Dealing With Crazy Customers 101

Have you ever gotten a call from someone who begins to feel wrong before it ever even gets started?  

Well I recently had that experience where when a person called asking for information then that turned into a powerthon phone call that went on for hours and afterwards I had a moment where I said to myself “this will never work out” due to the person hasn’t got a clue and has spent WAY too much time overthinking all of the endless possibilities of doing this or that or a combination of etc etc.

After spending several wasted hours and when the time finally arrived for the customer to pull the trigger guess what happened?  – Cold feet!

Feeling a good bit more than just frustrated I’ve decided to do some venting about it here and to make a list of do’s and don’ts for myself and others –

How much time should you spend on pre-sales phone calls?:
– Well that depends – for me the answer is typically less than 30 min per phone call and keep the conversation 100% related to specifics related to questions only and do not stray off topic.

What should you do when you first get that gut feeling this is a dead end and probably more headache than it’s worth?:
– Trying to be the “nice-guy” and ignoring your gut instincts is probably about to bite you in the ass – I can’t tell you how many times I’ve let my good nature overrule my good common sense and instincts only to hit me upside the head later. When you have more than one thought about this project being a PITA (pain in the ass) then you should avoid and or raise your price for the project…..which leads me into the next topic.

What is dealing with this type of client worth to you? Are you willing to go the extra mile(s) to make a fickle/flakey person happy?:
– It’s been my displeasure on more than one occasion where after I took on a project where I wished I’d have never answered the phone in the first place. Either suck it up and roll out the project (even if you lose money on it) or cut your losses and refund them asap before you waste any of your time. If you have the good sense to evaluate the client and their crazy list of must-haves while talking over the project its a good idea to wait until the very end to give them a price so that you can apply what I call the PITA-FEE (pain in the ass fee) so that the price is SO freaking high that they run away and save you your sanity or you’re at least well compensated for all of the extra time holding their hand and putting up with their crazy whims.

Trust your gut feeling – don’t jump into a project if it doesn’t feel right…and by that I don’t necessarily mean the project feeling right I’m mainly referring to dealing with the actual customer. All it takes is one crazy ass customer out there to cause you more pain and grief than you ever bargained for once they decide to take to the internet with their unstable views of the world and how horrible you were to them.

*My personal goals this year – try to be a “sales and support company” more than a “website projects company”, just too many crazy people trying to take me down the rabbit hole with them and I simply don’t have the time……well unless I’m “extremely” well compensated for it 🙂

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Have Yourself A Great Day!
I’m feeling better already….muwhahaha!

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