Always Be a Dignified Professional (Especially When a Client Is In a Hurry and/or Demands Lower Fees!)

A South African poultry broiler farm business owner contacted me via my website last week. And he was in a BIG hurry:

Hi, Could you please send me the Excel trial Version of Broiler Chicken management software. Let me know also the price of the system please. I need this urgently. Regards, Molefe (surname removed for privacy)”.

First he sent a web contact form message from the video page for my EXCEL-VB POULTRY FARM MANAGER and BOPMS™ EXPLANATION.

First he sent a web contact form message from the video page for my EXCEL-VB POULTRY FARM MANAGER and BOPMS™ EXPLANATION.

Then he sent another from my Excel Heaven custom software development website.

Then he sent another from my Excel Heaven custom software development website.

First, I Called Him on Phone to Make Sure He Was REAL

And I always to do that at my own expense. In the past, I got a lot of phony requests. That taught me to avoid wasting energy responding to email requests from “ghosts” :-))

Recent buyers of my Excel-VB Ration Formulator™ and/or Feed Formulation handbook, got called by me (e.g. in Nigeria and Tanzania). I wanted to speak with them to ensure they understood what I was selling, and to also understand what their needs were.

Anytime I do this, and get the impression my product will not solve that person’s problem, I do not hesitate in advising him/her accordingly.

Sure it may mean no sale for me. But I prefer that to having an angry or resentful buyer afterwards.

This is why today I enjoy cordial relations with most of my past buyers. And many of them gladly helped me complete the questionnaire survey for my recently concluded agribusiness research paper.

Speaking With the South African Broiler Farm Owner

I told him my application in the video was built for a layer’s farm, and that did not have an app ready for use with a broiler farm.

If he wanted that, I would need to “have a formal question/answer session” with him. This would help me get a proper feel for his unique farm situation, to accurately determine his needs.

Only then would I be able to determine what the required investment will be.

You see, he kept hammering on the cost saying “send me the price!” That bothered me. As did his repeated insistence that he wanted the app “urgently”.

I don’t do “rush jobs” as a rule, in this area of my work i.e. farm business custom software development.

The only exception is when I already have an app built, which can be easily customized to suit the client’s need (e.g my Ration Formulator, the Poultry Layer Farm Manager or the Payslip Generator).

I told him I would do him an email once our conversation ended.

Here’s an Excerpt from the Email I Sent Him

Here’s an Excerpt from the Email I Sent Him

===Email Excerpt continues===

“…My service involves developing custom applications to help smallholder farmers manage their farms more intelligently.

The video you watched is of an app I built for a large poultry layer farm in Ekiti state, South West Nigeria. In 2009, I built a similar one for a 12,000 layer farm in Ogun State, also in South West Nigeria.

The one you saw is quite sophisticated, and at a cost of N250, 000 (Two Hundred and Fifty Thousand Naira). A scaled down and therefore less pricey version (missing some features) of it will probably be best for smaller farms.

Please note that it is NOT an accounting application.

Yes, it does income and expense recording and reports weekly, monthly and annually.

However it’s main purpose is to record daily operations data so as to auto-generate Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for determining how well the animals are doing on a DAILY basis. Automated charts are plotted for KPIs like feeding rates, Hen Day Percentage, Mortality Rate; Feed to Egg conversion ration.

The trend of the charted data quickly tells you if there’s anything to worry about. And you can then take corrective action.

I call my applications of this kind “Enterprise Information Systems (EIS).

For a broiler operation, feeding rate, feed to flesh conversion ratio, mortality rate, growth rate would be the KPIs to measure.

However we still have to get a good idea of how your farm operates so we know how you’ll compile data to post into the app.

There is a paper based recording form that often gets modified for use on each different farm.

If I may offer some advice: avoid focussing on how much just yet. Slow down and think of what exactly you want software to do for you.

There’s so much you can do that can help you manage your farm with LESS EFFORT, and at less cost. That’s what I help farm owners achieve.

