Clients Demands: Can you push the sun a little?

While driving with my son to drop him to his school, I stopped at a check point. This was the moment where he was feeling distraction by direct sunlight, as if struggling to see around. Before I could start, he requested me very politely – “Dad, can you please push the sun a little”?

I was awed by his ignorance though he was perfectly genuine in his demand.

I immediately recalled a few instances, very few though, where clients would make similar requests.

Quote for Website

Sometimes though not too often, I see clients asking me for a quote to develop their website. When asked about the business idea, audience, immediate goals and long-term vision, and such very relevant details, they are not sure but they insist on getting a ball-park quote.

They are certainly trying to push the sun a bit.

Sensing the pitch and tone of such clients, I have my own way to make them understand that their request is not genuine.

For instance, I wrote web copy for a client based in Copenhagen, Denmark, and we signed off well. After 3 months, he wrote me an email as ‘How much do you charge to develop a website?”, along with the customary greetings and happy-to-connect stuff.

I wrote back “I want to purchase a house in Copenhagen, how much it would cost to me?”.

I sensed that he would ask me a few questions, and he did as “Ah, it depends on so many things… what size, which location, what kind of facilities you are looking for, the interiors, and so on”.

“Exactly, same applies to your question for website too,” I replied. We just laughed off.

He never came back with the answer, but he never asked me to push the sun either.

Turnaround Time

There are cases when a client wants me write 50 help topics (procedures, instructions, screenshots) in 2 calendar days. Being late December and foggy mornings these days in here Chandigarh, I am happy to not to see the sun at all, rather than making a case that we cannot really push it around.

Whatever work we do, there are times where we sense that the ‘work request’ is unreasonable. The other person is often the manager, or a client. How do you make them understand that you cannot really push the sun?