How to Respond to this message from a lead from an old school friend

So i have this old friend from school his partner owns a make up business however she does not have a website

i offered to ask her if she was interested in getting one and respond with maybe interest i directed her to my portfolio

next message i get this message from her “thank you for your offer but unfortunately your work isn’t quite up to the standard that I would need”;

how can i judge work ive done in the past but have not done any design work for her to give her a qoute.

i simply asked what kind of other websites that have her interest the simple response.

“it’s just that all of her clients use cellphones mainly so it would need to be set up best for mobile on iPhone and Android.”

i thought no big deal i can definately develop the website to be fully functional mobile exact response was “i do test websites as i build them so they work on android and iphone”

so i just curious whats the best way to approach that kind of response.

I think you first need to establish if her only concern with the sites in your portfolio is “mobile friendliness”.
If that is the case and you are confident that it really isn’t an issue for you to create a mobile friendly site, then you need to convince her of that.
I can only speculate why she said this, but you need to consider that many clients are not developers and may not have a good understanding of how things like RWD actually work. They may view a site on desktop and not be able to envisage how it could work on mobile, maybe thinking that people still need a whole separate mobile site, so you may have to demonstrate this.
Many “ordinary” (non-dev) internet users may not know about things like dev-tools and emulation modes in browsers, but perhaps you could demonstrate how a site responds in a “responsive design view” or more simply ask them to visit one of your sites on their mobile and/or tablet to show that it does work.


I’m wondering if she isn’t that interested in a responsive website as much as she is in an app.

True, the definitions of what an application is varies greatly, but if you haven’t already, maybe putting together a simple example application might be a good thing.

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With a response like this, I would assume she refer to the design of the websites in your portfolio.
In short, she does not feel that the design is professional enough, or reflect what she is looking for.

Keep in mind that a website for someone selling “makeup” would have a very different layout/design, than someone selling a different product. Especially if it is a web store.

There is a difference from “working on a phone/pad”, to actually “work” on a phone/pad.
Having a responsive layout is not enough, you need to address phones/pads specifically, fixing any possible issues, including changing how the navigation works. This is normally done by having additional css files that is only included on phones/pads.

While this might sounds easy enough, it can be a hassle. All depending on the main design. Basically with phones today need to be handled like we handled browsers a decade ago (i.e. different phone models might require different tweaks).

The best advice I can give in regards to this, is to consider how the website will work on the phone as the same time as you consider how it will work on a computer.

Your response is too defensive. It feels more like someone getting caught doing something wrong, than someone wanting to sell a service/product.

Instead if you try to relate to the customer, you will get a better relations and success rate.

As an example, this is something you could have said:
“I understand your concern, having a website that work perfectly on mobile devices is a must today. If you do not have this, you can potentially lose a lot of customers. When I develop a website for a client, I make certain that the design and flow of the content is easily navigated and read from mobile devices as well.”

Then if you have an example of a website where you have good mobile interactivity, you can add:
“Here, let me show you one of the websites I have created, (show on your phone, or give her the address), as you can see the website is easy to use by mobile device and the information is easily available”

In situations like this, where you do not have anything tangible to show that you know could possibly change their mind, is to thank them for their time.

If you keep trying to change her mind, she will get a bad impression of you. While if you do as suggested above, you have the ability to reach out to her again, when you have a website on your portfolio that you believe will match her requirements.

You know, a person who replies like that, without any tact or consideration, especially since you’re a friend of a friend, will probably be a bear to work with. Maybe the best course of action is to thank her and forget it. You may have dodged a bullet.

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