To bring to a close our series of blogs on what to do to try and save that faltering project I thought I’d cover some of the stupidest ways you can put a project in trouble yourself.
It’s unbelievable how some people go quiet after they’ve got the job. They put all the effort in during the pitching process and then suddenly disappear. Prompt responses during a project are key and this is one of the major reasons a project can be derailed before it’s even begun. Often before actual payment has been agreed you’ll have a final question. This is usually something small and straight forward but a slow reply here can end your chances before you begin. Afterall the prospect still has all the other potential suppliers they can go back to. A small delay might not seem like a big idea but can be a real killer.
It’s key to say what you need in order to get a project started in your pitch. it’s all so annoying when a potential client says ‘okay sends me information’ only to be met with a shopping list of questions and scenarios and ways to pay. Keep it simple and straight forward!
Not Doing It
This is pretty obvious but not delivering actually what you said, when you said, how you said is a sure fire route to annoy your client. The often used example is McDonalds. Do McDonalds produce the best burgers you’ve ever eaten? I certainly hope not. They aren’t the best but you can go to any of their locations and get the same burger, at the same price and you’d struggle to tell the difference between one location and the other. Consistency is an important factor. Better to under promise and over deliver. Oh and along the same theme, a personal hatred of mine is when people have great examples on their site but their work nowhere near matches up to it.
One of the main benefits of working with freelancers/small businesses is that usually you get a much better service from them. Sometimes though the professional boundary can be pushed. A few updates are friendly and nice but one freelancer I encountered would regularly tell us “I’m at the barbers” and “I’m just going for a shower” this came across as increasingly unprofessional, and also made it seem as if they didn’t care about what was an important project for us. Even if you have to fake ‘being in a meeting’ it can be better than saying you’ll get round to something once you’ve walked the dog.
As a freelancer or third party you’ll quite often be privy to insider information about a company, how it works etc. It’s also quite likely that opportunities or clients might overlap. It’s important you don’t accidently spill the beans about a competitor’s inner workings. If this ever gets back to them, you’re the first person they will suspect and this will represent a serious breach of trust.
This is a major one for me. People who ask for their money early. If you’ve agreed payment terms with someone then you shouldn’t try and get them to give you the money early. This is especially annoying when people do it for personal reasons “oh could you just pay me early so I can have some spending money on holiday.” I always pay people when I say I will and it really pisses me off when people try and squirm for their money.
Every client has their pet hates but these are some simple things you can do to put your project in danger.