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- Listen. Assess your audience’s level of experience and know whom you are talking to. Are they new to Drupal? Are they heavyweight users? Knowing this will start the conversation off on the right path.
- Basics. Are those technical terms getting in the way of your conversation? I can bet “tracheoesophageal fistula” made you head for the hills, and I’m sure you didn’t hear the rest of my statement regarding surgery. Take your time to revisit the basics of this procedure. Your clients will appreciate your patience and willingness to walk them through each step.
- Preparation. Coming prepared is key to staying one step ahead of your client. Creating a fluent and convincing story line that consists of a beginning, middle, and end will buy you some street cred. We cannot predict if that surgical procedure will end well, or if our dev environment will explode. However… it sure helps to have an introduction, plan of action, and expected outcomes. Extra brownie points if you can prepare your client for potential pitfalls.
- Visuals. “A picture is worth a thousand words”. Sometimes where words fail, a picture can provide a foundation for discussion. When appropriate, consider using a graphical representation to jump-start a conversation.
- Conciseness. Get to the point and make your words count. I’ve experienced that clients are specifically paying good money to get the bottom line. What helps me is to imagine if I only had 3 major points and 5 minutes to say it – what would those points be? “Minimally invasive avenue to perform stenotic…blah blah” You need surgery.
- Relate. Remember what it was like to look at Drupal for the first time. They are not living within the development world and are looking to you as their Drupal Sherpa. Use your own personal experiences, difficulties, and successes to strengthen that bridge with your first-time (or returning) client.
Please let me know if you need any clarification. I'm always happy to answer your questions.
Jul 16th, 2015
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Oct 19th, 2017
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