Over the years I have written about a lot of WooCommerce products and services here. And although I am no longer doing as much of that here these days, I continue to get requests from those builders.
As a result, I thought I would be good to share with you a podcast/event over on Do the Woo. I asked Jodie from WebDevStudios and Michael from Vatu to talk about how they decided what products to use and building relationships.
In this post I asked them what is the first step in approaching agencies or developers.
If you are interested, you can watch the whole one in the video above or listen to the full podcast at the end of this post.
What is the first step?
Jodie ~ You spend all of this time and this energy building this amazing product, you’re really excited, you just want to get it out there. You see names that might be interested, you start reaching out to them. I appreciate and truly understand the work that goes into building a products and I get that excitement, I do. But, to your point, we get inundated on a daily basis with tons of people that have new products or ideas or projects that want to talk to us and it would truly be impossible for me to fully engage in every one of those conversations and still do my job. There is a bit of a vetting process when people are reaching out to me that I go through to make a decision whether or not I want to have a conversation with them.
First of all, I truly believe in taking the time to research the agency and the people that you’re reaching out to. So just understanding if you’re going to reach out to WebDevStudios, in my specific situation, understand the kinds of companies that we work with and whether or not your product would make sense for our clients. That’s just basic number one. Number two, it’s understanding, well, do you reach out to me?
Approaching the Non-Developer
I know that business development sounds like the person that you want to reach out to, but a little secret, I’m not going to vet your plugin. I’m not an engineer. Our Director of Engineering is going to be the one who looks at the code, who looks at the plugin, who makes a decision whether or not it’s something that we want to work with. Now I’m a gatekeeper for him in many ways, admittedly.
So, if you’re going to reach out to me, I appreciate when somebody takes the time to look me up on LinkedIn, uses my name, spells WebDevStudios correctly, spells WordPress correctly, these are the things that I’m looking at. Did they take the time and make a serious effort to reach out? That’s just step one. Number two, I’m okay with somebody reaching out to me more than one time if it’s good content, but what I don’t love are guilt emails. Like, “I’ve reached out to you three times in the last week and haven’t heard back.” I’m not going to answer them.
I get many emails throughout the day, people hit me up on social media every day. I’m always like kind of like funneling through conversations, but if you send me an email and say, “Hey, I see that this organization in Philadelphia is raising money for dogs. I thought you might be interested in that.” You better believe that’s going to get my intention because I love animals very much and I live in Philadelphia. Those two things are going to really capture my attention and make me want to engage with that person a little bit more. So, do your research, understand who you’re reaching out to, the agency that you’re reaching out to and be thoughtful in your first communication, that to me is just the basics.
The Developer’s View
Michael ~ I completely echo that. I think from the developer’s perspective is I probably am the better person to talk to instead of a manager, “Oh, we need this feature. Which plugin do you recommend?” And then, “Well, I’ve worked with this one before I recommend X plugin to do this, or don’t use that plugin that plug-in was difficult on a previous project.” Probably am the better person to talk to than a business development manager, but on the other hand, I can spot an automated, repetitive email because I wrote them.
As part of development, we build that facility so somebody can email out one email and just swap the name around, so I can spot it a mile away. So to echo Jodie sentiments is, yes. Look, research me, find out something. If you start the email with, “Oh, the Albion have done well today, or talk about dogs.” I’ve got a dog, let’s talk about dogs, or favorite rugby team or things like that. You instantly break down that barrier, you disarmed me from going, “Oh no, not another email.” Delete or not even open it. It’s got to be the personalization of that email and not just the generic of send this out to a hundred different people.
I want that personal thing and then that’s going to make me talk to you. If I see one that says, “Dear,” insert name here, I’m not going to give you two seconds of the day because it’s not worth my time. You might have the most amazing plugin in the world, but you’ve not sold it to me. I need to be sold on, we’re personable, we’re responsive, we took the time to research you. Well, if you take that much time to email me, you must take even more time on the product that you love, that’s amazing, that’s wonderful to give you that type of thing, that then gives me the perception of you has been a lot better than it would be if it’s just a generic email that we get sent out all the time.