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Time wasters

Discussion in 'Web Development' started by findtim, Feb 4, 2014.

  1. findtim

    findtim Membership: VIP

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    auDA Member:
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    we come onto DNT as a decision to read and gain knowledge but there is the other side of dev and thats the clients that phone you and ask you BS questions, drain you for knowledge with no intention to pay and the OFTEN then go use someone else !!!

    one of the best things i have heard is this statement " are you looking to become a client or looking to pay for my advice" ?

    i struggle with this problem DAILY and its now out of hand for me, i'd LOVE to know an opening line that others use to basically STOP it straight off.

    i actually sacked a client last week, i was just OVERRRRRR the brain drain and i told her " ok, here's what we are going to do.... you go onto google and search web hosting byron bay and ring some of them and then give my nuber to them and i will give them all the passwords they need"

    she replied " oh no i want to stay with you" and i said said " ahhh, naaahhh, this is over, its not working for me "

    as she is in byron bay i threw in a few " its all about the universe , its karma, the vibe, negative energy etcccc " and thus she go it !

    WHAT I THINK is i just need to take a step up and CHARGE like a lawyer.

    you never phone a lawyer and don't expect an invoice.

    very interested to hear how others deal with this

    tim
     
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  2. Ashman

    Ashman Membership: Trader

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    Remember that idea you had about sharing freelancers? How about sharing and/or swaping clients? You could even tender clients that you want to "pass on".

    Alternatively, get a new phone number and automate your customer service via a ticket system. Only "gold" clients get phone support.
     
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  3. Cooper Mills DomainLawyer

    Cooper Mills DomainLawyer Membership: VIP

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    Hi Tim, maybe you need to look at the types of services you advertise and seek out. I find that not only in law but other industries if you advertise that you do certain types of work, you attract a certain type of client.

    For example I think in your industry if you advertise for 'cheap websites' you will get people expecting cheap or free service.

    For example our firm doesn't handle property conveyancing, it is not our area of practice, but it is work that takes you $3000 to $4000 in time, but the market is such that you can only get $1500 for the job and typically you attract non- business people who call 10 times a day and suck up your time (people expect you not to charge).
     
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  4. FirstPageResults

    FirstPageResults Membership: VIP

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    Charge in a minimum block of 30 mins and factor email and phone correspondence in when quoting/invoicing.

    Avoid doing small tasks for free, even if they take 2 mins and you feel bad for charging. If you dont. eventually the clients you do this for will keep coming back and walk all over you, so best to set the precedent early on in the relationship.
     
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  5. James

    James Membership: VIP

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    You will always get businesses who do not think "realistic" when it comes to business.

    In recent months my business has had many people request services. We had one possible job which was a 6 hour round trip drive away, for only a 1k a month job and this business wanted 2 face - face meetings a month, I offered to do Skype meetings ect.
    These types of operations do not think logically and they were not even willing to pay for meetings or travel time so it is the type of job not financially worth it.
     
  6. findtim

    findtim Membership: VIP

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    all good advice thanks guys, not charging for small jobs is my downfall.

    as for client swapping .... i wouldn't do it to you, she was a nightmare.

    tim
     
  7. dicardo83

    dicardo83 Membership: Community

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    Tim, this is a very good thread and relevant to a lot of internet based professionals. You can also be up front with your clients about what you expect and what they can expect in regards to advice etc pertaining to phone and email conversations to avoid surprises.

    During phone calls where you are offering professional advice clients can be advised that it is going to cost them your hourly rate if you proceed to give them the advice they are looking for, or to perform a "small job" for them. I only do this if the advice is likely to result in benefits to their business or enable them to make more money. The demanding clients are often invoiced more to make up for the lost time offering advice, answering emails and working weekends for them so at least it's balanced out.
     
  8. Cooper Mills DomainLawyer

    Cooper Mills DomainLawyer Membership: VIP

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    good feedback on this thread.

    Another tool used by some businesses effectively is to have some FAQs on your website, these can help to kill off the time waster questions
     
    1 person likes this.
  9. findtim

    findtim Membership: VIP

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    as i use wordpress almost 100% i have now been pushing people to youtube.

    i'm thinking of creating a links page with BASIC wordpress videos.

    last week i did say to a client, "go to youtube and type in BASIC youtube tutorial then if you need to know more then ring me" it actually worked, they only had a few small short questions.

    tim
     
  10. Ashman

    Ashman Membership: Trader

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    Tim, I came accross this website a while back and like how they organised and monetised their support process. http://www.zebidoo.com/support-hosting/

    You could include those wordpress video tutorials into your own support package.
     
