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Thread: How to Handle Rejection--->> insider tips

  1. #1
    Modding with Class JabezStone's Avatar
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    Unfortunately, in the web development industry (and any other industry for that matter) rejection is part of the job. While some are better at handling it than others, it still has its impact. It is possible, though, to take this rejection and turn it around as a tool for your use.

    In time and after some trial and error you, like me, will become numb to this thing called "rejection". You should enjoy explaining to people the benefits of your product, and eventually you will win their confidence rather quickly.

    Here are a few tips that will help you handle rejection:

    * Listen attentively to the prospect's objection, and keep in mind that they are giving you valuable information. They are telling you why they don't want to use your service or product. This points out ways you can give the prospect more information. Many times, an objection is really just a request for more information.

    * Repeat the objection back to the prospect. Say, "Now, if I understand you correctly, you feel that your CD presentation won't have a good ROI(Return on Investment)." This is a great opportunity to provide them with statistical data or testimonials from your other satisfied customers.

    * Immediately after you answer their objection, move quickly onto a slightly different subject, like customer loyalty. This re-directs the conversation to a more sellable topic. (Ever listened to a political debate?)

    The bottom line is this... whenever you are involved in marketing, rejection will come. Knowing how to handle it is what separates the winners from the losers.
    Don't let rejection defeat you... "For a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again-- Proverbs 24:16"



    [Edited by JabezStone on 05-14-2002 at 12:08 PM]

  2. #2
    An Inconvenient Serving Size hurricaneone's Avatar
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    Hmmm

    Just got back from a meeting with a customer - the outcome sort've continues the idea of this thread.

    A guy calls us, saying that he's putting together a site for the whole mall his shop is located in, 120 or so clothes shops, including store location, details, current offers, etc. So we have a chat with him a couple of months ago, and after comparing other companies, he decides that we're the people he's going with. That's great until the shop owners 'union' is found to be as apathetic as is humanly possible, and no group go-ahead can be arranged (yet - still waiting).
    In the meantime, the guy says, you can make a site just for my shop?, so we go over again, chat about what he's interested in (Flash, small animations, cool stuff, but small) and then start going for price. So get this:

    To start, this fella reckons that if we offered $x for the whole mall, a site for his shop alone'll be 120th of that price. Of course, we pointed out that the mall site featured little 'original' content, as 120 of the pages would be copies with different details. So then, he says, you've got an offer, sites for R$500. Why is my site more expensive? That's because what we have outlined here is better because... blah blah etc.
    So we have to walk with no deal. Why? The initial contact had changed mid-relationship and no guidelines were rewritten and, the bargain site offer (designed simply to convince people to talk to us, in all honesty) came back to bite us in the arse.
    So perhaps this story can be useful - watch it when the client tries to switch business mid-stream - everyone can get confused (I'm still vaguely amused by the '120th of the other price' thing) and 2. Special offers can build customer expectations which are not economically viable.

    Just a final thought - I'd rather go to the poor house doing no work, rather than work my arse off and get paid nothing and still wind up in the poor house.

    Cheers

  3. #3
    Modding with Class JabezStone's Avatar
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    Hurricane,
    Although your story sounds more like a business-deal-gone-sour than a rejection, it'll be interesting to hear how you end up dealing with it. Thanks for sharing your experience.

    Jay

  4. #4
    Senior Member Geoff Edwards's Avatar
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    There is a simple adage: Salesmanship begins when the customer says "no."

    Clear the objections.

    "So if I could make you a web site with a Flash intro and five pages of content for $900..."


  5. #5
    Recently I was asked by a friend of a friend to quote for a website selling baby clothes. I met with the couple setting up the business and gave them a very reasonable quotation.

    Their business idea was a bit thin, but instead of just taking their money and running, like a fool, and out of loyalty to my friend, I started explaining to them the ins and outs of e-commerce, the businesses that do well and those that sink without a trace.

    I told them how they could adjust their business plan and target group to hit a larger audience, but at the time they weren't interested. So I set to work on a couple of mock-ups of the site.

    A week later I met with them to discuss color scheme, etc. and in the meantime they'd realised I was right about my suggestions for thier business plan and they wanted to use my ideas. I thought it would have been nice if they'd bothered to tell me, to save waisting time on the mock-ups, but I was at the same time glad that now they might actually make a successful business and I would gain a good reference. I made new mockups for the new site. A week past and again we met. They'd changed strategy again, greatly increasing the number of goods they would sell and they wanted another new layout. By this time I'd spent about 12 hours on them, with meetings and mockups and I'd only expected to use 30 hours on the whole project.

