Trying to convince client to get into FileMaker

I've come up with the following benefits for using FileMaker (see attached). Trying to get a client off of old no longer supported software.

The list below has the FMP features I've come up with so far,

Would appreciate any comments, additions, or whatever to improve this list.

Thus far, I have only filled in one benefit since I wanted to get some comments to see if I'm on the right track.

This client is very cost sensitive so that's a major hurdle. Also, the cost to convert their existing system to FIleMaker would probably be at least $100,000.


Why (1.2 KB)

Hi @OliverBarrett
The list has many items, very technical ones. From my experience, most customers don‘t want to get into that many details. A slightly different approach starts with a focused high-Level list of about 12 items, giving a reason for each item why your offering fits your customer‘s needs and how the platform supports it.

As en example: just one line about Plugins:

Covers future business needs through functionality added by 3rd party plugins (i.e. email handling)

The list should capture the customer‘s attention by linking his business needs to solution/platform capabilities.


The Claris FileMaker Platform brings one tool to develop applications for all places of usage: Desktop, Web, Mobile. It's quick to develop and customize and brings a lot of functionality built-in. With a server, you get data safely stored and exchanged with all users.
And it's not something running on just a website, but it can run locally and off-line if needed.


None of those reasons get me out of my chair. The basic fact is that if FileMaker is not fully capable of handling their needs, it shouldn't be used. They need to be convinced that YOU are capable of providing the software they need. They need to trust YOUR advice on how that is done.

If I am buying a car, I don't want to be talking about which of your toolkits has the most spanners. Big features, like cost of ownership, time to delivery, financing, are much more important.


I guess what's missing from my posting is this is a long-term client who would expect to know these data points.
Sorry I left that part out.

Then concentrate on cost of ownership, time to delivery, safety for the business, and other business focussed issues.

If you want to draw up a huge list of minutiae, do it in a page layout program, include the project description up front, use a lot of good colour photography, put your branding on it, print it on heavy glossy paper and make sure it hits the table with some thud. Let them find the technical stats when they flip through the book, if they get that far.


Claris is a part of Apple and used heavily there. It can't really go out of business.
There are thousands of developers available.

Other tools may allow to develop a web app or take much longer. But with Claris you are flexible and you can define your layouts and either use them via web or client app.

I wasn't referring to Claris. I was referring to the plug-in vendor since I had not heard back from him.

I've been using FIleMaker for almost 10 years so I'm acquainted with its benefits. :wink:

Sorry again @Malcolm , past experience with this client means these questions will come up but your ideas are really good. However, given that their current solution is free (no FMS fees, etc.) and it "works" even though no longer officially supported by MS, means it's a tough sell.

Thanks for your follow up.

It's a tough sell to go from "free but not quite what I want" to $100K for a system they haven't even seen the blueprints for.

I agree. Well the same functionality, more or less would be expected.

The problem is that if their ancient system just "stops working" there will be no further updates from MS. At that point, it becomes important. :sunglasses:

You may also ask on their technical debt with the current solution.
How much stuff could you automate?
How much do they have to do manually?
How much needs to be changed to adapt to newer standards like electronic invoices?
How about including payment barcodes on invoices for example?
How long will the current solution run?
How likely is it to fail?
How long can they wait if it fails before the new replacement is ready?

You may not convince them to sign now, but you can start to present yourself as solution and get them to think about investing. And teach them that the decision to move must come months in advance.


This is a list of features, not benefits. Convincing a client to spend $100K likely will take a discussion of risk reduction, return on investment, stability, etc. Would your approach be to start with a single module / function and build from there?

Edit: Sorry, I opened the file on my iPhone and didn’t notice the benefits column. I understand your approach.

1 Like

Or imagine the sound of « we have spent 300k in the last 5 years » ; Well you need to scrap it, the solution needs to be rewritten from scratch there are unfixable limitations in the logic and, as you know, no one wants to read that code; ...

1 Like

Are they using MS Access?

There is a video that was recorded during a presentation called something like "The million dollars developer". It a true story by Eric - can't recall his last name - working for a University in California. The bosses decided to hire a large consulting firm to redo their system. A few years later the development was not complet, parts were buggy or incomplete, etc.. That work was put to the garbage.

Eric with a coworker started back with the current (older) FileMaker app, added the missing functionalities, and that was completed in lest than a year if I am right.

I will try to find out that video. I haven't seen a post from Eric in he Community in a long time,

1 Like

Eric Matthews « 2.6 million dollars developer» San José State University

Last post Jan 13 2021


It's all about the color! Nothing else. :grinning:

Joking aside: It's about the benefit for the owner/user. Tech specs mostly don't matter too much. My clients choose my FM invoicing software because of it's ease-of-use and because of how clean it looks. There are other solutions that have way more functionality.

Wow, what kind of FMS license is that?

Visual FoxPro 9