  11. FirstPageResults

    FirstPageResults Membership: VIP

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    Nice - Maintenance plans are good. Generally a good idea to force WordPress clients onto those..

    Reminds me of another technique that works pretty well:

    Direct your annoying clients to a landing page on your website (ie. mycompany.com.au/support), and tell them to complete a support request form. On this page clearly state your hourly rate.

    That prevents any confusion over what is billable.
     
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  12. findtim

    findtim Membership: VIP

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    thats a good idea, i could also change $$ between phone support and email support making it more attractive to do email support.

    that reminds me my copywriter has a good rate chart when she emails a new client, i'll find it and post it.

    tim
     
  13. Ashman

    Ashman Membership: Trader

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    I like this idea too. I going to implement it now.

    What are some good support categories?
     
  14. loho27

    loho27 Membership: Community

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    This may help...

    I host websites for clients but don't offer hosting by itself.

    I offer expensive hosting $240 per year.. I average 1 client phone call per year and many, I never hear from.

    I also offer advanced hosting at which $480 per year which gives an implied level of support and the ratio is about the same.

    You would be surprised how many take up the advanced option. I only bill annually. They get the bill and are comfortable with the service.( lost one client in eight years even he returned after 6 months after going to a $24.00pa provider)

    I use the phone call as an opportunity even if they are painful.

    Message, don't be cheap. You will be respected.

    The 1st years hosting is included in the initial web site build.

    Regards
     
  15. findtim

    findtim Membership: VIP

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    loho27 thanks for your input.

    for under 10 pages i charge $130 p/a +GST, over that i go to $240+GST , as long as its LOW traffic eg: dubbodentist

    after that i charge $330+GST and put them on an unlimited host gator plan and take them out of my reseller account.

    the first thing i do in dev is charge them hosting, this i feel brings commitment, when i have not down this i have ended up in the SH^#T, stupid really but just saying "pay the hosting" lets you know the customer is for real.

    my issue and the reason for the thread is the ONGOING expectations of the client.

    JUST today a client contacted me (by phone)and wanted to change the website which has been COMPLETED, i said " thats a LOAD of work and its not what you told me you wanted in the first place so .........." and then i said " here is a cheaper option for you, i suggest we do this........."

    which means he will be charged for the extra work and hhe asked me "how much"? and i just replied " i'll tell you when i am done"

    so i think i took a step up today:)

    tim
     
  16. dave

    dave Membership: Trader

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    This is a great reminder why I got out of this business :)

    I was breaking into a cold sweat every time the phone rang!
     
  17. findtim

    findtim Membership: VIP

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    how the world turns as I was probably one of daves worst time wasters and still am ! :D

    tim
     
  18. findtim

    findtim Membership: VIP

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    I took the plunge today as my phone rang, a women asking for a new website, I let her talk for a few minutes (2) and then asked
    " are you wanting to hire me as a consultant or a developer or both" ?

    crickets on the other end......................

    she replied " I want some advice"

    so I said "no problems my fee is $132 per hour", .......... once again a pause.

    and then she said " just some advice" !

    I said "yes I can give you all the advice you need and help you not waste money so would you like to become a client for my consultancy work" ???

    she goes " can't you just give me advice" !!!!!

    I said " yes I can, I only charge in 15 minute blocks : ) "

    she says, "look all I wanted was advice, goodbye."

    -------------------------------
    hmmmmmmmmmm, not so successful, but I'm happy I actually set a new standard for myself. if she comes back which I doubt then we she will know what the deal is.

    at this moment I don't need the work so that's why I am experimenting.

    harder when you NEEEDDDDD the work.

    tim
     
  19. Cooper Mills DomainLawyer

    Cooper Mills DomainLawyer Membership: VIP

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    Good on you Tim, people have to learn that time = money. You have bills to pay. Next time you should as if she would be happy to work for free. If she wants charity maybe she can go to the Salvation Army :)
     
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  20. findtim

    findtim Membership: VIP

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    I was talking to a mate today about how to pick my hourly rate as he works for a guy that doesn't like paying for anything and I run their websites so its always hard yards, but they have been clients for over 10 years so I give a little slack on that loyalty.

    he suggested when quoting on a website, if its a professional person I simply subtly ask them what their hourly rate is and if its close to mine just say " i'll just charge you per hour what you charge your clients"

    this puts us on an even platform.

    if they $35 p/a then I pick a different way to quote.

    tim