just felt, well boy, what? I can't really turn that one down. It's completely reasonable. It sounds like they're going to suddenly be part of it also. Yeah, it doesn't work out all the time. I think you've got to be flexible, but I, like I say, I reiterate, I think. The idea behind that was to just stop things getting stalled at the, at the stage of proposals and getting decisions made and, and just being insulated from all the sort of company in fighting. Cause at least if you've got one point of contact, you're, you are, at least one person removed from all that fighting and you just deal with the finish the, the end of the fights and the outcomes are, and the victory, you know, whatever, whatever decision one.
David Waumsley: [00:19:52] Yeah, exactly. Oh man. I did the same as that. I want one person to deal with, at least to make the deal with. Luckily, because I'm charging small amounts for like build days, which effectively over the week, most of the, when it's bigger companies, the staff usually have, a car than they're allowed to spend that money, you know, with their own decisions, without going to the directors so they can start the website, you know, and my deal can be entirely with them. So that's kind of working, but it's not going to work if you've got bigger budgets than what I've got,
Nathan Wrigley: [00:20:23] so, yeah. Well, yeah. So how do you, how so w just a minute ago, we talked about the fact that you were able to drop this into a conversation because you, you, you're very familiar with them, friendly and the, the banter sort of came naturally, but how do you, how do you introduce this as a subject? And I'm thinking more what kind of, what. Is there a legitimate way of saying this, even before there's a problem, even before the nephew has put his, you know, put his or in the water and started to shake it about a bit. Is there a way of kind of saying, look, I think it's quite likely humans being humans that you're going to go off and you're going to get all sorts of differing opinions where we're really open to that, but we need to know. We need to know all about it. I mean, is that even sensible or, or are you, or are we just stirring up something which is just better left unsaid?
David Waumsley: [00:21:19] I dunno. It's making me think, and I think that's right because I've, I've been going down my own agenda the same, the same one, like trying to nail down this one person than the deal with them, you know, to just, and I actually think I should be asking those questions early on. Is there anybody else who's going to show an interest in this or needs to be aware of stuff or needs? Any questions answering. You know, do you need D? It's quite sensible, I guess with the P this is happening with people that I'm getting used to now. So the, the furniture company I do some work for, they're bringing me in a lot more. So the next job I'm doing, I will be, there'll be paying me some time to talk to one of the directors for the first time ever. So it's changing as the relationship's going, but maybe I would have made it easier for, they've asked those questions early on. You know, can I answer any of the questions that anybody else might have?
Nathan Wrigley: [00:22:06] Yeah, I like the way you've put that cause I was just thinking, how would you word that? Let's say for example, in an online form where you, you know, you might write something along the lines of are there going to be any other decision makers or, you know, are there any other significant people in your life? And, and suddenly it's, it starts to feel really intrusive and a bit weird. Like, what do you want to know about that? But I like the way you, you just said that. can I talk to anybody else who needs to be involved? And maybe, maybe I need to think about this. I've got a client at the moment too, and it's a, it's a single, it's a, I don't know what the, the name for the, the kind of organization that they've got, but it's a single person. business. I think they might not be a sole trader anyway. They've got this website and, and I'm only dealing with them and that, that they're literally in charge of the business. But ever since we started this conversation an hour ago, I'm suddenly thinking some of the things that they say and wondering, I'm wondering where it goes after we hang up the phone. You know, do they, do they go to their. did they go to their house and start chatting to all the people in their house? Are they sharing it in the coffee shop? What do you think about this? And are all the friends and neighbors and relations and pets getting involved? And suddenly all I'm getting back is this just the feedback from an amalgamation of people and I suppose. At that point, you've just got to draw a line, haven't you? And you just sort of say, look, this is why I do. This is my profession. We've got, we've got to stop this endless cycle of changes because of what everybody else thinks. Just just accept it. You know? You don't pick up a magazine and think, Oh, I wish that logo was blue. That's a really terrible, you just read it. You just get on with it because it's been done by a professional. It actually looks good.
