The First Date
The way we use software has revolutionised day to day life in the 21st Century and dating is a perfect example of this in action. Last year the BBC reported that 59% of adults think online dating is a good way to meet people and recent statistics from Infogram claim that 20% of new relationships in the UK now start online.
There's no doubt that first impressions now count more than ever before, so when you choose to swipe right on an agency team and want them to make unique business software for you, what can you expect to happen on that all-important 'first date'?
Purple Crane Director and co-founder Chris Bond says that a large part of his company’s ethos is based around building a lasting relationship with clients founded on trust and understanding, so it's essential to get things off to a good start.
"We try to be proactive and find out information up-front. We can then research and think prior to our first meeting which means we can achieve more and have a much more constructive discussion," Chris explains.
Much in the same way that a dating profile will gather basic information in order to try and make an accurate match, Purple Crane have a short and to the point questionnaire that they ask potential clients to fill in.
"If they phone us, we’ll have a brief ‘intro’ chat where we’d discuss their project and also tell them a bit about us," Chris says. "If at this stage we both think that we’d like to take things further, we’d send them an initial ‘Pre-project questionnaire’ which helps us understand a lot more about the project and company. If it's an email or web enquiry we’d skip straight to sending the questionnaire."
One of the things that can get in the way of a meeting between new contacts of any kind is when one side tries to monopolise the conversation.
"We don’t try to sell ourselves at all," Chris points out. "We make the initial discussions and meetings all about fact finding and digging as deeply into the customer’s needs as we can. We make it about them, their issues and how we could help them."
After this initial round of sounding each other out the all-important first meeting is the next step. "We try to schedule a face-to-face meeting as soon as we can, and we offer to meet somewhere convenient to the customer, maybe at our office or theirs," clarifies Chris.
Purple Crane like this face-to-face meeting to be informal and guided by the client. "We get them to talk, show, demonstrate as much as possible. We do have a meeting document which we use to guide us through things we need to know, but we use that to guide the meeting rather than dictate it."
One of the big things that many people find difficult that is common to both an initial business meeting and a date is when it comes to talking about paying the bill. "At this stage, it is hard to give anything other than perhaps a ballpark range as a guideline. Costing a bespoke development project is a difficult task and even after an initial meeting it’s hard to give anything other than a proposal for the next steps," Chris explains.
After the initial meeting the next step would usually be a document summarising Purple Crane's understanding of the project, outlining the requirements and proposing which next steps to take. At this stage of course, no charges are made.
Understandably, privacy is a big concern for many and Chris points out that it’s quite usual for customers to ask for some sort of non-disclosure agreement to be signed before actual details of a project are discussed.
All in all, it's a fairly painless process getting to know Purple Crane and finding out what Chris, his partner Andy and the rest of the team can do for you. Why not 'swipe right' now and get in touch?
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