This is the second post in a series called Y U No Tell me; Lessons learned from building a WordPress development business. For a list of all posts in the series, please start here.
Let me set the scene for you
The phone rings. I answer it and the person on the other end says they have a project they want to talk about. They spend a couple minutes telling me the basics of what they're looking for. All the while, in my head I'm starting to formulating the basic structure of what needs to be built. I wait for them to finish talking and I say:
“No problem, we'll connect to an API, import the data, store it in a Custom Post Type, connect a couple custom Taxonomies, build an archive template to display the data which will display the records and when your visitor clicks a record we'll display the data in a modal.”
Do you know what the person on the other end of the phone is doing right now? Trying not to fall asleep. Or worse, looking up the number for another company to call.
You obviously want to come off sounding smart and letting them know you know what they need and can handle the project. But the problem is you run the risk of confusing and overwhelming them.
Keep this in mind, As soon as you confuse the client, you've lost the client.
If they are confused by what you say on your first call, they're likely to think that what you are going to build for them is going to be confusing, too.
Unless you're sure you are talking to a developer, avoid using jargon and acronyms.
Here's a simple rule of thumb, if they haven't used the terms API, XML, or CPT, you shouldn't either.
Come back tomorrow when the topic will be: They don't know what they need