David Waumsley: [00:23:48] Yeah. You know, I mean, I'm moving anyway to I think a kind of a business which is much open to that. I'm hoping rarely because of the fact that I'm trying to get people to use their page builders and feel like they're involved, like it's their website and I'm their support that I'm hoping some of this will solve the nephew issue a little bit because. This is a bit of guesswork, but my guess is that a lot of the input that people will get will be about their egos, about their need to tell people. They know that they know stuff as well. And then they may not know a lot, but if, if they didn't feel like they were excluded on, they could, if they wanted to come in and, you know, change some of the colors on their, you know, their auntie's website or whatever. I might not be at odds with them. And I, and I consensus as well with the job that I'm doing with another client where I actually think, you know, the person who's helped me get the work again, get the new redesign. I think ideally, cause she's done a bit with websites before but doesn't know that much. In an ideal world, she wouldn't have me in at all. She'd be doing the redesign herself, but needs me for the technical stuff. And I think, yeah. Because of the fact that I'm not a block. I'm not saying you must do it my way, you know, it's kind of working quite well. and yeah, know, so, and I think other people obviously getting involved slightly in the, in the whole design and everything. So I think this openness is helping me a lot to avoid this. Oh, well, I'm hoping it is.
Nathan Wrigley: [00:25:14] Some of the things that you suggested I thought were, you know, really intelligent ways of getting ahead of all this, you know, if you possibly can. One of the things that you recommended was things like your frequently asked questions page. You could easily deal with it there. I mean, I don't know how many people actually read that stuff prior to doing it. I, I'm also suggesting maybe. I'm putting that stuff actually in the contract, but I don't know how I would word that. And maybe more in the proposal than the contract. I don't think I could lock that down. How would you cope? Would you possibly prevent people talking to other people? And then you mentioned things like roadmaps as well. yeah, I think they're all good at good ideas in the terms and conditions and so on. yeah, just good ways of getting ahead of it. Introducing them to the fact that you, you really want to know. who's involved, but there's the question, do you want to know specifically that it's the nephew or do you just want to know that somebody else said,
David Waumsley: [00:26:10] yeah, I guess, yeah, it doesn't matter who. I just be nice to know where their information is coming from, what, just to be able to transfer the questions is, the thing is now I want, you know, what are the frequently asked questions is a way of dealing with it, but I sometimes wonder. I don't know. This is my guest, so I get the feeling, I put lots of stuff on websites, on hidden pages that are supposed to be for information. I just think when the links in an email these days, people just don't go and click on it. I think I've got more chance of putting the frequently asked questions, like you say, within the email itself.
Nathan Wrigley: [00:26:42] Interesting. Okay. So yeah,
David Waumsley: [00:26:44] I don't know. It might make it a very long email, but I just, I don't know. I'd love to hear other people's view on this. Just a suspicion I have that people never go to my links.
Nathan Wrigley: [00:26:55] Well, I might just say the bottom line though, is that this is, this is going to happen. I can't imagine any website that's been built in splendid isolation, but the, what Brian Thomas here is trying to illustrate is that it does happen and you've got to have your best endeavor. To stop it happening now. You know, we've sort of focused largely on like family, family things here, like the nephew and, and, you know, and so on and so forth. but presumably though, there's a whole other tranche of this that's going on with, let's say businesses and colleagues and boards of directors and things like that. And, and I don't know how you would stop that. And I really also don't really think that you can prevent it happening.
David Waumsley: [00:27:40] No. I guess if that's your client and you are dealing with big budgets and boards and that, I suppose you probably could if you thought about this workout, what the different bodies might need. You know, hedge HR might need something different. The board of directors might need something different to the person who you've got to be essentially, working on the site with who might need to run it after you've finished. So, you know, perhaps it is possible then being armed with this thought, you know, to, to, to bring together some very short, you know, frequently asked questions that this is just for these people and this is just for them. Yeah. And just, you know, so if they, like you mentioned before, when we were talking before the record button went on, you said about, you know, some people may have a view about WordPress itself. You know, they may have heard that it's bad for security.