    I explained to them that their new concept was much more ambitious then their original concept, but I would try to do it for the same price. So I started on version 3, this time with some functionality as they didn't have much web experience and found it hard to relate to static screen shots.

    Together we finalised the design and text. Now I was up over 20 hours, but atleast we had a concrete plan.

    So what did they do? Took the design to another bureau to see what it would cost to have made. They were quoted a lower price then mine and they phoned me to say they didn't need my services anymore! I was very surprised and naturally more than a little pissed off and I told them this. I'd already put in alot of hours and given them alot of advice. Of course another company could undercut me as I'd already done all the preperation! Even worse they're using the business idea I gave them instead of their own....

    And the moral? Always get a signiture on a contract as early as possible, even if the client is a friend of a friend who you trust.

    I'm billing them for the time I've spent so stay tuned...

  6. #6

    Bloody typical

    Sorry to hear about your experience..... this is the kind of thing that seems to happen all the time in this industry. People seem so reluctant to spend the money that a job is worth, but manage to get good advice from you like it's nothing to give it away. I have a few quotes out at the moment which I think won't happen because of cost, but no matter how I look at the costs, the hours are there and when broken down everything's accounted for. Already meetings and proposals have taken a lot of time and good advice has been given. Like someone said to me recently, when you go along as a freelancer to a meeting, chances are you're the only one not getting paid to be there - so they can waste your time as much as they like as it doesn't really affect them, take your ideas and get someone cheaper to do them.

    So, how can you combat losing out on work because of the price? As illustrated - the groundwork can be enormous and if you cover your time you risk losing out altogether.

    Originally posted by theMightyAtom
    Recently I was asked by a friend of a friend to quote for a website selling baby clothes. I met with the couple setting up the business and gave them a very reasonable quotation.

    Their business idea was a bit thin, but instead of just taking their money and running, like a fool, and out of loyalty to my friend, I started explaining to them the ins and outs of e-commerce, the businesses that do well and those that sink without a trace.

    I told them how they could adjust their business plan and target group to hit a larger audience, but at the time they weren't interested. So I set to work on a couple of mock-ups of the site.

    A week later I met with them to discuss color scheme, etc. and in the meantime they'd realised I was right about my suggestions for thier business plan and they wanted to use my ideas. I thought it would have been nice if they'd bothered to tell me, to save waisting time on the mock-ups, but I was at the same time glad that now they might actually make a successful business and I would gain a good reference. I made new mockups for the new site. A week past and again we met. They'd changed strategy again, greatly increasing the number of goods they would sell and they wanted another new layout. By this time I'd spent about 12 hours on them, with meetings and mockups and I'd only expected to use 30 hours on the whole project.

    I explained to them that their new concept was much more ambitious then their original concept, but I would try to do it for the same price. So I started on version 3, this time with some functionality as they didn't have much web experience and found it hard to relate to static screen shots.

    Together we finalised the design and text. Now I was up over 20 hours, but atleast we had a concrete plan.

    So what did they do? Took the design to another bureau to see what it would cost to have made. They were quoted a lower price then mine and they phoned me to say they didn't need my services anymore! I was very surprised and naturally more than a little pissed off and I told them this. I'd already put in alot of hours and given them alot of advice. Of course another company could undercut me as I'd already done all the preperation! Even worse they're using the business idea I gave them instead of their own....

    And the moral? Always get a signiture on a contract as early as possible, even if the client is a friend of a friend who you trust.

    I'm billing them for the time I've spent so stay tuned...

  7. #7
    Senior Member Geoff Edwards's Avatar
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    Wow those are hard lessons. I totally sympathize.

    "when you go along as a freelancer to a meeting, chances are you're the only one not getting paid to be there"

    That strikes a nerve with me. If I was paid for all the time I am working and not on the clock (i.e. getting paid) I would be a wealthy man.

    That unfortunately seems to be the nature of freelancing. Chalk it up to marketing and look as every meeting as a chance to network with someone new. You are probably meeting someone who understands this in the first place. Get them onside with you about this issue right from the get go.

  8. #8
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    So far I see that more than an opportunity than a bad thing. Let say that the guy ask u for 120th of the cost, that means that he is triying to bargain the price. If you enter the negotiation you will get let say a 100th of the cost, but only with the condition you get him 3 more stores to make business with you. So let say that you get 3 + 3 costumers at 100th of the cost.. then you make more than what you will make with the whole mall.

    is all about rotation...

