If your customer is gender

    Friday evening ... The work week is coming to an end. You already look at the clock and think about how you will go out with your friends tomorrow or just lie on the couch in front of the TV or ...

    And then pleasant calls are interrupted by a call (Skype message, email) and your client informs with a cheerful tone: I freed up - let's continue work on the project!

    He goes hunting at night or at the weekend, when his employees / partners / clients are resting, and he finally has time to start improving business processes.

    It turned out that my work has always been connected with B2B development. Even while studying at the university I had a chance to stay a bit as a programmer, and then the bias shifted towards working with clients - implementation, maintenance, technical support, consultations and training. Clients were from different fields of activity and with different positions - managers, accountants, and personnel officers. With different characters and different levels of computer skills. In those days, few people knew the word “screenshot”, and sometimes, in addition to supporting the main program, it was necessary to help customers deal with standard office applications.

    Now I am a development director at SkyBase. We develop solutions for automation of accounting and business processes. Our clients are executives and business owners who already lack the capabilities of Excel or Goggle Docs, but large and complex systems are useless. They well understand how their company is organized, what processes can and should be automated in it, but do not want to delve into the technical details. What distinguishes such clients from those with which I worked before?

    Firstly, these are very interesting people. It happens that when discussing a task, we talk about abstract topics - about managing a company, about staff motivation, and so on. Perhaps an ordinary manager or technical support specialist would simply ignore such conversations as irrelevant, and it is very useful for me as a beginning entrepreneur.

    Secondly, if the general director likes to work with you, he can offer free help in what he or his company specializes in - it can be participation in the event, business consulting, mutual promotion and much more. The main thing is not to miss the moment, because everything is changing rapidly: for example, we have a client who, from the sphere of children's creativity, suddenly switched to renting real estate.

    Another important feature. Managers and owners work on their IT systems in a “raid” mode: they either overwhelm you with tasks or disappear for a long time. But if the active period is already underway, one cannot slow down: as a rule, the client accumulates a lot of ideas, and time for their implementation is very limited. Your task is to work as concentrated as possible when the task flow has begun, therefore it is advisable to have a reserve of resources in case of a sudden activation of several clients at once.

    It is very good if you are not just a humble performer, but also an expert who can help with advice at the right time. In this case, the general director can formulate TK at the level of business requirements, and your task is to offer the best technical solution.. It is advisable to be able to justify the chosen implementation option in terms of costs (time and money), productivity, ease of use, as well as opportunities for further development. The customer trusts your experience. Sometimes even he himself may ask: if you see that the system can be improved or supplemented somehow, be sure to say - I will consider your proposal and, perhaps, we will do this revision.

    But be careful: your expertise has a downside. Some customers like to discuss in detail various options for improvements and do not end up ordering anything. Thanks to the dialogue with you (and we have already found out that you are an expert and give practical advice), the manager can better understand his business processes and understand the feasibility of individual improvements. If you take money for your advice - no problem. If this is free for the customer, then stop this in time. There was a conversation about improvements - ask the minimum necessary questions and frame the price. If the approximate price suits you, ask for an advance payment and only then discuss the details of the project. With this approach, it often happens that the task that the client described as critical, after voicing the value no longer seems to him such. So you save your and his time and do not spoil the relationship with the client.

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