Nathan Wrigley: [00:28:32] Well, yeah, you just can't, you can't really predict, can you? You've no idea on what levels. So in your cases, the button going red, but it could be, it could be other things like, you know, Oh my, my uncle had a terrible experience with WordPress. His site got hacked and that could be enough. That's the end of the conversation. You just never hear from them again. So I was kinda wondering if the best deployment of this is. is that moment where the client does go quiet. So you've said you've been to their office, you've done your discovery session or what have you, and you have put forward to the proposal and everything seems to be going on quite well. And then we've all had this happen. You submit the proposal and then you literally never hear back from them again. And you've probably got all sorts of little sequences worked out so that you can try and get them back on board. But I'm wondering if at this point from now on. This needs to be a, a question that you explicitly ask. You know, I'm just wondering, just, just reaching out, you know, we sent the proposal a couple of weeks ago and we haven't heard back from you. I'm just wondering if anybody has offered up any objections that you thought might be serious roadblocks or impediments to moving forwards. And if so, you know, we're totally open to chatting them through, but please note that, any objections that you've got, we can, we can probably iron out. Oh, that's brilliant.
David Waumsley: [00:29:51] You know, I really like that.
Nathan Wrigley: [00:29:52] Yeah, yeah, yeah.
David Waumsley: [00:29:54] No, no, no. We should, that's a really good way of doing it. When you throw something again and just throw it just as a standard thing, just say, are there any, you know, objections come in through all the other, and also, you know, you could send it off with, you know, if we're not talking to. People who need to know something, is there any kind of information that we need to cover for them or send them anything as well, so, yeah. Yeah, I think they tie those two things. Could do quite a lot, couldn't they? I think,
Nathan Wrigley: [00:30:18] well, I'm wondering at that point, at least it's, it's fairly benign question because. You, you've already reached a stalemate. And if you don't do anything, you know, let's say for example, you've made it pretty clear that you need to respond to the proposal in 10 days and 14 days of lapse. They've clearly stopped working with you, or either that or they've, you know, absentmindedly forgotten to get back in touch with you. So at that point it's touch and go. Maybe they'll just bend the email anyway, but I don't see the harm. I don't think anybody could be offended in being in being asked, look. Is, is there any situation or piece of information which you've come across, which made you view the proposal differently? than how I thought we'd, we'd got it all ironed out. And it may be exactly that. You know, my nephew said that WordPress is insecure, or my husband said that it's too expensive, or, you know, my board of directors said. Well, we haven't got the money right now. I thought we did have, but we'll come back to this in six months and all of that could be importantly, it might, it might be the death of the project, but you might be able to turn it around at that point.
David Waumsley: [00:31:28] Yeah. And learned something about, you know, the type of clients we've got and what their concerns are,
Nathan Wrigley: [00:31:33] and learn something about why it's gone. Right. And in the case of the, you know, the, the, the dad or whatever, saying that WordPress is insecure, you've got an answer in the case of, we haven't got any money at the moment. Well, okay, you've got an answer, but you may also find out, all right, six months from now, let's go. Go for this and do it all over again and see where we're at. if you get a reply, chances are, I think you've, you've probably got something in your arsenal to, to, to come back with. You know, you've put the proposal together. You've already spent some time on it. It's worth salvaging. I would say at this point.
David Waumsley: [00:32:06] I used to, I used to worry about WordPress being a bit of a block for bigger companies. Not that go for them. They often, but that used to be the impression that a lot of people wouldn't do them. So, you know, my, my former employees, they wouldn't go for WordPress, you know, a government, they wouldn't see, an open source. Project or something that would have all the guarantees they would need. So I always had that feeling interesting. I was not, when this goes out live, I don't think there'll be some time on, but I've just come back from a little tour with some people from the UK, which hadn't spent time with for a long, long time. And they're all, they're all the financial services. They're all quite. High flyers and I asked them the question, you know, did, did any of them have any websites? And they had all, they'd been involved in someone. I've just asked them, did they know of WordPress in there? And just the majority said, of course it's the platform, isn't it? And I thought, wow. Yeah, it was interesting because, I mean, I don't know anything about the projects they were involved in, but I'm just guessing most of them, you know, where, you know, fairly big. Clients and stuff, you know?
Nathan Wrigley: [00:33:10] You told me before we recorded about like an opposite conversation where somebody, you remember, you told me a story about somebody who put the brakes on because you were going to use templates or something such a, such a quirky thing to have put the brakes on about. So easy to dismiss, but unless you'd have known that, yeah, the project just never would have happened.
