Should I poke the bear or stroke the bear: a guide to setting client expectations

October 27, 2018

Manchester WordCamp, Manchester Metropolitan University Business School

WordCamps are always a very special place for me, and the Manchester 2018 WordCamp was no different. I really enjoyed giving this talk, and seeing how people reacted to my ideas. Here’s the synopysis of what I talked through:

Part of building websites is the business of providing a professional service that helps your client solve problems. But it’s easy to fall into the trap of being eager to please and being too quick to say yes, thinking we’re providing good service to our clients. When it comes to delivering said promises, the once very happy client can turn into a big scary bear that wants you for breakfast when delivery doesn’t go as they expect. Nobody likes or wants to be a big scary bear.

In this talk we’ll have a look at some techniques on how to tame the bear. We’ll talk through why it’s important to take the time to set expectations upfront and how you can avoid creating a scary bear situation. We’ll explore the balance between poking the bear aka not being afraid to push back, and stroking the bear aka saying yes.


Here’s some of the things people said about it: