Don't Make This Mistake: 5 Things You Need Before the First Phone Call

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Devon Walder

One of our top goals at Zivtech is to start a relationship with a new client early in their web development process so that we can work as a team to develop and produce the best work possible. There are, however, a few things every new client should have prepared before an initial call to make the conversation mutually beneficial, and in the end, to help drive the process forward.

Below is a list of five of the most important things new clients should have in their arsenal before a first phone call. These “tools” will help steer an initial call so that it is a productive, beneficial meeting for both teams.

While Zivtech is happy to help with any of the steps mentioned herein, we always recommend our clients have some idea of what the end-goal looks like for their project, so that we can leverage our expertise in the most effective way possible.

The Top 5 Things You Need Before the First Phone Call

1. Goals for your business/product/project

This may sound obvious, but occasionally we speak with some truly talented and creative thinkers who have an idea that they would like to see come to fruition, without a strong sense of their overall long-term goals.

Knowing what you hope to accomplish with an end-product before you reach out will help establish milestones and deliverables, which are essential to any development process. Whether you are building a website to help reach prospective clients, a database that will house journal articles, or an online application to help manage shipping, you need to have clearly defined goals for the project to be a success.

Our team is always willing to help bring technological insight and knowledge of best practices into the mix, but the project is driven by you, and your goals are what help steer everyone in the right direction.

2. A strong sense of your target audience and/or users

All websites, apps, and systems have users, so who are yours?

Planning a project around the end user is the best way to make sure the finished product is a success. If you build a site or system without thinking about the users, chances are the finished product will be unusable.

As humans, we often struggle to see the world through someone elses’ eyes, but when we are building a website, application, or tool with the hopes of reaching others, we have to imagine who the abstract “others” might be. Will your users be familiar with technology? Will they understand how to use expanding menus? Do they prefer icons over text?

These questions and answers will help you better understand the overall functionality of the site, and will help our team determine the best way to deliver a successful, usable product.

3. The when/where/why/how for the project

Understanding when, where, why, and how your end product will be used is one of the best ways to frame its functionality. Will students use your college website to find out information about your programs? Will consumers use your app to buy products on-the-go? Having a complete understanding of how a product is used shapes how it will look, feel, and function.

4. A general budget

New clients often come to us without a sense of budget, but that almost never equates to an unlimited budget. For almost all companies and organizations, there are budgetary restrictions for new projects, they just may not be clearly defined.

From a service provider standpoint, having a sense of a new client's budget, even if it isn’t final, is vital to the start of a new project. At Zivtech, we have worked on projects of all sizes, from small nonprofit sites to large enterprise projects, so having an understanding of the budget size for a project helps us determine whether or not we can deliver what is being asked.

We're always willing to present different options to stay within a client's budget, but we can't show you those options if you don’t let us know what your budget is. You may be shortchanging your own product by not divulging this type of information, because we won't be able to present you with options within your budget.

5. Timeline for work

As with the budget, it's always best to have a general sense of the ideal timeline for your project. Do you want your product to launch in 6 months? One year? Two years?

We work with a multitude of clients who all have a variety of needs and expectations, and our calendars fill with work just as quickly as anyone else's. When we ask for a project timeline, we want to determine if your project is something we can reasonably take on as a team.

We don't like to make promises we can't keep, and it would be unfair to potential clients to promise a delivery date that we knowingly couldn't make, so having a sense of time and launch expectations helps us stay on track and make sure a new project is a good fit.

Come Prepared

Making the most of a first phone call sets your project up for success. By preparing these 5 things prior to your first phone call, you are setting yourself up for an informative, highly effective discussion that moves your project forward.

Are you ready for that first phone call? We would love to hear from you! You can either send us an email to set up a call, or simply give us a ring on our main office line. Our team is always happy to talk! 

And don't forget to check out our recent work.

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