Marilyn needed a website makeover. She talked to a website consultant, Rachel, who asked her The Question: “What is your budget?”
Now stop for a minute and ask yourself. How do you feel when someone asks you this question?
“I got flustered,” Marilyn said, “because I had no idea what was involved or what the project was worth.”
Marilyn needs to do some research. Rachel, the developer, doesn’t want to invest time if Marilyn isn’t prepared to spend at the level where she works.
Marilyn says, “I was tempted to throw out a very low number. But then Rachel would be insulted.”
Insulted? Unlikely! I get low-ball numbers all the time. I explain what I can do for that number. For example, we can have a few coaching calls instead of full-service copywriting.
Alternatively, we can work together to create a smaller-scale solution in the short term. And sometimes clients decide to raise their budget when they realize what they will be getting.
Business owners benefit when they’re ready to talk about budgets.
I have found that people who will give me a number – any number – tend to be serious about moving ahead, whether or not we work together and regardless of the project size. I have also found that people who are comfortable with numbers are more businesslike and professional.
When you need a website makeover, you can spend $500 …$5000 … or even $15000 … even more if you’re an entertainer or public figure. The key is, how will you get the most bang for the buck? I’ve seen professionals spend $8000 on a website that they could have gotten for $800.
So what are the takeaways?
Be aware that anyone who sells business services will need to find a way to qualify their prospects early. They have opportunity cost to consider as they decide how to spend their time.
When you’re the buyer, always be ready with a budget number. Do your research before you talk to consultants or copywriters and get a sense of the going rate.
Be aware of trade-offs. When you spend less, your solution will be less customized. You may be contributing a considerable amount of DIY effort.
You can accomplish your goals with almost any budget when you get creative. For instance, when you can’t pay top dollar for copywriting, pay for a consultation with an experienced copywriter to review your copy instead of choosing bargain-basement writers from Craigslist. (Of course you could get lucky with Craigslist or Fiverr… it’s just not likely.)
It’s rarely a good idea to stretch beyond your comfort zone to pay for a deluxe service with a lot of bells and whistles. Many service businesses earn substantial incomes with websites that seem almost too simple.
Finally, be sure you are comparing apples with apples. You can get a customized blog post for investments ranging from $5 to $500. But how long will the post be? Will the writer also do some research? Do you get revisions? What’s the style of writing? Can you get a discount when you offer a contract for 4 posts a month for 4 months? At $5 a post, what’s the likelihood your writer is just helping herself to the bountiful offerings of the web…and you’ll get nailed for plagiarism?
If you’re getting a one-time consultation, will your call also include pre-call preparation and post-call follow-up? Can you send material ahead of time for review? Will the consultation be recorded and you’ll get the mp3 file right away?
You probably have ideas of your own! Please comment below. And if you liked this article, you’ll love this free Report: Building A Website Doesn’t Have To Suck