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3 Reasons for Being Honest (Even When Clients Don’t Want to Hear It)

Rockstars. That’s the goal. To make all our clients at RTS Labs look like rockstars when all is said and done. We aim to deliver unforgettable experiences. In order to do that, we have to be realistic and honest with our clients and potential clients — even when it means telling them things they may not want to hear.

It’s not our goal to take on every project and get every client who calls us or walks through our door. It’s our goal to stay true to our business and make decisions that make sense — for both parties. That’s why honesty is something we take very seriously.

This week, we hear from founder Jyot Singh on why honesty is the best policy when it comes to technology projects.

Jyot writes . . .

You’ve got to be honest, even when clients don’t want to hear it. It’s hard to do sometimes, especially when you’re a startup and in need of clients or you’ve got a manager breathing down your back about quotas. However, in my eight years of running RTS Labs (plus multiple years of doing software development), of all the lessons I’ve learned, this is the truth I keep coming back to. It doesn’t pay to mislead clients nor yourself about what can actually be done.

Just because you think it up doesn’t mean it can be — or should be — done. As talented as our RTS Labs team is, we are not magicians. Not saying that to be snarky, just being honest. Because honesty is important in this line of work, especially when big budgets and jobs are on the line.

One of biggest things that differentiates us from other technology firms is that we will always be honest and upfront when scoping out projects: about how practical a project is, what capabilities it will require — and whether or not we can realistically meet a client’s needs. (So if you want a reality check, we’re a good place to start.)

By sticking to this truth and the other lessons I’ve learned over the years, we have been able to serve our RTS clients well while also being fair to our team. Here are three specific reasons why I stick to this principle and how it benefits our team and our clients.

More wins. Fewer failures.

No one wants to fail. When you engage with a technology company, you want to go in with the confidence that they will complete the work and give you the features you ask for. We may say yes to building your technology, but we will always be honest when it comes to features that are not technically possible and cannot be done.

Our team is extremely talented. They are always up for a challenge and truly love working through tough problems. But some things just can’t be done — no matter how talented your developers are.

Some technology firms will say yes to everything with the attitude that they will figure it out once the contract is signed. Unfortunately, more times than not, all parties involved end up unhappy and disappointed with the results.

I’ve had to turn down huge contracts over a feature we would not promise to deliver. I lost them to firms that promised they would “make it happen” and then failed to deliver. In the end, some of those clients have come back to RTS Labs because the project didn’t work out. Sometimes, in an effort to get the pie-in-the-sky feature to work, other things would go wrong that would then need to be fixed.

If you build a good relationship with a client and are honest about the technical capabilities of a project, saying no is always the best policy.

If you’re not honest with the client, you end up:

  • Wasting the client’s money
  • Taking on a project that over works and over stresses your team
  • Having a failed project on your hands

Our clients look like rockstars.

We have this saying at RTS Labs, “You’re the star. We’re the secret weapon.” We pride ourselves on delivering unforgettable experiences that boost profits and deliver results.

In order to do that, we don’t just say yes to every project that comes along. We take the time to carefully study each client’s business process to ensure that the technology they seek will actually solve their problems and be a true technology solution for their business.

We’re the experts, which means sometimes telling a client that their idea sounds awesome but it’s not actually going to suit their business needs or solve their problems. We take time on the front end during the client intake process to make sure the solution we’re planning to deliver will make them look a rockstar in the end.

After all, software is only useful when it provides a vital business function.

Our employees are happier.

You know that idiom about fitting a square peg into a round hole? Well, it applies to clients in the world of software, too. Not only are we honest about projects that we can’t take on, we are honest with potential clients who are not the right fit.

If we meet and don’t seem to be on the same page, or if our company is just not the right fit for your project, we’re honest about it. We’re not going to spend time and money trying to fit square pegs in round holes. We work with people we want to work with and who are excited to work with us.

Some clients and projects are just not worth taking on — and that’s ok. Working with clients we feel good about — on projects that will be successful — makes for happy employees. Our team loves our clients and they love the projects they work on. That equals job satisfaction and loyalty.

Sound like your type of workplace? Check out our careers page

Some conversations are hard to have but they are necessary. In the end, being honest with people is the best policy. When you don’t take on projects that are destined to end in failure … when you don’t push your team past their limitations, your projects are wins for your team and your clients. It means you don’t end up working with people who are not the right fit.

Happy clients. Happy employees. More wins. Fewer failures.

If you’d like to connect with our founder Jyot, check out his LinkedIn profile here.

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