Captain’s log, stardate 20210617
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“Should I still ask for 100% up-front on projects over $100k?” and more...
In today’s group coaching session, we had a bunch of good questions that touched on topics like:
- How to ask for 100% up-front on projects over $100k
- How to run advisory retainers
- How to transition from "fire fighting" clients to advisory clients
- How to deal with unrealistic client expectations
- How to politely decline when clients offer to hire you as a full-time employee (or to give you equity)
- How to think about reselling software as a consultant
- How to structure an email course to attract leads
- What solopreneurs can do to improve professionally
And we also did not one but two web page teardowns, w00t!
Here are some of the questions I answered today:
You mention on delivery terms when a client pushes back on 100% up front to potentially let them pick the date. If the project is expected to take a minimum of 6 months or a year; it doesn’t seem reasonable to let 6 months or a year go by to let them pay the other 50%. What do you suggest to do in the case where the project is long lasting? (>6 months) (timestamp: 2m 47s)
For advisory retainers, what is your process? Any initial meeting to agree on outcomes? Or do you not worry about outcomes because you’re a brain to pick? How do you scope lengths of advisory retainer agreements (your site used to have month, quarterly, and yearly plans)? What do you do in cases where the client didn’t want roadmapping due to price but wants an advisory retainer? The fear being trying to get the work from the road mapping during a retainer (timestamp: 7m 2s)
If the project price is high (let’s say >100K) are your terms still 100% up front? What if it’s over 200K? If the project is slated to last 6 months, does that change how much (if you choose monthly?) what about if the project is slated to last a year? (timestamp: 24m 21s)
Can you talk about the role of self-discovery/reflection, peer-learning, and guru coaching in a solopreneur business? Also, curious, do you/did you have a business coach? (timestamp: 26m 1s)
I have two types of technical advisory clients: (A) Clients who need my help to progress, perhaps even to fight fires. In this case I sell myself as a leg in their 3 or 4 leg chair (B) Clients who see me as a wonderful technical resource, but they don’t believe I am a critical “feature” of their project. It turns out that Client B is a lot more fun to work with. What’s the best way to get more B-types? Also, if I find a hot prospect who is Type A, should I pitch them Type B services? (timestamp: 30m 28s)
Q:How to handle situations where client is unhappy with bugs popping up, but imposes deadlines that force the team to act quickly? Context:Client changes their mind or requires quick turnaround to meet internal deadline (ex: custom feature for a sale event). In order to meet the aggressive deadline, we have to forgo quality standards and bugs slip through. We’re at budget reneg and they’re asking to have bugs handled at reduced cost but the reason we have bugs is due to pressures applied to us (timestamp: 38m 39s)
How to politely decline long term commitments and even employment offers from clients? Often executives and owners try to invite me into their teams. It could be as simple as asking me to lead a team for a project with more than 3 months… or outright offer interim positions. Just saying “hey thanks, but no” sounds a bit harsh to me. How do you usually communicate that your not intending to be part of a company, but rather run your own business. (timestamp: 43m 33s)
How do think about reselling software with consulting projects? For example, a client approaches me with a project request for a web portal. The client thinks it needs to be custom build, but I know a few good SaaS solutions that could solve the need faster, cheaper and more reliable. Would you then also make a deal with SaaS provider for reselling (commissions / VAR), or prefer to just make the introduction? For context; I often get offers from SaaS providers to resell their products. (timestamp: 45m 47s)
How to start writing and structuring email course (lead magnet), what to avoid during the process? (timestamp: 50m 10s)
Is there a way to ask for testimonials to use it for personal brand from clients if you’re still working as employee in agency? (timestamp: 53m 30s)
How do you estimate value of a project for an organization with no profit motive like a non-profit or government agency? It’s obvious on the cost side (e.g. this project will save us $100k per year) but what if they want help with an objective (e.g. we want to change our data science process to promote reproducibility). How would you think about putting a number to a value/objective like that? (timestamp: 58m 28s)
(If you’re curious, you can review the entire list of past questions here)
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