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Drupal for Designers by Dani Nordin

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Chapter 21. Getting Clients to Love You, Even When You Have to Tell Them “No”

There comes a time in every Drupal project where you are going to have to say “no” to something your client wants. This could happen for a number of reasons. Your client could have seen an amazing widget on somebody else’s site and feel they must have it on theirs. Or they suddenly decide that what they really need to “engage their community” is a full set of social media tools that customers can use directly through their site. Regardless of the reason, you’ve already set the scope for the project, you’re probably already worried about meeting your deadlines, and you need to find a way to diffuse this situation without losing your patience or the client.

There are a few things to remember when this happens to you:

  • Most of the time, the client will actually have a very good reason for making this suggestion.

  • Just because something can’t be part of the site now doesn’t mean it can never be; in fact, these types of conversations often lead to future enhancements.

  • The client needs to know they’ve been heard, and to know what you’re going to do about it.

This is why it’s so essential to have up-front documentation that clearly describes the technical and design scope of the project, user objectives, and business goals. The documentation won’t prevent these ideas from cropping up; but it will give you a foundation for the conversation you need to have with the client when they do.

For example, let’s say you contracted ...

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