Prequalifying Clients


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Good article. Thanks for posting.

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Basics are always good, and good designers can never get enough of them.
Two valuable skills not directly mentioned in the article I think bear
expanding upon: the role of Psychology and Project Management in our
working relationships.

While the article touches on being able to “read” potential clients… their
tone of voice, their body language, their working habits, how to interpret
their reactions (like “sticker shock” which I refer to as “sphincter
factor”)… this is not just about finding good clients, but avoiding the
real disasters. Seriously, there are people and companies that are like
icebergs – just waiting to sink your ship and drag you down to
destruction. The ability to spot - and avoid - such clients can not be over
overstated. If you’ve never had such an experience, then you have been
lucky (so-far) or this is your first day as a designer.

The other skill briefly touched on are what I know as Project Management
skills – specifically, the process of breaking down a project into it’s
component tasks and evaluate associated costs and resources required to
complete it. Sounds simple, but in reality can be much more complex.
Project Management is like Accounting – boring, but also a well-understood
science. One important pricing concept alluded to in the article is what is
called Level of Effort… basically, how many people are required to perform
the task in the required timeframe. Sounds simple, even common sense… but
it is about reducing the variables of a project to an equation – in which
the important part to most people is cost (and by extension, profit).
Project Managers spend a lot of their time writing proposals and planning
successful projects – something that helps immensely when the time comes
when you find yourself lost in the middle of a project and need a road-map
to the finish line.

Again, unless you are amazingly lucky or this is still your first day as a

Best, always…

Ernie Simpson

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