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I have a client that has on 4 separate occasions scheduled then canceled appointments to meet. He claims to be ready to sign a contract and get started, but we are left waiting. I've suggested having our meetings online via Google Hangouts/Skype or just group calls but he insists we meet in person. He's constantly trying to get me to schedule the next appointment but I'm losing faith that he will ever come through.

I understand that new business founders are going to be busy, but what I can do as a web development company to help him get the site started?

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I'd just be "busy" myself and be unavailable.

This kind of interaction is a harbinger to how quickly he'll pay and how important he'll see any requests on your part to complete any projects.

  • One cancelation is understandable.

  • Two cancellations might be okay depending upon his/her reasoning.

  • Three cancellations shows a clear lack of commitment or intention.

  • Four cancellations shows a complete lack of respect for your time.

Expend your time and resources on clients that are committed rather than on clients that just waste your time unnecessarily.

  • I'm glad that you pointed that out, I felt like I was way off for being offended by his actions. It's good to know that it's a reasonable response. – stackoverfloweth Sep 13 '16 at 20:45
  • Anyone dedicated to the project they want to hire you for will be eager to meet with you.... even if there will be a delay in starting the project itself. Anyone who repeatedly delays even meeting you, but insists on the meeting, is stalling... either due to financial reasons or a lack of ernest commitment to the project themselves. You aren't "way off" for being offended. It would be a different matter if you were already hired, but if you haven't even been hired... I'd not schedule a 5th meeting or schedule the meeting at my office where if he fails to appear.... it won't matter. – Scott Sep 13 '16 at 20:48
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At this point, I would remind him that he already cancelled four times, and I'd ask him to pay a retainer in advance before I'd move forward with any more tentative appointments.

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I'd be direct and politely remind him that he has failed 4 times. On the off chance he thought you were as casual about missing meetings as he is, I'd give him one more chance, but on my terms.

Specifically, that means he must understand you mean it when you commit to a meeting, so this failing again means there will be no future working together. And he will have to pay in advance, though not necessarily in full. It could be a milestone at a time, or an projected invoice at a time -- whatever makes sense.

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