David Waumsley: [00:33:33] Yeah, I probably mentioned this before, but yes, it was because again, it was, vets, I think I'm giving too much detail away, but yeah, there, the person who owned the practice, was separate to that. They left it to their staff to sort out their website. So that was just one of the questions. It was nearly thrown. If we'd have answered wrongly, they asked us whether we were using templates and it was only later that we discovered it was because the person wanted to practice. Got the information that templates were insecure. So does this thing, yes, we are to save you some money, we're going to do that. We'd probably lost the job and not knowing why.
Nathan Wrigley: [00:34:03] Yeah. And so what they've probably, what they got from that was that, you know, if you go out and buy some, I don't know, three year old on updated, then probably talking about a theme, I'm guessing. yeah. You know, theme forest theme. Well, yeah. Okay. That's. There's a, there's a bit of truth in that, but here's the counter argument. You know, templates are just a quick way of getting us started to save time there. There's the template in the end will be exactly as if we built it from scratch. We're just saving you a bit of time cause you don't need bespoke and interesting and you can, you can put that one to bed really quickly. But if you didn't know, that would have been. That that project shut down and you wouldn't have got the work. That's interesting. I'll tell you a story about something which happened to me, which illustrates a different side of it altogether. So, so far we've talked about, let's say things like family members and other people within the company. that your, that you're bidding, toward, well, I think this could go further. It could also be that, other professionals or rivals of yours could be having their say as well. And what I mean by that is. Every time I get a proposal, not every time, but most of the time it's made pretty clear that we're, it's been a, it's a requirement of our company that we get at least three proposals and we'll put those together on the table and we'll check it out a little while ago. Don't know how long ago. and I, I won't say what business or who or anything like that. I got all the rival proposals back in my inbox. They'd actually put them out on the table, compared them like for like a bit like you would do with like a pricing table on a website and they'd highlight it. And I presume that the other people who were bidding for this website got the same stuff they'd highlighted in red. Felt tip. The bits that my proposal was missing compared to the other ones. And then they'd scan those in a photocopier, attached them to the email, and basically sent them back. And I think the intention was. right. You know, the pricing is all fine, but you've got to include all these other things that these people have said. And I just think they were just trying to sweep us all along. And I hope that one of us would kind of cave in now. And in my case, I, I, I never did that. I can't remember. Yeah. I probably lost that one, as opposed to me thinking, that's weird. I'm not working with them. but it did illustrate to me the fact that, well, it's also your rivals, you know? Let's imagine that part of your rivals process is to bad mouth WordPress. That could really work. Yeah. Yeah. You know, if a product doesn't a web development company. Comeback and they see that my proposal or my, you know, contract or whatever mentions WordPress. I can't remember how often it does, but you know, a nice quick win for them might be, goodness me. Did you see about this hack in the news? WordPress? It's not to be trusted and immediately it's a very powerful, persuasive argument. No, don't trust WordPress. We've got this platform, our bespoke, unique, custom made CMS platform. Just the job for you. Or it could be anything, couldn't it? You know, you don't need. This thing, you don't need that thing, and I might not have included something and they now think that I'm deficient because this other company have it. It was really interesting getting, I've never had that before. Hope I don't get it again because it felt really weird.
David Waumsley: [00:37:28] Yeah. That especially the, the rating below C minus could do better.
Nathan Wrigley: [00:37:34] That's what it felt like. Yeah. Yeah. Interesting. So anyway, the point of that was. It might be that other professionals are bending, the ears of people. It's not just the nephew. It might be people who really do have skin in the game. they're not, they're not just doing it for familial reasons. They're doing it. excuse me, I'll need a drink of water because they want to win the work. And it's easy to, to, to win by putting your stuff down.
David Waumsley: [00:38:00] Yeah. And there's always the, the, the people in the company anyway who have a say, a marketing role. There's always somebody who's got some kind of marketing role, even if it's just the solo person doing it themselves. So you're always with our digital marketing, which is kind of the opposite to everything. Traditional models of marketing have said, so we're already odds with somebody, aren't we? When we come in. I think
Nathan Wrigley: [00:38:24] the takeaways for this for me are, is I'm going to keep asking to speak to one person. I'm going to keep asking to have everybody in the room, but I'm going to, I'm going to introduce the idea that if the proposal goes quiet. I'm going to introduce the idea of explicitly asking, well, was there a reason for that? That's beyond my control. I don't know how I'm going to word that, but I think I'm going to basically say, look, has anybody come up with an objection that I, that you haven't told me about, please let me know and we can definitely talk this through and look at it again.
