Dealing with a picky, argumentative, semi-cheap, sarcastic-mean client

I’ve been doing a good amount of reading on my own but wanted to hear anyone’s feedback in dealing with this.

A couple partners and I started a small agency last year and have one client who came on about a few months ago starting with a new website.

Ive been doing this a long time, so have worked with a range of difficult personalities, but I am having trouble with this one as I can often feel myself wanting to lash back out due to the condescending/argumentative behavior.

A few more details – we are on a monthly retainer so there’s not a lot of “scope creep”.

We are spending way too much time walking through every tiny detail and it is exhausting. Random phone calls during the day, not understanding where to find things after repeatedly showing, meetings going way over scheduled.

We are getting the “I want this done now, but I want it perfect” scenario.

But the biggest issue I am facing with is I often get a lot of snide remarks, and argumentative behavior “I already told you that days ago” when there was definitely no email or verbal confirmation (becoming a pattern). It’s definitely someone who doesn’t really know what exactly we do, but the condescending behavior has in my opinion been getting very close to needing addressing.

I’ve been doing a lot of reading: don’t take things personally, changing mindset to “we are having trouble seeing eye to eye” instead of “he is a bad client”, explaining to them why things take time, etc.

I think it’s my personality as well to “talk back” so I find myself on the verge of saying something that may escalate things. Luckily I’ve been trying to get better at letting things go.

It’s been a process to really reflect on what I say and how I say it, but wondering if there’s any advice to people who have dealt with similar issues.

They are not integral to our business, but we do have numbers we are trying to hit so we like the revenue. Concerned it may take a toll on our company morale if we continue on this engagement though.

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Startups – Rapid Growth and Innovation is in Our Very Nature!

SetSail raises raises $7M to change how sales teams are compensated

Most sales teams earn a commission after a sale closes, but nothing prior to that. Yet there are a variety of signals along the way that indicate the sales process is progressing, and SetSail, a startup from some former Google engineers, is using machine learning to figure out what those signals are, and how to compensate salespeople as they move along the path to a sale, not just after they close the deal.

Today, the startup announced a $ 7 million investment led by Wing Venture Capital with help from Operator Collective and Team8. Under the terms of the deal, Leyla Seka from Operator will be joining the board. Today’s investment brings the total raised to $ 11 million, according to the company.

CEO and co-founder Haggai Levi says his company is based on the idea that commission alone is not a good way to measure sales success, and that it is in fact a lagging indicator. “We came up with a different approach. We use machine learning to create progress-based incentives,” Levi explained.

To do that they rely on machine learning to discover the signals that are coming from the customer that indicate that the deal is moving forward, and using a points system, companies can begin compensating reps on hitting these milestones, even before the sale closes.

The seeds for the idea behind SetSail were planted years ago when the three founders were working at Google tinkering with ways to motivate sales reps beyond pure commission. From a behavioral perspective, Levi and his co-founders found that reps were taking fewer risks with a pure commission approach and they wanted to find a way to change that. The incremental compensation system achieves that.

“If I’m closing the deal, I’m getting my commission. If I’m not closing the deal, I’m getting nothing. That means from a behavioral point of view, I would take the shortest path to win a deal, and I would take the minimum risk possible. So if there’s a competitive situation I will try to avoid that,” he said.

They look at things like appointments, emails and call transcripts. The signals will vary by customer. One may find an appointment with CIO is a good signal a deal is on the right trajectory, but to avoid having reps gaming the system by filling the CRM with the kinds of positive signals the company is looking for, they only rely on objective data, rather than any kind of self-reporting information from reps themselves.

The team eventually built a system like this inside Google, and in 2018, left to build a solution for the rest of the world that does something similar.

As the company grows, Levi says he is building a diverse team, not only because it’s the right thing to do, but because it simply makes good business sense. “The reality is that we’re building a product for a diverse audience, and if we don’t have a diverse team we would never be able to build the right product,” he explained.

The company’s unique approach to sales compensation is resonating with customers like Dropbox, Lyft and Pendo, who are looking for new ways to motivate sales teams, especially during a pandemic when there may be a longer sales cycle. This kind of system provides a way to compensate sales teams more incrementally and reward positive approaches that have proven to result in sales.

Startups – TechCrunch sells for $24,000 in a three month flip The top sale for Wednesday was at $ 24,000. The domain name sold at Sedo. According to Namebio it sold just 3 months ago at Sedo for just $ 1,650. Pretty nice flip for whoever sold it. The domain name was registered in 2018. Selling for $ 24,000 places in a tie with for the […] The post s…

I just started a custom web development agency. I’m lucky enough to have a couple clients already. Though I want to expand. What should I be prepared for?

I'm in the process of hiring some freelancers so I can keep up with the workload. I know that at the very least, I'd need to hire more devs to handle the workload. What else should I be aware of, what else should I be prepared for? I have a lawyer to help with the legalities. Though I've never done anything like this before. Can anyone help? Thanks in advance.

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Startups – Rapid Growth and Innovation is in Our Very Nature!

Slack snags corporate directory startup Rimeto to up its people search game

For the second time in less than 24 hours, an enterprise company bought an early-stage startup. Yesterday afternoon DocuSign acquired Liveoak, and this morning Slack announced it was buying corporate directory startup Rimeto, which should help employees find people inside the organization who match a specific set of criteria from inside Slack.

The companies did not share the purchase price.

