The beginning of every company/client relationship is like the early days of a dating couple. And, like dating, often the relationship never really gets off the ground.
As the business development guy at Range, I go on a lot of “first dates” with potential clients in the form of business proposals. Sometimes they break it off with me and sometimes I have to let them down gently if we just aren’t “the right fit.”
Throughout the proposal process, there’s typically dialogue between me and the prospective client. As the eager bachelor, I’m asking the client all the important questions about the project in hopes of getting a good feel for who they are and what they like. Like the conversation over a first date dinner, responses can range from short answers to more information than I need. Luckily, I listen closely because every detail matters to me in order to make the best impression possible.
Once we’ve gotten to know each other a little, I’m ready to take the “next step” in our relationship. The proposal for a new or redesigned website is my attempt to say to the client that we make a good pair. Many times, it’s met with a mutual interest to “see where we can take this,” and a project will get off the ground. And if sparks really fly, those relationships can last well beyond the initial job and we find ourselves “dating” for a long time.
Occasionally though, I find that as quickly as the flames of interest ignite, they can be extinguished in a flash. Out of the blue, my love interest may abruptly end this blossoming affair with nothing more than a “we’ve started seeing someone else.” Like being dumped over text, this jarring response can leave me feeling shocked and confused. I thought we were perfect for each other! What did I do wrong? More times than I can count, my return “text message” is followed by silence. I’m left to wonder what happened?
But unlike the early days of relationships, feedback is important when it comes to a business rejection. We at Range really want to be the best website design and development company out there. We want to provide the finest product for all possible clients. And though we know we aren’t a perfect match for everyone, we do want to know why we didn’t fit. We need clients who say “no” to working with us to tell us what went wrong almost as much as we need clients who say “yes.”
And why should a client who’s said no care about sharing feedback? Because miscommunication and misunderstandings happen all the time in business, just like in relationships. Feedback may identify why we couldn’t get on the same page and allow us to get a “second chance.” This potentially gives the client a project closer to their desires in all aspects. A match made in heaven!