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  • #972505
    Daniel82
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    Hi guys,

    A bit of background info – I am graphic designer and web designer, based in Perth.

    Ok, here’s my problem. I am finding that a lot of people do not value web design services correctly. I am being asked to “price match” other quotes from web designers, not taking into consideration the quality of the work and the time spent achieving a final product that actually works well for the client.

    I just had a potential client ask me to half my quote, because they came across someone doing “the same thing” for half price. The problem is, it’s NOT the same thing. Websites are not laptop computers – you can’t just compare the specs and find the cheapest retailer. Experience, marketing knowledge, attention to detail etc seems to be worth absolutely nothing in today’s market.

    I am after some advice from anyone out there who has dealt with similar problems in their industry. How do I explain to people that you well and truly get what you pay for? How do I sell the value of a website that (in my experience) I am 100% convinced will work well for their business? Any ideas? Why is it only larger corporations who seem to value high quality work? Why aren’t new or small businesses willing to INVEST in a website that will put them in a better position, rather than settle for a DIY website or getting someone’s cousin to throw one together in 2 hours?

    That’s my daily rant. Seriously though – if anyone out there has any tips that will allow me to communicate and sell quality instead of engaging in a price war, let me know. Thanks.

    #1056448
    OneArmedGraphics
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    Hey Daniel, I think most will say that if a short & sweet “you get what you pay for” doesn’t work then, they’re probably not worth the trouble.

    #1056449
    Daniel82
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    I agree.. thanks.

    I just don’t understand how business owners can be so reluctant to invest in their own business – when all the evidence says it’s a good idea to have a decent website. Next time somebody asks me to price match I will take it as a warning sign.

    I had the same issues when I was doing more logo designs, if price is the first thing they mention, you can almost guarantee by the end of the job you’ll regret taking it on. For example, they might love their logo concepts, but because Fred Smith offers 100 concepts for $99, they will ask me to do the same – even though I spent 10x the amount of time on their job already.

    #1056450
    Past-Member
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    Hi Daniel – I feel your pain. Unfortunately we are all up against the same thing, myself included. You can spend hours on a quote – then they go elsewhere based on price and you have nothing and no income to show for the time you have spent. It’s a challenge to so many of us.

    #1056451
    SuzsSpace
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    I wonder how much of this is because we don’t understand what you do and how much work you put into it. I certainly have no idea how many hours you’d put into designing a new logo, I’m starting to understand about a website but it’s taken me a long time to get there.

    #1056452
    Daniel82
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    Yep there’s definitely some of that involved. Educating the clients is absolutely necessary. I am more talking about those who run around getting quotes and have no interest in anything aside from the list of features offered by each company. If it were my website, and my business, I would be more concerned with the qualifications, experience and portfolio of each company rather than just “cheapest quote wins”. Recently i had someone go one step further and create a fictitious quote from another company, then try to get me to beat the price. They were happy with my portfolio and the service I was proposing, but wanted to get me to do it much cheaper (not realising that time is money?). That sort of thing is quite disheartening.

    I would give anything to have clients who are willing to be educated. The way I see it is they bring the knowledge of their company and industry, I bring the design, marketing and technical skills. I need them as much as they need me, so it doesn’t matter if they aren’t up to date in the latest web design trends, as long as they are willing to let me make suggestions and ultimately do my job.

    #1056453
    AgentMail
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    Hi Daniel,

    Let me as you a question – If you asked me to print some business cards for you on 400gsm board, and I was going to charge you $155 per 1,000, but the guy down the road was going to offer ‘the same’ at $125 – you would have to consider it wouldn’t you :)

    Now what about if the guy down the road was offering those business cards at $125, but you came to me and I said – How about I do you a new business package, which includes 1,000 business cards, 500 letterheads, some free flyers, promotional pens and some other fuzzy stuff, and you can have all that for $400, plus I’ll give you a $100 off voucher for a web or logo package from such and such a design company?

    The value proposition of this package means I can keep my price of $155, and upsell to some other goodies, and I can refer a client to you, and all it’ll cost you if they go ahead is $100.

    This isn’t me trying to pitch to you, but think about the value proposition. Think about the total chain of events that is happening when someone requires a website – what value can you add that your competitors can’t or wont.

    Just some food for thought

    #1056454
    PerfectNotes-Kathy
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    Hi Daniel,

    All of us in a service business face the same issue sooner or later… And yes, the answers are pretty much as above – if they are only interested in the money, that is going to be their focus – for the entire process – so they are probably not clients that you want… And the way to change the clients that approach you is the education process – ensure that your website includes all information on the background and experience that you bring to the process – have testimonials from clients that show how you went the extra mile for them to turn out a quality design, not just a quick and dirty ‘one size fits all’ website… and wait for the right clients to find you! Also, ensure that any marketing you’re doing includes that info too.

    Good luck!

    Kathy

    #1056455
    nominal
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    AgentMail, post: 69358 wrote:
    Just some food for thought

    You’re confusing me :-)

    It will be very hard to convince someone that your ‘value’ is better than someone else’s based on a quick quote and no real evidence.

    I understand a website design is not a commodity and sure hell can see BIG differences in quality, but a prospect has not much to go on when they want to compare so they will use the feature list as a basis for comparison – makes sense.

    I can tell you from my experience as the customer that the first impression on a web designer own website has the greatest impact, if you can portray excellence, coolnesses, professionalism in a way that will outweigh the price difference – you’re going to win the deal otherwise the tightly budgeted small business owner will go for the cheaper option (especially if that’s their first website)

    #1056456
    Daniel82
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    Thanks Kathy. Good to hear I am not alone with this issue.

    One thing I have noticed is that if you don’t meet the clients in person (if you work remotely) they tend to treat you like a machine, and have very limited patience. I am now trying to establish myself more locally, having meetings in person to discuss their website. So much easier and a good relationship is establish, along with a lot more trust by both parties.

    It is pretty common for web designers to never meet their clients in person, but it certainly makes the whole thing more difficult in some respects.

    #1056457
    Craig_Longmuir
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    i wouldnt bother with haggling over price. as everyone has said they are likely to be the sort of clients wo turn out to be more trouble than they are worth.

    potentially offer a discount if you really like the project and see it as something valuable to your portfolio

    #1056458
    Stuart B
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    It’s all about educating them. They need to have a clear understanding of why the cheapies are not going to be valuable for them, and why it’s a mistake to go down that road.

    Talk about return on investment, proven examples, strategies that will actaully benefit their business etc.

    At the end of the day if you do all those things and they’re still focused on price then you don’t want to work for them anyway.

    There are plenty of SMB’s that do recognise the value of quality before price, but obviously they’re not as common so they’re harder to find.

    Don’t lose heart, just focus on the type of people you want to work with, and if they don’t fit that category just give them the boot and move on to the next one.

    #1056459
    JaneB
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    It’s a bit worrying to read that if a potential client talks about price then they aren’t worth taking on as a client.

    We all have budgets – and a website it just one part of a whole business package.

    We would all love to have the absolute maserati of a website with the most sophisticated logo, but have to make the website pay for itself within the context of our micro-businesses.

    If we’ve allocated a certain $$ amount for a website, a certain amount for tools and equipment, a certain amount for legal advice, a certain amount for accounting etc etc – by the time the list goes on the amount that each category is limited. It’s not just a matter of priorities – it’s a matter of each category having enough to make the business viable as a whole.

    I’d be very worried if the website designer I chose to contact dismissed me as soon as I ask about price.

    Perhaps the solution would be to give some kind of indication of price and what you get for that on the website. Website designers often talk of educating the public, and heaven knows that ignoramuses like me need to be educated, but the public would also like to be educated on the expenses involved.

    Some time ago I bookmarked a web designer’s site which came up on Flying Solo – and the reason was not because s/he was a whizz bang designer (although their own website was great so I did make that assumption) but because on the site itself was a price guide and I knew that I didn’t have to be embarrassed to contact the designer. I knew in advance that their fees were in my budget.

    Cheers
    Jane

    #1056460
    Daniel82
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    Yep – absolutely nothing wrong with discussing pricing and budgets. Everyone has a budget to work with – but what I don’t appreciate is basing that budget on the cheapest price that can be found on the net, and questioning anything higher than that – as though the el cheapo websites are the new standard.

    Sorry for making it seem like I hate it when people ask about price, that’s not an issue at all :) I have considered having price guides on my website, but it’s difficult because every site is different (the price guide would be 20 pages long if it had to include every possibility). Hard to give an indication without seeing the requirements.

    #1056461
    Stuart B
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    No i don’t think anybody is trying to say that a client who asks about price is not worth taking on. Just the clients who clearly are only interested in getting the absolute lowest price possible regardless of the impact that will have on the project.

    There’s nothing wrong with people wanting to get a good deal, but it’s a good move to avoid clients who are only interested in comparing the lowest possible price, and not comparing anything else.

    Somebody on this forum a while ago said something about there always being people with Champagne tastes, and beer budgets. Those are the ones to avoid and never feel guilty about it, they want everything, and don’t want to pay for it.

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