How NOT to get new clients!
Today I spoke to a long term client about some new updates on their site. I’d spoke to her briefly a couple of weeks ago where she mentioned that a local developer had been sniffing around trying to get their custom, pulling holes in the current website, despite being told they were not interested in hiring him.
Okay, so I appreciate that people looking for work will look through the local businesses and tout their work to them. If you’re low on work you need to see what you can get. Luckily we’ve never been in that position, but I know if I was then I wouldn’t approach it in the following manner.
First the developer visited the shop, asked if they needed a new developer and pointed out a few design/content issues that needed addressing (some of which are already being addressed anyway). My contact was away at the time but the owner was there and he entertained the guy a little. Maybe that was the wrong thing to do. The developer clearly took that as the green light and turned up again when my contact was there. She told him that they were not interested, they already had a development company on board and he wouldn’t be hired. He didn’t really take the hint however, then asking who did the site, who hosted it, what platform it was running on (it’s not hard to find this information out but still…). She asked him politely to leave, eventually he did.
A week later he was back (persistant, or desperate, that’s for sure!) and just sat down waiting for the owner who was in a meeting. My contact again told him to leave, in which he replied that as they didn’t seem that bothered in his content points he’d gone and phoned the press office of their supplier, pointing out that the supplier’s name wasn’t mentioned on the front page of the site, and that the catalogue on the site was out of date (although that’s the supplier’s fault for not getting the current one sent out until last week!). Strangely enough, that didn’t go down too well!
I can appreciate in these times that people are maybe low on work, but honestly, if you’re going to try and get new clients, or steal clients from another developer, then do it a bit more ethically and don’t treat your prospective new client badly or try to go above them! You really won’t make any friends and potentially damage your own reputation.
On a lighter note, shortly after a regular customer of theirs asked for their site developer’s details as they loved the site and really liked the functionality and design of it 😉