Imagine getting a call from a potential new client panicking that they are to launch on BLACK FRIDAY, and it's a week before that day. Well, that just happened. Let's cover how we are handling this type of phone call.
The call lasted a little over an hour as they had a lot more information to talk about than our half-hour agreed-to meeting length. We always try to pad our meetings if we can get them so that no one feels "rushed."
The client, yes, we closed the sale. There's more to it than "yeah, we got the sale." That is just the start. They are located in Merrillville, Indiana, with their storage down the road in St John, Indiana. They are not 100% sure if they will stay in Merrillville or St John. The location doesn't matter, and we discussed the benefits of both sites.
Let's first discuss the panic. In mid-August, they had hired two, yes two -- not one, marketing companies to make sure they met their go-live date, which is three days away. They called panicked as they were just told it would be mid-December for both companies to handle the task. I took a deep breath as I figured this would be the most demanding project ever. They have twenty products they want to sell. With that number, I asked why they weren't looking at Etsy or Shopify. They have some business needs that eliminated those two platforms and agreed with them.
After hearing everything, I asked if we could take a step back. You could hear in their voice they reluctantly agreed as I am sure they thought they would miss the entire holiday season. I started by saying we can meet the criteria if we're allowed to break it into a couple of phases, as beginning in August was great, but many of the items that should be moving forward aren't (e.g., search engine optimization or SEO.) These are (at a very high level):
By skipping making the site "super fancy," we are able to meet the deadline. Rather than creating an entirely new interface, we are able to meet the deadline. It is all about setting expectations and realizing that re-inventing the internet is not what a business should be doing. Focus on the MVP (minimal viable product) that will get your system out there and produce revenue for your company.
Thankfully they are getting full refunds from both companies as they missed the agreed-to timelines. The one company in St John they hired tried to get them to agree to less but glad they stood firm.
I know we will meet the insane go-live deadline. The benefit for the client is the money the customer had paid to both companies will cover our services for two years, yes two! They will also have more than enough money to handle the paid ad campaign.
In a nutshell, we are thankful for this client and are glad we will be able to help them. We plan on going into the testing phase with the client in about 12 hours. We know it won't be ready, but the majority will be set up and running today.