Rimeto helps companies build directories to find employees beyond using tools like Microsoft Active Directory, homegrown tools or your corporate email program. When we covered the company’s $ 10 million Series A last year, we described what it brings to directories this way:

Rimeto has developed a richer directory by sitting between various corporate systems like HR, CRM and other tools that contain additional details about the employee. It of course includes a name, title, email and phone like the basic corporate system, but it goes beyond that to find areas of expertise, projects the person is working on and other details that can help you find the right person when you’re searching the directory.

In the build versus buy equation that companies balance all the time, it looks like Slack weighed the pros and cons and decided to buy. You could see how a tool like this would be useful to Slack as people try to build teams of employees, especially in a world where so many are working from home.

While the current Slack people search tool lets you search by name, role or team, Rimeto should give users a much more robust way of searching for employees across the company. You can search for the right person to help you with a particular problem and get much more granular with your search requirements than the current tool allows.

Image Credit: Rimeto

At the time of its funding announcement, the company, which was founded in 2016 by three former Facebook employees, told TechCrunch it had bootstrapped for the first three years before taking the $ 10 million investment last year. It also reported it was cash-flow positive at the time, which is pretty unusual for an early-stage enterprise SaaS company.

In a company blog post announcing the deal, as is typical in these deals, the founders saw being part of a larger organization as a way to grow more quickly than they could have alone. “Joining Slack is a special opportunity to accelerate Rimeto’s mission and impact with greater reach, expanded resources, and the support of Slack’s impressive global team,” the founders wrote in the post.

The acquisition is part of a continuing trend around enterprise companies buying early-stage startups to fill in holes in their product road maps.

Startups – TechCrunch

Tips on starting

Hello I am a software engineer right now. I want to create a software development and cyber security startup but I don't know where to start. I am pretty sure I am really good at what I do from software development to security I can make sure that I can handle it. But there are some issues/worries I have that's kinda scaring me to take the jump from 9-5 to own startup.

  1. How do I get a client? I don't know where to find or contact people for businesses like this.
  2. I don't have any certifications, I learned everything from my job and through the help of internet.

Right now this are the issues I am looking at. If you could give me some piece of advice to where to start or how to start would be great! Have a nice day

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Startups – Rapid Growth and Innovation is in Our Very Nature!

Nauta Capital launches fifth fund with €120M to back early-stage European B2B startups

Nauta Capital, the pan-European venture capital firm that invests in B2B technology startups at seed and Series A, is launching its fifth fund.

The new vehicle has an initial close of €120 million and is expected to surpass the VC’s 2016 fund, which topped out at €155 million.

With offices in London, Barcelona and Munich, Nauta Capital has over half a billion under management and is supported by a team of 24 people, making it one of Europe’s largest B2B-focused VCs. The firm invests in companies mainly based in the U.K., Spain and Germany, as well as those based in other continental European countries with plans to significantly increase their presence in one of its key geographical hubs.

Describing itself as “sector-agnostic,” Nauta Capital’s main areas of interest include B2B SaaS solutions with “strong network effects,” vertically focused enterprise tech that is attempting to transform large industries, and deep tech applications that solve an array of challenges faced by large enterprises. More broadly, it says it targets “capital-efficient” B2B software companies.

In total, Nauta has led investments in more than 50 companies. They include Brandwatch, a U.K. digital consumer intelligence company with $ 100 million ARR; Onna, a knowledge integration platform that unifies workplace knowledge platforms for the likes of Facebook and Dropbox; PromoteIQ, which was acquired by Microsoft in 2019; zenloop, a Berlin-based experience management platform; and MishiPay, a mobile self-checkout technology.

LPs in this fifth fund’s first close include both existing and new investors from continental Europe and America. They span fund of funds, financial institutions, insurance companies and large family offices that lead large corporates with “strong synergies” with Nauta’s portfolio.

“We have doubled the first close compared to our 2016 fund in record time against a backdrop of a global pandemic,” says Carles Ferrer, Nauta’s London-based general partner, in a statement. “With more than 80% of the contributions received from existing LPs, we are humbled to see that our thesis has resonated with so many of our current LPs who have joined us again.”

That thesis has seen Nauta have the discipline to back companies that take a leaner approach, including during fundraising or leveraging cash efficiently to achieve growth, according to Ferrer. “At a time when we are navigating a global pandemic, where the global economy has taken a severe hit, it’s more apparent than ever that our conviction in capital-efficiency maximises sustainability and leads to greater long-term outcomes for entrepreneurs, regardless of their stage,” he says.

Meanwhile, Nauta is disclosing that the first company to be backed from its new fund is NumberEight, which has raised a $ 2.3 million seed round led by the VC. Based in the U.K., NumberEight offers a “contextual intelligence” platform for mobile devices that predicts consumer context to “enable the delivery of the right content at the right time,” while claiming to preserve user privacy by not sending or storing sensor data beyond the user’s device.

“The startup leverages advanced context recognition and on-device AI techniques to predict more than 100 contextual signals, such as “travelling to work on a bicycle,” thus providing mobile apps with real-time behavioural and situational consumer insights,” explains Nauta.

Startups – TechCrunch

The number of inbounds you get a month can tell you a lot about your portfolio Yesterday I wrote an article about the absolutely stellar results that Abdul Basit is seeing at Afternic and I’ve been reading through some of his earlier articles to dive deeper into the data. One stat that I always find interesting is the number of inquiries someone gets as a percentage of their portfolio. I often […]