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  • #2276334

    Customer Minefield


    by dd_ ·

    I have a potential client who wants to automate his business. His business is currently run on post-it notes and dry erase marker boards. I have found a product that seems perfect for his needs. The job would give me a new client, a nice profit and future business.

    Anyone reading this would say “wow, point and click, how cool!”.

    Boss Tony wants to go to Florida and have his “helper” Dino run the show. The problem is, neither the owner nor Dino have any more computer experience than say, Pat-At-The-Pump, or an ATM machine.

    I told Tony there would be a huge learning curve and that he and Reggie needed to be familiar with the PC and the software package. I wanted him to learn how to do backups and his comment was “Do I have to?”, when I explained that it was most prudent to do so, he excitedly explained that “I don’t need no backups floating around to bite me in the ***. I don’t want anything that I can’t pop in the shredder” which made me a tad nervous.

    He is like many small business owners I know, they are (or at least they think they are) so busy and important that they can’t sit still for 3 minutes to listen to what they are getting into.

    My prediction is that he and/or Dino will take an hour or two of lessons, enough to be dangerous then want to fly solo, they won’t want to pay for more training, of course. After the second or third call-in to fix up what they have messed up, it will not be a case of “Gee, I think we need more training” but rather a “you sold us a piece of crap that doesn’t do the job” deal.

    I am wondering how others would handle a situation like this, because I am torn, money is nice to have but I really feel like this slicky businessman could be big problems. Right now I am leaning toward bowing out gracefully.


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    • #3313516


      by zlitocook ·

      In reply to Customer Minefield

      Did you have one with them? And what was the wording in it? I had a talk with a customer befor making a contract and after it was signed and starting work for a few months the customer reminded me about what I said in the first talks. I said that the little stuff, clean up and removal of products not needed will cost less. I did not say how much less or time needed. I just wanted to let them know that non tech. stuff would cost less then real tech. support. Well it bit back and I gave up the contract, I have a section in mine that says nonpayment voids contract. Always meet and look over, show your contract and discuss it with them. Tell them that you expect payment in full if the contract is fully compleated.

    • #3322471

      Re: Customer minefield

      by craig herberg ·

      In reply to Customer Minefield


      If you are feeling uneasy now, imagine how you may feel a few months down the road. If you do decide to sign a contract with him, make sure it has a provision for a retainer, and have an attorney help with it.

      Good luck.

      Craig Herberg

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