David Waumsley: [00:38:59] Yeah. Yeah, that's the takeaway for me as well. I was just thinking as well, we do a lot of videos for people and I can see the usefulness of that as well. I mean, they can do the same with emails, but sometimes you can convey much more to more people. I have noticed a few times, because we were talking about this earlier, I use, cloud app and it lets you know when somebody's seen a video, but also lets you know when it's seen by other people as well. So,
Nathan Wrigley: [00:39:23] yeah.
David Waumsley: [00:39:23] I have been surprised sometimes when I put something out to one person to see how many other people have seen it, and I just wouldn't be aware. So it just gives you some indication that you know more people in new expected have some skin in the game.
Nathan Wrigley: [00:39:36] Oh, I didn't know it did that. I've only ever notice the notifications that the video has been viewed for the first time. So you can also. Received, what is it like a notification, which it just works it out by IP address or something? It figures out that, Oh yeah, it's a different person. That's ingenious. I get this. I get these kinds of notifications with my billing software, so, and proposals and things like that. So I can see that somebody has opened the proposal. And that's always fascinating to me. When people pay, you know, the, the, the, it's gone completely quiet. Absolutely written it or written them off as a, as a client and the, and then the proposal suddenly gets opened again. Sometimes I randomly hear from them and, but most of the time I don't, I don't know why they're opening it. Maybe it was a glitch and they opened the wrong email, but, Yeah, fascinating that this can happen down the road, and I've done that to people. I'm sort of in the process of doing a piece of work with another developer, and I didn't communicate with him in the timeframe that he clearly expected, and it was always in my head that I was going to use him. From the moment I met this developer, it was always in my head that, yep, that's the guy I'm going to. Do it with him. But then the summer holidays came along and I took some time out with my kids, and then I wrote to him after the summer holiday, so that probably about seven weeks had gone by and said, okay, let's get on with it. And his immediate reaction was, well, I didn't expect that I D I just thought that you'd, you know, I'd never hear from you again. And I was literally thinking, what? That that was never, no, no, never. So different expectations.
David Waumsley: [00:41:09] Absolutely. This is a totally different topic. This isn't it, but I've really noticed that so much recently, how long some clients take to make some decisions or watch a video that I've made, but they do eventually, so I've got a lot more patient over the years. Yeah,
Nathan Wrigley: [00:41:23] yeah, you're right. You're right though. A different topic. With that in mind, should we, or should we knock this one on the head?
David Waumsley: [00:41:30] I think so. Okay.
Nathan Wrigley: [00:41:32] Yeah. See you later. Bye. Well, I hope you found that interesting. May be, dare I say it even useful. Who knows what was interesting to chatting with David about the subjects? Why not go and pick yourself up a copy of Briony Thomas Thomas's watertight marketing. There's links in the show notes and also do bear in mind. This is a series, so it may be apropos to go and listen to them in the correct order. Again, the links to the previous episodes are in the show notes. The WP Builds podcast was brought to you today by WP and up. Wanting. Four of us will be directly affected by mental health related illness. WP and ops supports and promotes positive mental health within the WordPress community. This is achieved through mentorship, events, training, and counseling. Please help enable WP and up by visiting WP and up.org forward slash give. Okay. We will of course be back next week. It won't be a chat with David and I because we alternate an interview with a WordPress guest with a discussion. So every couple of weeks it's David and I, every other couple of weeks, it's a an interview with a guest, so join us for that. So that'll be next Thursday. Also, please come back on Monday. Listen to the weekly WordPress news that I put out, and WP Builds.com forward slash. Live. If you'd like to join us live in our Facebook group or on YouTube. And join the discussion about the weekly WordPress news. It's always fun. Every week I fade out these episodes with some awful cheesy music, and this week is no exception. Prepare your ears. They are about to be ruined. Bye bye for now.

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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!

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