When good clients won’t take good advice.

Our clients are constantly balancing choices.  Cost versus potential return; jump on the bandwagon or not; take a chance on a niche or sell out.

By making informed decisions or educated guesses to steer the business as best they can, they manage costs and keep their company ticking over.

But there are those times where they’re plain out of their depth and need specialist advice and the dialogue may go something like this.

Client: “How do we improve this {insert problem here} ?”
Developer: “Maybe use this {tried and tested solution} ?”

Days pass.

Developer: “How’s that solution coming along?”
Client: “Oh we haven’t started anything yet, but we will soon.  I really want {problem situation} to improve.”

Weeks pass.

Developer: “What’s the latest on {strategy to solve major problem} ?”
Client: “Ah we haven’t had time to put anything in place yet, but we will.”

You get the idea.

Take a step back and it’s clear the developer’s first response should be along the lines of “How much (or how badly) do you want to solve this problem?”

As a developer with an often rampant desire to solve every issue my clients raise, I’m usually guilty of regarding every problem as having the utmost importance.  Lives depend on finding a solution, kind of thing.  Galloping off to implement improvements without first verifying with the client the extent to which they really need it fixed, is an easy mistake for a geek to make.

Turns out that when the client isn’t taking that good advice, they’re exaggerating the problem or it’s not such a high a priority as they’re making out.

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