Stubborn Clients With Old Software

Perhaps you’ve encountered this conundrum: a client has hired you to perform a job, and they insist the output must be compatible with their dated software. You don’t have the software in question, and you wonder whether your client’s old software will be compatible with the contemporary software you use. Say, for example, you’ve been hired to design a new website for a client who, despite your complete login in switching platforms to, say, hosted WordPress, insists on being able to make updates with Microsoft FrontPage. What do you do?

In my opinion, you have two options:

You attempt to talk your client into sitting for a tour of the software you propose.

OR

You refuse the project.

Of course, the former option is preferable. If you can talk your client into sitting down and taking a guided tour of the software you recommend, you might be able to change their mind. Chances are, they’ll notice how much more intuitive contemporary software can be, and might even get excited about learning and using it. In this manner you’re able to keep your client, keep your client happy, perform your job, get paid and help your client achieve their goals.

The latter option results in nothing but wasted time and no money. It also demonstrates an unwillingness to adapt, compromise, or – more importantly – problem solve on your part.

If your client is being stubborn about old software, you have to understand that it’s what they feel comfortable working with. It’s your job to convince them otherwise by presenting a better solution and explaining why your recommended software is better.

If, after doing so, your client still insists on using old software, you can refuse the project. Working for clients who can’t see the logic in your recommendations – provided your recommendations are sound and thoroughly explained – is never a good idea. Cut your losses and move on to clients who are on the same page.

Do agree with this approach, or do you feel the client is always right and you should do whatever you can to accommodate them, even if that approach is not in their best interest? Let me know your thoughts in the comments!