Home – New Forums Marketing mastery Need help avoiding price wars with Web Design…

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  • #1056507
    King
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    I was asking a friend yesterday how he was managing his competition (there are three other businesses in a city of 150,000 that do the same thing.

    He says he has more work than he can handle, thinking of putting on an evening shift, yet he KNOWS he is more expensive.

    His secret – doing it right and getting it right.

    People will always pay for getting it right, ease, service, etc. Same for web design, or even buying a photo frame – as long as they get recognised value for money.

    #1056508
    annc
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    As a “customer” I think webdesigners shouldn’t be just targeting building new websites but also website upgrades with existing customers. One of the reasons I would spend more $$$ with a great designer is their ability to build onto what they have already created when I need to upgrade. I had a bit of a weird moment when asking my webdesigner about upgrading. He pretty much pointed me to a new website rather than to take the time to quote on my upgrades. (I’m easy to work with, know what I want, and pay on time, and paid top dollar for my 3 yr old site) I think when you get used to doing cheap and cheerful websites you sometimes forget that people who are willing to pay for quality can be repeat business for you if you have a product or upgrade they can use.

    My webdesigner was always very supportive when I needed help after the site was built. I believe that in itself was worth the extra money I paid :)
    Ann

    #1056509
    IgniteDM
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    I feel your pain – I get the same thing.

    I take comfort in knowing that whatever field you are in life – some people will always have to learn the hard way.

    I had some contact with a business owner the other week who was paying bottom dollar for her “ecommerce” website. She had gone with a start up company who promised to do it cheaply in return for featuring in their portfolio. I think she was paying around $30 a month for a site that at one point had around 2,000 products listed in it (and more being added regularly)

    Suddenly her site didnt work anymore. The cause? The company were hosting the websites on “servers” in their office. A disgruntled employee apparently took all the hard drives from the servers and took off. She now has no website, no backups and has to start again.

    I went in with a quote I knew would be far out of her league based on her current expectations but pointed out that what she wanted from her site was alot of work and to do it properly would cost alot more than she was paying. Not suprisingly she said no… but at least I think she has been educated somewhat.

    So its not just about the quality of your designs, its the security of the website, the robustness (is that a word?) of your hosting solutions and so much more. Its about does your client own the copyright to their website, their logo. Do they get a proper domain name? Can they control their own website?

    And with Yellow Pages now offering customers a “complete” website for $29 a month we will have to continue this battle to justify why we are better !

    #1056510
    veba_training
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    AgentMail, post: 69358 wrote:
    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

    Value-stacking… Great idea! I’m part of a small start up and it would’ve been great to have an offer from someone to print our business cards and do our website and logo all at once.

    #1056511
    JohnSheppard
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    veba_training, post: 70338 wrote:
    Value-stacking… Great idea! I’m part of a small start up and it would’ve been great to have an offer from someone to print our business cards and do our website and logo all at once.

    IMO, This is irrelevant to the whole issue.

    The issue is fundamentally intangibles (as said earlier in the thread). When a consumer cannot directly see ROI they will not pay for it. Web design is a trade that has more intangibles than you can poke a stick at. It also has a large consumer base that are as clueless as dodo’s about the product/service.

    Example: Consumer grade laptops with low battery life. They mostly all have low battery life because this is something the consumer rarely checks for (historically). How can you make a profit adding more battery life when the consumer is entirely unaware of it? Answer: You can’t. You just put a cheap battery in like everyone else, otherwise you attempt to educate and possibly price yourself out of the market.

    Exmaple: Engines in cars. How do you sell a good car engine that outperforms the ROI of a bad car engine over 20 years? The consumer is not a mechanic and rarely has the time to investigate the engine? The average consumer will never know what a good engine is and what isn’t. They would actually rather purchase the car on how it looks on the outside. (You bet it’s frustrating for the engineers). Answer: You make your car pretty and put a ipod connectivity sticker on the radio.

