Happy Valentines Day! For this meeting we have a couple of FileMaker topics.
* Jim Medema will share some ideas about “How to Train Your Client: Setting precedents and expectations for a pleasant and prosperous relationship”.
* Then we’ll discuss the new FileMaker Templates recently released and how they can help out on your projects.
* If we have any extra time we’ll share our favorite software tools that enhance our FileMaker tech and development experience.
How to Train your Client: Teaching your client to become the client you always dreamed they could be.
You’ve probably heard the phrase above (“I’d love my work if…”) in some form over the years or thought to yourself, “Other developers seem to get all the great clients. Me? It seems like I get more than my fair share of duds, penny pinchers, angry demanding types, and late-to-pay businesses….”
Whether you are a consultant/developer and your clients are other businesses, or whether you are an in-house developer whose clients are your colleagues and end-users, there’s a 99% chance that your clients don’t know how to be good clients. They just don’t know how it’s done. And if you don’t teach them they will continue to be, let’s just say, “less than optimal” clients.
Training your clients to BE good clients and establishing good client relationships is part science and part art. Though there are no guarantees, there are many things that you CAN do to train your run-of-the-mill clients to be outstanding clients. Some topic I will cover include:
> Yellow, Orange and Red flags – the clients you should never work with anyway
> Setting Expectations regarding communications, budget, timelines and more
> Spelling it out what IS and IS NOT billable in a crystal clear way
> Clarifying what you mean by “Budget” and “Estimate” (there IS a difference!)
> Money, money, money talk (or “Time, time, time” if you are in-house)
> Educating clients with accurate terminology and understanding
> The value of In/Out Lists and Discovery Documents
> How to report bugs and feature requests that you can USE
> Reasonable and UN-Reasonable Requests and Expectations
> Explaining both developer responsibilities and CLIENT responsibilities
> Training your client to USE the database to ensure overall success
> Setting post-deployment expectations (the “what comes next”)
> Laying the groundwork for future development work
FileMaker recently released several new Templates that include some add-on modules. They are nicely done and will have an impact on our work as developers.
We will review them together, see what we can learn from their code and structure. We will also have an open discussion about their impact on our businesses, potential clients (will this steal some potential business or tee it up?), look at how they really work – and don’t.
The Other Tools
We all use other tools in our development work: plugins, online project management websites, graphics-related tools, forums and blogs, screen-sharing tools and more. If we have time at the end, we will poll the group to gather a list of tools that you have found really useful over the last several months and would recommend to others. What are YOU using regularly?!
We’ll order pizza as usual…but feel free to bring your own lunch if you like.