Every week I get a couple of leads for web projects. Usually we have a phone conversation or two, trade some e-mail, and then the project either gains momentum (in which case I write a formal proposal) or sputters out (in which case I move on with my life).
Of course sometimes it takes a little prodding to get potential clients to understand that they need to actually tell me what they need. Sometimes I get vague requirements like “Yeah, uhh, I need a web site for my collectible Pez container business” or whatever. Then I have to explain there are a lot of facets to web sites, how much some of them cost, and so forth. After doing that, sometimes I never hear back from the person… generally because they expected to pay a few hundred dollars for a site that rivals Amazon, and when I tell them it will be several thousand dollars and the site most definitely won’t rival Amazon, they change their minds and decide to do it themselves in FrontPage or whatever.
Anyway, there are times when I don’t know whether they’ve gone off to learn FrontPage, or they’re just really busy with things and would in fact move forward with the project if only I moved things along. So I do my best to follow up with all of my leads, if nothing else so they’ll remember me six months from now when they find out FrontPage is a piece of crap and their site looks like something built by a nine-year-old, and then I’ll get their business.
So I wrote to one of these mysteriously quiet leads today, reminding him that he had promised to call me to hash out some details of his proposed project. He wrote back with what must surely be the strangest reply I’ve ever heard from a lead:
Who the heck is Mike Jones? And what does the mayor of Honolulu have to do with a baseball team? And– more to the point– how in the world does this have anything at all to do with a web site?
I guess I’ll write this one off. Heh.