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  1. #1
    SitePoint Evangelist
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    Client wants to know # of clients i have. Legal?

    Hello,
    I am in a bidding war with a few other webdesign companies and now the prospective client is wanting to know the number of clients that I have. Do I need to provide this information?

    I"ve never heard this type of request before. Is it common? Will it hurt my chances of getting the job if I don't provide it?

  2. #2
    SitePoint Addict
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    I don't know if it's common practice or if you *need* to provide that information, but I guess it will indeed hurt your chances of getting the job if you don't answer if you just say your client you don't want to give them that information.
    If you feel you have few clients, you might want to explain your clients that what really counts is not really the quantity of clients/designed websites, but the quality of the work. Then show them your best websites.

    Hope that helps,

    Michaël
    Michaël Niessen
    http://assemblysys.com
    (Countries/states/cities with latitude & longitude,
    weathercodes & topical databases)

  3. #3
    Life is short. Be happy today! silver trophybronze trophy Sagewing's Avatar
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    Anyone who is participating in a bidding war is probably screwing themselves by lowering their prices just to get a job. Unless it's such an amazing job that you can't resist, don't fall into the trap of lowering your price just to get work.

    That said, if you are just starting out and you intentionally want to lower your price to help build the portfolio, don't try and 'fake it' by acting as if you're an established company when you aren't. Just tell the client you have few clients because you are new, but are motivated to build your business and want to give him great service for a great price in order to reach that goal.

    I can't imagine why you would even find it unusal for a potential client to ask about the number/nature of your other clients. That's how people shop.
    The fewer our wants, the nearer we resemble the gods. — Socrates

    SAGEWING LLC - QUALITY WEB AND MOBILE APPS. PREMIUM OUTSOURCING SERVICES.
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  4. #4
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    maybe you can give him a strategy answer like "We have already more than 120 clients"
    .

  5. #5
    SitePoint Addict smittenbite's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skunker
    Hello,
    I am in a bidding war with a few other webdesign companies and now the prospective client is wanting to know the number of clients that I have. Do I need to provide this information?

    I"ve never heard this type of request before. Is it common? Will it hurt my chances of getting the job if I don't provide it?

    well you dont NEED to provide anything.

    but from a customer's prospective i think it probably will hurt your chances of getting the job. but maybe they are just fishing around to see how reliable you are. (do you have a portfolio that they can look at?)
    nothing.

  6. #6
    SitePoint Author silver trophybronze trophy
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    We ask this all the time. Well, all the time after a few of our outside design outfits went belly up.

    We also make anyone who runs an ASP-style hosted application keep the code in escrow should they go belly up.

  7. #7
    SitePoint Evangelist
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    hey guys,
    Wanted to give you an update on this. I kind of thought that this is what they were doing.....but they were testing us to see how many clients we had NOT because "more is better", but because "less is better". Meaning, they've had experiences in the past where developers did not give them individual attention at times because they had too many clients. So, this client wanted a more personal touch.

    Here's what the client told me:

    "I hoped that you would not take the question regarding your number of clients the wrong way since to me that is an important factor since with bigger companies the more clients the less individual attention. I would prefer we deal with a smaller company as long as they can provide big company results. We have had encounters with both – getting lost in large companies and then on the other hand dealing with an individual that is doing this as sort of a “hobby” and cannot also devote time to our project. "

    Well, I hope some of us learn from my experience. It's looking good...looks like I'll have this job (my biggest project to date).

  8. #8
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophy linkin99's Avatar
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    Congratulations if you end up getting/keeping it. It is a good thought to keep in mind that more doesn't necessarily mean better. Having a few high-paying jobs is better than having too many small paying ones. Just keep focusing on quality or work (including support) and jobs will continue to follow.

  9. #9
    SitePoint Evangelist
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    Yep! Great thought. So you are located in a log cabin?

  10. #10
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophy linkin99's Avatar
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    Wouldn't this be where you'd expect me to be?

  11. #11
    SitePoint Evangelist
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    Quote Originally Posted by linkin99
    Wouldn't this be where you'd expect me to be?
    No, in the white house. We need you today more than ever!

  12. #12
    SitePoint Wizard davidjmedlock's Avatar
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    It does make you wonder what the motive is behind the question though: Are they concerned that your plate is too full and they won't get the attention they need? Or do they have concerns about your experience in the industry and need reassurance that you've helped others get the desired results in the past? Either way, there's a diplomatic way to handle it. It just depends on why they're asking and which side of the question you're on...

  13. #13
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophy linkin99's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skunker
    No, in the white house. We need you today more than ever!


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