    …but perhaps these are from a cynical viewpoint :)

    #1056512
    veba_training
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    JohnSheppard, post: 70350 wrote:
    IMO, This is irrelevant to the whole issue.

    The issue is fundamentally intangibles (as said earlier in the thread). When a consumer cannot directly see ROI they will not pay for it. Web design is a trade that has more intangibles than you can poke a stick at. It also has a large consumer base that are as clueless as dodo’s about the product/service.

    Example: Consumer grade laptops with low battery life. They mostly all have low battery life because this is something the consumer rarely checks for (historically). How can you make a profit adding more battery life when the consumer is entirely unaware of it? Answer: You can’t. You just put a cheap battery in like everyone else, otherwise you attempt to educate and possibly price yourself out of the market.

    Exmaple: Engines in cars. How do you sell a good car engine that outperforms the ROI of a bad car engine over 20 years? The consumer is not a mechanic and rarely has the time to investigate the engine? The average consumer will never know what a good engine is and what isn’t. They would actually rather purchase the car on how it looks on the outside. (You bet it’s frustrating for the engineers). Answer: You make your car pretty and put a ipod connectivity sticker on the radio.

    …but perhaps these are from a cynical viewpoint :)

    Hi John,

    Thanks for your reply :)

    True that the forum issue is about making customers realise that a website has value beyond the tangibles but I was commenting on the post I quoted in my reply, which was about how a website designer could introduce some more tangible benefits.

    What you said was interesting, and it’s true, most consumers will probably never get cluey about what makes a good engine… Will they ever understand what makes a “good website”?

    Have a great day!

    Sally

    #1056513
    Geronimo
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    Daniel,

    Having been mulling over getting a new design for the past year, let me tell you, your portfolio is your strength. I’d simply tell people that you feel your quote provides good value, and that your portfolio demonstrates the quality of the product they can expect.

    Your portfolio is outstanding. In all my time of looking around, there’s only one other designer I think is in the same ball park, and he happens to be from Perth too (something in the water?).

    #1056514
    PhilS
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    I am not doing web design, but I think my reply would be ” Go with the lowest price if you wish, but when you have problems and they have gone back to college, I will be here to help you with professional experience and reasonable rates”

    #1056515
    JohnSheppard
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    veba_training, post: 70363 wrote:
    Will they ever understand what makes a “good website”?

    Some will some won’t…I’d imagine you could educate some car buyers about car engines, but it would add to the price of the engine…some consumers would need so much education it’d make their car really really expensive…..

    Of what I’ve seen of people, they tend to learn in steps. No matter how good you are you can’t bring a noob into guru status in a 2 hour sales meeting. It’s just not going to happen. Also, certain people also just have ingrained ideas that you can’t change, until their ideas fail, several times over.

    As a car sales person you’d do well to learn to identify the kinds of people that match your car…

    ..but I dunno maybe I’m ‘bad analogy guy’ :)

    #1056516
    Gordon Akman
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    Example: Consumer grade laptops with low battery life. They mostly all have low battery life because this is something the consumer rarely checks for (historically). How can you make a profit adding more battery life when the consumer is entirely unaware of it? Answer: You can’t. You just put a cheap battery in like everyone else, otherwise you attempt to educate and possibly price yourself out of the market.

    This is actually a good analogy. I decided to buy a new desktop computer a few weeks ago. My first thought was “I’ll just go to JP HIFI etc and get the best desktop computer in my price range”. I knew I could get a better computer by going through the process properly i.e. researching components, buying the components from the right place, then putting it together myself. Fortunately, after doing some research I was talked out of my lazy approach and bought a desktop computer the proper way. I got:

    CPU: AMD AM3 x6 1075T 3.00Ghz Phenom II
    MB: ASRock 870-Extreme3
    RAM: Kingston DDR3 1600 HyperX Blue 4GB Kit(2Gx2) CL9
    GPU: Radeon 2GB 6950
    SSD: Kingston SV100S2/128GB 2.5″ SATA2
    HDD: SATA Samsung 3.5″ 1TB HDD
    ODD: LG Blu-Ray SATA Writer
    PSU: Corsair TX-750 ATX PSU
    CASE: Lian-Li (Lancool) PC-K60 Tower Case
    OS: MS Windows 7 Pro 64bit OEM

    It cost me $1500. It is obviously a far superior computer than anything any where near that price in any retail store. So what would happen if a retail store tried to sell a computer like this? Same thing you mentioned about the laptop batteries. The “Mass Market” customers would just assume the cheaper computers were pretty much the same if they had a similar processor and not even consider that every other component in the retail model is very cheap/shitty.

