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Reply by KnickKnack

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Posted on Avoiding tyre kickers

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KnickKnack

1090 posts in 3624 days


#1 posted 01-16-2014 12:15 PM

Once upon a time, a long time ago, my company wrote and sold shrink-wrapped software.
Of course, people were always contacting us to write something bespoke for them – and, in theory, we were happy to do that.

The policy we developed to avoid “the talkers”, was to require that they do things before we’d enter into much of a conversation, and certainly before we’d arrange any visits. In our case, the very first thing we’d require was that they write some form of specification document. In about 90% of cases people were happy to talk on the phone but, when asked to commit finger to keyboard, we never heard from them again. The 10% remaining would have a document returned by us, with some initial drafts, possibly some form of price, requiring a further response from them. Down to about 5% now, those people usually ended up ordering, paying, and being very happy.

Perhaps a custom woodworking version might include them sending you pictures of pieces, the style of which they like. Perhaps a rough drawing of the piece they have in mind, and where the piece is destined to go. You can probably come up with better ideas – as long as it involves them in doing some actual work beyond just chatter.

”Commissions usually begin with a phone call and a meeting to discuss the requirements and your expectations of the piece.”
This doesn’t, in my view, make it hard enough for them – you’re going to spend a bunch of hours on a project that might never happen – they need to spend some too, first, and not over a cup of coffee.

Just an idea based on my experience from another industry.

-- "Do not speak – unless it improves on silence." --- "Following the rules and protecting the regulations is binding oneself without rope."


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