  9. #9
    Senior Member Geoff Edwards's Avatar
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    Now there's an entrepreneur! Good thinking.

    And, if when you meet with potential clients and the conversation leads into asking you to consult on the job - charge em a consulting fee.

  10. #10
    they call me the_jump... le_saut's Avatar
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    A benefit of freelancing is that you don't have to tow another company's line. I am in 100% control - I like it.

    I am a one man company, I know the extents of my skills, I know where my weaknesses are (not having ASP at the mo - I see that's where the jobs are) and I don't have to guess the extents of other people's skills.

    Your skills in a meeting with client's or just at an event are what sells your services. Emapathise with your prospective client's and don't get flippant if they obviously have minimal knowledge of web technology.

    Everywhere I go is a business expense...


    regds

    James

    Originally posted by Geoff Edwards
    If I was paid for all the time I am working and not on the clock (i.e. getting paid) I would be a wealthy man.

    That unfortunately seems to be the nature of freelancing. Chalk it up to marketing and look as every meeting as a chance to network with someone new.[/B]

  11. #11
    Modding with Class JabezStone's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Geoff Edwards
    - charge em a consulting fee.
    Geoff,
    This is a very good point. Actually, charging for the initial "consultation" is becoming a more acceptable thing to do. It is perfectly fine to charge for the couple of hours you'll spend in this initial meeting. Be sure, though, to offer them something "free" that they can use, like a detailed analysis of their project needs. This way they have something to show for their hours that they're paying for.

    In addition, don't be afraid to charge for layout mockups. This is perfectly acceptable. This way, if they decide not to use your services and hand your design ideas off to another firm, you are not out any money.
    On the note of mockups, don't feel that you must provide them a mockup before the contract is signed. If your portfolio work and previous client testimonies can vouch for your expertise, they will trust that you can perform for them too.

    Jay

  12. #12
    Modding with Class JabezStone's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Jza
    So far I see that more than an opportunity than a bad thing. Let say that the guy ask u for 120th of the cost, that means that he is triying to bargain the price. If you enter the negotiation you will get let say a 100th of the cost, but only with the condition you get him 3 more stores to make business with you. So let say that you get 3 + 3 costumers at 100th of the cost.. then you make more than what you will make with the whole mall.

    is all about rotation...
    You are absolutely right. Usually, "no" doesn't mean "no". It really means, "I'm not ready yet" or "I want a better deal". I'm not saying fight your prospective clients to get their work (some clients are better off not had!) but I am saying that you shouldn't give up just because they may not seem interested.
    Learn to turn the negative into the positive. If they say they're not ready yet, ask them when they will be. If they say they can't afford it, offer them a payment option. If they say your hair is ugly, offer to get a haircut . Basically, you need to dis-arm them... take their ammunition away.

    Great responses, people!

  13. #13
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    Originally posted by JabezStone
    Originally posted by Geoff Edwards
    - charge em a consulting fee.
    Geoff,
    This is a very good point. Actually, charging for the initial "consultation" is becoming a more acceptable thing to do. It is perfectly fine to charge for the couple of hours you'll spend in this initial meeting. Be sure, though, to offer them something "free" that they can use, like a detailed analysis of their project needs. This way they have something to show for their hours that they're paying for.

    In addition, don't be afraid to charge for layout mockups. This is perfectly acceptable. This way, if they decide not to use your services and hand your design ideas off to another firm, you are not out any money.
    On the note of mockups, don't feel that you must provide them a mockup before the contract is signed. If your portfolio work and previous client testimonies can vouch for your expertise, they will trust that you can perform for them too.

    Jay
    This is one of the basic reasons that a freelancer charges more per hour than an employee's wages. (Yeah, in addition to taxes and business expenses)
    You are not being paid to warm the seat of a chair for X hours per day. There are countless ways you put your time and energy into a project, beyond simply sitting down at the computer.
    Decide what your time is worth, and be sure to factor in the extra time and effort that goes unseen to others.
    The moral of the story: Think like an entrepreneur, not like an employee.
    Good luck!
    El Mwucko

  14. #14
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    Originally posted by JabezStone
    [BIn addition, don't be afraid to charge for layout mockups. This is perfectly acceptable. This way, if they decide not to use your services and hand your design ideas off to another firm, you are not out any money.[/B]
    It is perfectly acceptable to charge for mockups, although you should keep this in mind: your layout mockup is your layout mockup, no matter how many copies of it you give them. If John Grisham gave you one of his books, or even sold a signed copy to you for $200, you still would not own the content. If the other company uses your layout, and you have not signed away your ownership, they're looking at copyright infringement.

