Inside the prospect’s head at the moment of truth

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I’m about to hire a developer on a project that will cost around $7,500 of my money. I’ve checked with developers in my network, rentacoder, prosavvy, and elance. Easly 50 people have applied, and I’m in serious talks with 5.

Now I’m nearing the moment of truth when it is time to decide. The winner will be the firm that can convince me of the following:

- They are excited about the project

- They will be there for me throughout, and respond to my questions

- The project (and me) is important to them

- I don’t have to worry. While there are no guarantees, they will get it done — and they can provide evidence through similar projects and the way they take ‘ownership’ of my project.

Lessons for you? At the moment of truth, your prospect is nervous about pulling the trigger. Be reassuring. Show you want the work. Ask questions to understand their concerns. Find a way to show that you will be there for them (and have been there before).

Until I get the above sense of reassurance, I probably won’t pull the trigger. And I don’t think I’m unique.

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  • http://www.jamesinteractive.com ecaptus

    Thanks for the insight. However, do you really feel you are getting the best service from searching sites like those? I do not even try to bid on those sites because of the oversaturation of cheap bidding and the lack of decent projects with realistic budgets.

  • http://www.functionflow.com Geof Harries

    “At the moment of truth, your prospect is nervous about pulling the trigger.”

    True, how very true. You can never say you’ve landed the contract until it’s signed and approved. What you do up until that point has a huge impact on the acceptance of the agreement.

    geof

  • ArtsyTECH

    On the flip-side, there are many tire-kickers and time-wasters out there that drag negotiations on… and from the perspective of Freelancing, there are many interesting projects and decisive individuals that know what they want when they see it without extended pre-amble… after more than 10 years I’ve mostly found the latter relationships rewarding and the former dissapointing.

    Procrastination is a serious red-flag for me.

  • http://www.circle.co.nz nzgfxguru

    You have to become a “yes man (or woman)” to get a sale. This is something that a lot of freelance designers don’t see. A lot think that they are the “real deal” and lose a lot of clients this way.

  • http://diigital.com cranial-bore

    Andrew I have a question for you. As a serial client of these sorts of services is there a reason why you are still shopping around for developers and don’t seem to have a ‘go to’ faviourite ?
    It is just a matter of their availability, are you looking for people who have dealt with a similar project before, or are you just wanting to increase your experience with various vendors ?

  • aneitlich

    cranial-bore:

    Great question. Three reasons:

    One: In this case, it is a matter of capabilities. This particular site/concept requires some different capabilities than past projects.

    Two: In actuality, I have a terrific resource to do this job, but he is fully occupied on other stuff and had no referral for me.

    Three: I want to have a group of developers on which to rely and so like looking for new talent.

    Four (much less important, but a factor): This process is great content for sitepoint blogs, and great research into how people market and sell themselves — even in the limited world of auction sites.

  • Dr Livingston

    [QUOTE]However, do you really feel you are getting the best service from searching sites like those? I do not even try to bid on those sites because of the oversaturation of cheap bidding and the lack of decent projects with realistic budgets.[/QUOTE]

    Doubtful. As a develop I am left with the serious impression that folks who have the work that use these types of sites are looking to get the job done with the least amount of expense, regardless of how well the job it’s self is done at the end of the day.

    So, it’s like, ‘so what if it’s spagetti code, if it’s going to cost me just $200?’ Wait though when you need to refactor at a later date, this is when the costs rise ;)

    I just find these sites completely waste of time and effort really, just my thoughts though :D

  • Kevin

    I think showing enthusiasm, interest, and dedication to their business are excellent points of differentiation. On larger projects where you are competing against other firms, a presentation with enthusiasm, passion, and personality can be a huge advantage over comptetition that focuses soley on the technical or design aspects of the work.

  • http://www.primacognos.com bigduke

    I do all that already, but people just run away hearing my quote on those kinds of sites or even through other means of communication. Maybe this is one of those “get a niche” already. Not to mention I do have an impressive portfolio. Somehow they just don’t wanna pay up. Infact I’m somewhat surprised hearing the budget for this quote, sounds like something special in there :D