Don’t make me beg to give you my money!

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I recently requested a proposal from a developer for some work. I filled out an online form, then a few days later received an e-mail asking ME to call THEM, so I could discuss the details and learn the price.

Are you kidding me?

First rule of business, 90% of the time, it’s not the best person who wins, it’s the one who calls back. If you want me to give you MY money, trust you with MY project or
allocate MY time, guess what…

YOU need to call ME. Not the other way around.

It’s not just that you are not being proactive when you ask me to call you, you are being unprofessional and disrespectful. Yes, even if the service you provide once retained is fabulous. I don’t know that. I haven’t hired you yet.

So, notice to anyone who wants my business (spelled m-o-n-e-y) or anyone who is trying to build their own business or practice – when you want something, prove it by taking on the burden and responsibility of going out and asking for it.

Chase people down, not the other way around.

Then, one day when you get so busy, people are begging for a slot in your schedule, kick back and hire others to pursue the quest and serve the clients…

while you vacation in Bali.

Are you with me on this, people?

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14 responses

14 responses to “Don’t make me beg to give you my money!”

  1. Shana Albert says:

    I am totally with you on this, Jonathan!! I can’t believe that they asked you to call them. There are tons of online Web Developers out there bidding on the same jobs…. why would they not be calling you back? And, furthermore…. I was a Customer Service Representative years ago before I became an Internet Entrepreneur and I run my online businesses the same way I handled business in the real world…. respect the client/customer. Customer’s are entitled to demand things….. not the business owner.

  2. It’s like that time my husband (before we were married) worked at Disney and, as an employee, gets a certain amount of free tickets a year.

    His brother was taking advantage of getting into the park for free and was trying to get Chris to DELIVER THE TICKETS TO HIM.

    He wanted Chris to drive over to the other side of town to drop tickets off regardless of the fact that Chris had worked a double and hadn’t has any real sleep in almost 20 hours.

    If you want something YOU go and get it, and this applies in almost every arena.

  3. Klaus says:

    Right to the point!
    It’s that simple.

  4. Jenn says:

    I understand your point, but to me your ego is overriding the validity of it.

  5. Shama Hyder says:

    Jonathan,

    That’s shocking. But sadly there are companies that do that!

    Hopefully, they will read blog posts like this ; )

    -Shama

  6. Naomi Niles says:

    Nothing much to add here except that you are completely right. That is very off putting.

    I don’t know how many times I’ve written to developers and they haven’t bothered to answer back at all. Many of these businesses spent a lot of time developing their technical skills and tend to forget about the people skills part. I think it’s courteous to write back a quick note to say “sorry, we can’t handle this project” or “we are too busy right now, but thanks for your interest” or whatever.

  7. Wait a minute – you filled out an *online form* to request a quote. Put yourself in the developer’s shoes – an inquiry from an online form is the most faceless, un-qualified lead there is. Has it ever occurred to you that they’re swamped with requests for quote – many of which turn out to be BS – and are looking for a phone call as a way to qualify you as a legit, motivated lead?

  8. I have to agree with Chris. It doesn’t seem like such a horrible thing to request that you call them.

  9. Jonathan Fields says:

    @ Shana – no doubt, being a CSR has helped you understand how to serve clients from a whole different point of view

    @ Hayden – you’ve got it, this same principle extends to all aspects of life. If you want something from someone, don’t ask them to work to give it to you.

    @ Jenn – huh? Not sure where the ego thing comes in, is there something egoistic about asking those who seek your business to treat you with respect?

    @ Shama – It’s just basic sales training, but nobody really does that anymore.

    @ Naomi – Agreed, even if you are too busy, at least a two sentence form reply would be appropriate

    @ Christopher and Observation – Here’s the deal. The purpose of those online forms, especially the ones that request some thought (which this one did) is to screen out jokers and pass along qualified leads. That is their prime function.

    The people who take time to complete online inquiry forms actively qualify themselves as what you’d call “hot” leads. Failing to pro-actively pursue a qualified or hot lead is a huge mistake for any business.

    If I saw this happening in the sales process of a business I was advising, I’d freak out, because that business would be establishing a process to generate hot leads, then it would be forcing those leads to work to have to “prove their worth.” It’s a terrible model.

    When somebody raises a hand and says “I am interested,” it is your job, as a service or product provider who is looking to sell them to them respond, not to keep asking them to repeat their desire to buy.

  10. viola says:

    Well, I do agree with that THEY should have called you. What’s the point in filling in an online form and than being mailed back and asked to give THEM a call. It seems odd really.

  11. Okay, I can see where you’re coming from. Once you’ve put thought into a form that shows you’re interested, they should make the next move. This could be a positive thing for you, though, as they’ll have to charge less if they have fewer customers.

  12. Ian Stewart says:

    I don’t agree with you on this.You want work done, they want to do the work, it is a collaboration whereas you seem to be saying you don’t have to make the effort just because you filled in an on line form. I think there needs to be commitment both ways otherwise how do the contractors know you are serious?
    Also in the case of my wife, who is a consultant who goes into schools, it is very difficult to get through to the person who wants the consultancy work done as they are moving around or teaching. The only thing she can do is tell them when she is in and get them to call her.

  13. Jonathan Fields says:

    @ Ian – totally agree that, once engaged, it is a collaboration and I am an equal partner in the process with responsibility to contribute. But, they have not yet been retained. We are still in the sales phase and in that phase, the burden to sell is theirs, not mine.

    When I raise my hand in precisely the way they ask me to raise it, it’s their job to respond, not mine. This is rule number one of sales. You’ve got a hot lead, now sell them. Once sold, we’re partners.

    Also, I get your wife’s challenge, but, here, that’s simply not the case. I am the guy who makes the decisions and writes the checks and I am the guy who’s raising his hand. There are no layers or barriers to get to me, all they need to do is call.

  14. Ken says:

    Perhaps them having you call was to make it easier for you.

    That way you could call them whenever you had time, rather than them calling you at an inconvenient. time and needing to play phone tag.