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Thread: New client, new problem

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    New client, new problem

    Hi all,

    I recently aquired a new client through a referral.

    Scenario:

    About 2 weeks ago I had a sit down with the CEO and they agreed to an SLA. Told her I'll mail the paperwork and she needs to sign it. I explained the terms verbally, we both agreed on the monthly SLA fee, all was good.

    About 10 days ago the SLA was mailed to the client along with a R700 invoice that must get paid. ( SLA is paid in advance ). Client knows this.

    The e-mail was delivered, no reply, no payment. I sent another e-mail this morning saying something in the line of, "We haven't received the signed copy yet along with payment, we sure this is an oversight etc etc. Please find attached documents once again."

    My question:

    If I don't get a reply ( which I doubt I will ), do I call? Do I wait a few days?

    I don't want to scare the new client away, but then again, I KNOW the e-mail's are being delivered.

    Any advice?

    Thank you

  2. #2
    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    Personally I wouldn't have sent the SLA with the invoice for the first month. I'd have sent the SLA for sign-off and only invoiced once the signed SLA was received. Any work done in the interim would have been charged at jobbing rates.

    Now you don't know whether the problem is the payment issue or the sign-off issue.

    Anyway, I wouldn't hesitate to contact them to follow up (on the SLA signoff).

    A possible approach is to call the CEO and ask if you should be crediting the invoice sent ("sorry - perhaps I'd misread your intentions" sort of thing) as you see the SLA has not been signed off yet - and deal with the response from there. It could be something as simple as "just haven't got to it", or "it's signed, pop round to collect it".

    Ultimately you're not going to be able to deal with any possible objections if you don't contact them.
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

  3. Thank given for this post:

    Blurock (06-Feb-13), Perform Computers (05-Feb-13)

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    Thank you Dave.

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    Called the client. She didn't respond because their internet has been offline for the past week or two. Huge Telkom issues.

    I'm going there tomorrow with a hard copy & getting her to sign it. ( & sort out the internet issue ).

  6. #5
    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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    Email problem Phil Cooper's Avatar
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    It is funny how we ALL assume the worst...

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    Diamond Member Blurock's Avatar
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    Very good and valid advice given by Dave.

    Open communication is very important in business. It may sometimes annoy people, but at least they know where they stand. I expect the same honesty from clients so that there are no grey areas and no misconceptions.

    It is even more important between shareholders/partners in a business. No use being buddy buddy if there are things that you are uncertain or unhappy about. Fight it out in the board room and have a beer afterwards, but be fair and be civil.
    Excellence is not a skill; its an attitude...

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    Perform Computers (06-Feb-13)

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    I agree Blurock. The buddy buddy system DOES NOT work. Previous clients I have had whom have been my "friends" have turned on me once the invoice arrives.

    Be friendly, but charge your rates.

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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phil Cooper View Post
    It is funny how we ALL assume the worst...
    Our fears are far greater imagined than realised - I forget who said that but my goodness, 99.9% of the time it's so true.

    I used to be hesitant with this sort of thing too. And the best tip I got to get over this sort of thing was this:
    Draw up and order your to-do list in the evening for the next day. Then in the morning scan that list and identify the item you fear doing the most - and do it first!

    After you've faced you fears enough times, they really do disappear. (said with acknowledgement to Napoleon Hill).

    In this case an experienced rep would recognise the worst that could happen was an apologetic "we changed our mind." Sure, not good news, but far better than the torture of wondering WTF is going on
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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    Diamond Member Blurock's Avatar
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    Eat your frog early in the morning. The rest of the day will then be a breeze.
    Excellence is not a skill; its an attitude...

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