    The best approach as I mentioned earlier in this thread is don’t even bother trying to “educate” your prospects. It will be an utter waste of time and only leave you frustrated and poor. It is a far better idea to target the right market segment for your products/services and try and do everything better than any competitors you have in that market segment.

    #1056517
    Matt_Edwards
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    So much great information here.

    I was having the same problem until I changed how I branded myself. I still advertise as a web designer because thats what people often search for. But in all my communications with a potential client I center around what I am aiming to be my point of difference.

    For me that is that I come from a marketing perspective. Understanding what their business needs and creating a website to specifically fulfill those needs. Now I am sure that this is what any decent web designer does as well. But many don’t tell their clients that. It sets people at ease and they realise they are not getting an off the shelf solution, but one that will specifically work for them.

    Also I understand the problem of being treated like a machine because of the lack of face to face interaction so now when I am contacted for a quote I put together a short video. Introducing myself, and then a short screen capture about their specific website or industry. Upload it to Vimeo and email them back with a link.

    Takes 30-45 mins to put together, but the success rate is great. You have removed the idea that you are a machine and already set up that you are a premium service that goes the extra yard.

    Good luck

    #1056518
    Gordon Akman
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    I understand the problem of being treated like a machine because of the lack of face to face interaction so now when I am contacted for a quote I put together a short video. Introducing myself, and then a short screen capture about their specific website or industry. Upload it to Vimeo and email them back with a link.

    Takes 30-45 mins to put together, but the success rate is great. You have removed the idea that you are a machine and already set up that you are a premium service that goes the extra yard.

    Excellent post. This says it all really.

    Knowing your business
    Knowing how to ‘get control’ of your prospects
    Knowing how to put deals together with your prospects
    Building/creating value
    Delivering a ‘point of difference’

    It is this type of thought and professionalism that differentiates businesses that perform and those that struggle.

    #1056519
    Matt_Edwards
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    Thanks Gordon, glad you agree.

    It may take a little extra time to start with, but in the long run it means you are preparing less unsuccessful proposals.

    #1056520
    Jexley
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    Matt_Edwards, post: 70926 wrote:
    Also I understand the problem of being treated like a machine because of the lack of face to face interaction so now when I am contacted for a quote I put together a short video. Introducing myself, and then a short screen capture about their specific website or industry. Upload it to Vimeo and email them back with a link.

    Takes 30-45 mins to put together, but the success rate is great. You have removed the idea that you are a machine and already set up that you are a premium service that goes the extra yard.
    This is BRILLIANT. I love it, and I’m going to seriously consider working this into my businesses.

    Well done.

    #1056521
    JaneB
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    Jexley, post: 70957 wrote:
    .This is BRILLIANT. I love it, and I’m going to seriously consider working this into my businesses.

    Well done.

    Agree – it is brilliant. Not only do you get to see if they have understood the brief but it is a way to see how they communicate. All of this will be reflected in the website.

    However – just to throw a sausage in the sand – the down side is that if I know in advance that someone was going to take the time to do this – I may not request a quote. What this means is that if I suspect that I’d feel an obligation to go with that designer/marketer simply because of the time and effort they’ve gone to I may decide against it.

    Maybe this is what some people mean by “controlling” the client. However as a client I’m not happy being “controlled” – I like to be in control of all my business decisions and if there is a whiff of “control” coming from someone whom I’m employing I’d run the other direction.

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