Here’s what I propose: I’ll send you a short questionnaire tomorrow, which you can fill and return to me. Then using your responses, I’ll give you more specific answers, including a recommendation on the kind of solution, and the required investment.

If the above agrees with you, just do me a reply saying so, and I’ll send you the questionnaire.

Thanks for your interest in my work.

===Email Excerpt Ends===

And Here’s the Response He Sent

And Here’s the Response He Sent...

24 hours Later, I Sent Him This Email(Below)…and an MS Excel Workbook (Linked Below)…

24 hours Later, I Sent Him This Email…and an MS Excel Workbook, Linked Below

Click here to download a duplicate version of the Excel based Functional Requirements Specification (FRS) and Questionnaire Workbook I sent to him.

Click here to download a duplicate version of the Excel based Functional Requirements Specification (FRS) and Questionnaire Workbook I sent to him

Note (below) how I stated my delivery duration towards the bottom of the FRS.

Note how I stated my delivery duration towards the bottom of the FRS

Without getting his responses to my FRS and questionnaire, I could not know if I could deliver in less than my standard “30 working days“.

So, it was up to him to respond with the answers I requested.

I’ve not heard from him since then.

Final Words: My Main Reason for Sharing this Story

Take it from me: Letting a client or prospect hurry you in doing your work, will rarely be a smart move.

What’s more, when a prospect does not want to “pay a heck of money”, AND at the same time wants the solution delivered “urgently“, YOUR best interests, as the provider, will be in danger if you accept!

My advice: NEVER change your pricing or delivery schedule, until you have enough information from the prospective buyer to guide you. And when you do get the information, make sure you request a reward (and working conditions) consistent with the value you know you will deliver.

Otherwise, not only will you look unprofessional, but you could also shoot yourself in the foot in terms of overall profitability.

Do not let any prospect or client make you jump through hoops.

Act like a dignified professional, and you’ll always be treated with respect. PLUS, you’ll protect yourself from exploitation.

PS: I should add that the above bit of advice originated, NOT from me, but from Herman Holtz, who was widely regarded as the Consultant’s Consultant.

In his book “How to Succeed as an Independent Consultant“, he stated “Be a Dignified Professional – Always” as Rule Number 2 in “The Initial Meeting with the New Client or Prospect“.

I urge you to abide by it!

[IMPORTANT: This blog's contents are being updated following the transfer to www.tayosolagbade.com from my former domain - Spontaneousdevelopment.com. As a result, some parts of it may not work properly for now. Quick Tip: If a link contains "spontaneousdevelopment.com", simply change it to "tayosolagbade.com" - and it should work. This applies to article links as well as image links. Work continues to update the links(in over 500 articles). Tayo K. Solagbade.]

Practical Livestock Feed Formulation Handbook

Available as a PDF ebook, and also as a spiral bound print manual (from me). Click here for details.

You can also get it as an PDF ebook via my online store.

Screenshot of ebook in online store

$82.5 USD to buy it from my online store (PDF download)

N8,000.00 [Eight Thousand Naira] for persons who wish to send payment direct to my bank account.

Payment of N50,000.00 gets you the physical handbook and software on CD with videos etc, PLUS practical one-on-one, in person training with me at a feed mill in Lagos, Nigeria.

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Tayo K. Solagbade*
Performance Improvement Specialist & Multipreneur
*Best Practice Farm Business Support Specialist
& Founder of the MS Excel Heaven Visual Basic Automation Club & Competition(www.excelheaven.biz)



Excel-VB Driven Ration Formulator

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1. Click here to learn more about this app - watch demo videos etc

2. Click here to watch a 4 part video in which I demonstrate how to use this app to formulate rations using real life data sent to me by an Algerian PhD student.

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Click here to download a detailed PDF user guide and watch 15 screen shot user guide tutorials of the Monthly Poultry Farm Manager that I now offer Farm CEOs.

Click here to watch a screenshot demonstration of the Excel-VB Driven Poultry Farm Manager I built for a client farm business in Ekiti state, South West Nigeria.

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