    Remember: a copyright is automatically applied to ANY ORIGINAL WORK that is put in TANGIBLE FORM. (i.e. on paper, online, recorded, etc.) Unless you've signed your ownership of the work away, it's yours.

  15. #15
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    A few of my suggestions are:

    1. Don't do a lick of work without a signed contract. Set out a clear schedule for deliverables and payment milestones. Expect to factor in a certain amount of time for client revisions, but make it clear that if these go beyond what you've set out, that you will be billing them at an hourly rate over and above the terms of the contract...

    2. Get a retainer. I typically charge 10-15% of a contract's total value up front. Once a client has paid out some cash, they are much less likely to bail on a contract...and if they do, at least you've got partial compensation for any work that you've put in...

    3. Getting back to the rejection thing...Whenever I finish a design, I always sit down and write out a detailed analysis of how and why this particular design suits the clients requirements...When you present the comps to them, include the analysis as part of the presentation - if they see that you have really put some thought into how this works for them, they will be much less likely to reject an idea outright...And you'll be able to focus the discussion on specific points for critique and improvement,which will help clarify and strengthen the design, as opposed to just getting a subjective "I just don't like it" type response which tells you nothing about how to approach any revisions...

    K.

  16. #16
    they call me the_jump... le_saut's Avatar
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    This is one of the basic reasons that a freelancer charges more per hour than an employee's wages. (Yeah, in addition to taxes and business expenses)
    You are not being paid to warm the seat of a chair for X hours per day.



    Yep makes me think about a contract I did where there was a Table Tennis table next to my desk. All the employees fooled around on it but I wouldn't as I wasn't engaged to play ping pong.

    Think about it this way (in Australia anyway):
    Employees get sick leave, long service leave, rdo's, superannuation etc.
    As a contractor I have to prepare for times when I can't work due to sickness and consequently can't get sick benefits. I have to pay for insurance etc so I have to live through that time with no income, so my rate is more than an employees pro rata hourly rate.

    It equalises itself out after a while when their benefits are taken into account.



  17. #17
    Tim (Super Moderator) Northcode's Avatar
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    If you're going to do design work for free, ask the client to sign a simple non-disclosure form first. Willingness to put ink on any dotted line is a good sign. Anyone who barks about making signature marks is (a) probably gonna screw you or (b) not ready to do any real work.

    Sell the NDA as protection for you for the massive amount of design work you're about to undertake on their behalf. If they don't like the NDA, offer to sell them design time instead of doing it gratis in expectation of a contract.

    Before you hand over layouts to a potential customer couldn't you watermark the pages (paper or electronic) with a copyright message and a warning? That might make the prospect less likely to shop your ideas around to another company. It might also give you a good footing for backing up any copyright infringement claims down the road (dated watermarked, signed sample sheets).


  18. #18
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    here's a question that somewhat applies

    we entered into an agreement (with no contract) of a fairly major project (definitely should have used a contract) includes website design as well as a cd rom promotional.

    we got 30% up front which was more then nice, and initial design has gone very well... we're having a problem, however, getting the company to provide the rest of the content...

    with the amount of content we have now we could pretty much finish the deal... they just want more added (pictures, video feeds)... but they wont give them to us...

    any suggestions?

  19. #19
    An Inconvenient Serving Size hurricaneone's Avatar
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    When we started our website circus that fronts as a business, I never, ever thought that prising the content from businesses (who, remember, asked us to make the site, not the other way around) would prove to be such a problem. To the degree that when the content is delivered on time, in an organized way, it's time to pop the champagne.

    The only thing to suggest is this. Make sure that your contact in the company has enough pull/clout to get results when strings need to be yanked. Too low down the totem poll and nary an eye will blink when Coffee Boy asks for additional website material (Not my department, etc). A lot of companies think that they're doing themselves a favour by setting the new guy/pee-on on the web project, promptly doing no one any favours, especially the developers.

    If the problem continues, after multiple pokings of the corporate beast, go to who's paying the bills and let them know what's going on. They always command more than a little respect. (Although you should have a contract, I personally don't think that's your problem in this case. Beware. After the successful start of a project, apathy can strike at anytime).

  20. #20
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    the funny thing about it is our weekly development meeting is with the vice president, and occasionaly the president himself...our initial contact was through a marketing representative...

    i dont know what push is needed to be given to them to finish this up... we have no backing without a contract etc

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