Letters from a perfect imperfectionist: “They don’t send me flowers any more”

I get this call a lot.

Actually not those exact words but more like:

Chris could you take a look at our website please?

Its 2/3/4/5/6 years old and we dont think it is working for us as well as it used to.

The people who built the website for us dont seem as keen to connect with us as they used to be because:

they are busy signing up new clients
they have developed interests in other business sectors/activities and don
t seem to be as enthusiastic about the dental sector any more
they have told us that we will need to spend a lot of money to get back on top again
they don
t seem to be quite as on the ball as the early days

I have a lot of friends in the “web build” business and want to quickly add that I’m not tarring everyone with the same brush here – some deliver excellent and continued service to their clients.

Equally, I’ve worked with clients who want to blame every external contractor for their own inability to get things done.

As a consultant myself, I’ve learned over the years to manage the client’s expectations of what I can do for them – and also lay it on thick about the homework they will have to do to make the relationship fruitful.


I do remain surprised that the “web build” sector seems to be one that is populated by suppliers who don’t “get” the long-term care (of their clients).

A new client recently asked me to review a site that was a few years old – content rich (an online patient education centre) but not ticking any of the boxes for 2015 digital marketing:

no data collection (cardinal sin)
no social media badges on the home page
no video testimonials
no Google reviews
no blog
no white papers

…and yet the client is paying upwards of £1,000 per annum for a “maintenance contract”?

If I had the time I would run a business coaching course for web build people – it would be called:

all the money you need for the rest of your career is in the pockets of the people that you already know and the people that they can introduce you to

Machines can optimise and advertise.

People care.

“These “letters” are the personal observations of me, Chris Barrow and are not intended to reflect the views of 7connections and its team members, they just give me permission to publish here on the basis that they can keep an eye on me, a bit like a mad relative at a wedding reception. I’m likely to upset the sensitive and outrage the sensible – if you fall into either of those camps then read at your peril.”


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Chris Barrow

Chris Barrow has been active as a consultant, trainer and coach to the UK dental profession for over 20 years. As a writer, his blog enjoys a strong following and he is a regular contributor to the dental press. Naturally direct, assertive and determined, he has the ability to reach conclusions quickly, as well as the sharp reflexes and lightness of touch to innovate, change tack and push boundaries. In 2014 he appeared as a “castaway” in the first season of the popular reality TV show “The Island with Bear Grylls”. His main professional focus is as Coach Barrow, providing coaching and mentorship to independent dentistry.