March 3, 2017

“How would you handle a value conversation with a new startup?”

The other day, I got a three questions in Slack from UX Strategy Consultant David Parmelee.

David graciously agreed to let me share them with you. I answered his second yesterday. This is the third:

> Some of my clients are new startups who can’t accurately project how much value I’ll generate. Other than not working for them, how would you handle the value conversation and pricing for this kind of project?

Great question!

If I’m not convinced that there is a reasonable chance that the client will get a positive ROI from working with me, I don’t take the gig.

Why would I?

Sure, I’d make some money in the short term, but they’re going to end up regretting the purchase. They probably won’t hire me again, they probably won’t give me a good testimonial, they probably won’t recommend me to their friends and colleagues.

Start ups (the immature variety, not the Facebook/Uber variety) are notoriously bad at thinking in terms of positive business outcomes. They operate more like gamblers. It very difficult to work profitably with immature businesses, startups or otherwise.

Your goal as a service provider should be to deliver 100% customer satisfaction.

This DOES NOT mean doing everything your clients tell you to do!

It DOES MEAN leaving your clients better off (i.e., happier) than they were when they met you.

If you aren’t confident that you can do that, pass on the work.

Thanks for the excellent questions, David!



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