Let’s open with a disclaimer. If something in this open letter makes you uneasy, is common practice to you, or challenges the way you operate with a business, there is a strong chance this letter is for you. If you realized after reading this, that in fact this could be you, there is still time to change. Oh, and we will write “10 things every client wants to say to business owners” next week. After all, this is a two-sided story.
- You get what you pay for.
When you go to a car dealership, are the first words out of your mouth, “there are others who sell or do it for less?” Exactly. If you purchased a Hyundai, you would ever expect the same performance as if you had purchased a Maserati? There is a dynamic difference between the style, price tag, and performance of those vehicles. The same is true for business services. Our price schedules aren’t fictitious; they are thoughtfully constructed to ensure you get the best results.
- A signed contract isn’t negotiable.
This should be a no brainer. However, it isn’t. When you sign a contract, it absolutely isn’t okay to pick and choose what terms you will comply with. If you fail to pay your light bill, does your power remain on? Nope. If you decide to let your power be terminated, do you still owe the bill? Yes! Do yourself a favor and read the contract. Further, make sure it is a commitment you can keep. Don’t make us the bad guy by forcing our hand.
- Late payments aren’t cute.
The simple reality is that if everyone decided to be late on their payments, businesses couldn’t survive. Ever wonder why late payment penalties are so severe? It is in hope that it will deter you from being late.
- When you change your mind, you just changed the price.
When businesses chart project plans, they are developed to ensure the scope of the project can be fulfilled. That means allocating human, technical, and logistical resources. When you change direction, it doesn’t just affect your project. Often, businesses must reallocate time and resources—and the reality is time is money.
- You hired us to be the expert, not you, your neighbor, or even your “bff.”
When you hire an expert, leave it to the expert. It doesn’t mean we don’t want to hear feedback and commentary that can help enhance the project. In fact, we love your feedback. What we don’t like is you telling us how to do our job. There is a high chance that this isn’t our first rodeo. Let us do the driving.
- If you could have done it, you would have done it.
It’s great to hear that you could have created the project, done the work, found the talent, and so on. There remains only one question: why haven’t you done it? Exactly.
- A lack of responsiveness WILL affect your timeline.
Let me tell you a secret. When we aren’t working on your project, we are working on another client’s project. It is safe to assume that after the 10th email requesting information and documents, we are waiting on you. No, we aren’t working on your project. Yes, the lost time gets added to the end of the timeline. Value our time and we will value yours.
- Don’t ask for a proposal if you aren’t serious
We are excited that you are interested in our work. However, don’t ask us for a proposal when you really just want to know our price range or use us as a negotiating tool. Proposals take time, and as we discovered in #4—time is money.
- Have respect for the craft.
When you hire a lawyer, unless you are one, there is high chance you don’t understand the practice of law. Hence, the high value you are willing to pay. You would never walk in a doctor’s office and say, “I don’t think a hysterectomy is that difficult.” So, why would you do that to any other professional? Have concerns? Get a second opinion, but make sure it is of the same caliber.
- The customer experience surveys actually are important.
Contrary to popular belief, we don’t get joy out of flooding your inbox. We do get joy out of making sure you have the best client experience possible. When you don’t fill out surveys, an issue that you’ve had is often passed on to the next customer. It’s a vicious cycle, and you can end it—just fill out the survey!