Download the PDF version of The Website Cost Estimator™ .
Watch the video above and/or read through the five steps below.
Our 5 Simple Steps:
Step One: Preparation is Key
Your Success Lies in Making a Good Impression Before a Client Meets You.
You have to assume that most prospective clients don’t have any idea of the scope of what they really need, what parts and pieces are involved in the process, or how much it’s going to cost.
I’m going to assume that you’ve done your professional homework and are clear about who your target client is, what you can do for them, the range of services you provide, and your expertise in getting the job done.
I’m also going to assume that you have all this information on your website. Why is this crucial to your success? Because 92% of people will check out your website before choosing to get in touch. What the client, sees, thinks and feels while visiting your website sets the stage for your very first interaction. Enough said.
Step Two: Qualify Your Leads
Your Success Lies in Not Wasting Your Time.
Once you get a lead from your website or a referral source, offer a 10-minute call to find out about their business and what they need. This is basically a screening call to qualify the lead. You don’t want to spend this time in a full consultation appointment with people who aren’t a good fit for your business.
If it is a good fit, let them know that the first step in working with you is an in-depth consultation. You can either offer a free session or request a small fee. I find that the fee acts as another qualifier.
The first step for anyone working with us at New Tricks is for them to schedule a Talk It Out Session, which is $150 for the hour or so session, and we have them come to our office.
This appointment-setting process sets the stage for the client to value your time and to get the right impression that you’re a busy professional. Explain that, during this session, you’ll listen to what they want and need and they’ll get information about the website design process in general. You’ll also offer them direction on how they should proceed to meet their goals, whether they choose you or not.
Step Three: Consultation (Part One)
Your Success Lies in The Questions You Ask.
It’s important that you start the consultation session with a conversation geared towards finding out all about your prospective client, their business, and their goals. You’ll weave in questions, such as:
- What’s your business?
- Who’s your target client?
- What’re you offering?
- How’s your business doing?
- What do you want? A new website? A website redesign? A website refresh?
- What’s the purpose of having this website?
- What’re your goals for the site?
- What’ve you tried before?
- What about your current site do you like? Dislike?
- What other sites in your field do you like? Dislike?
- What’s your budget? How much do you expect to spend?
Don’t just read these questions off the list. It’s more important that your interaction feel like a personal conversation, rather than an inquisition. You may feel you don’t have the business experience to ask these questions. But it won’t matter. People love to be listened to. Your close listening to them will build trust, show your competence, and create an important connection.
Be sure to ask the question about their budget. One time I asked about the budget and my client told me that they had just received a grant for $90 K. Let me just say that having this information made it much easier to price their rather extensive project.
If they say they don’t have a budget, it’s not true. Everyone has an idea of what they could and would spend. And that amount might go up, if they really want to work with you. Much can be said about the power of truly connecting with your clients and the trust that ensues as a result
Step Four: Consultation (Part Two)
Your Success Lies in Offering Your Prospective Client Value
Your conversation with your prospect will reveal their stage of business development and level of current success. It should also give you some pretty clear ideas about what they need.
Now you’ve got the opportunity to translate what they told you into what you recommend. You’ll let them know what you do and how your website design process works.
Some people starting out with a new, untested business may request a hyper-customized website without yet knowing what they need. You might suggest that they scale back their ideas and start with a simpler solution that they can add on to later.
Others, with a growing business, may come to you wanting a little refresh when what they actually need is a completely new website, redesigned to attract their target client and convert them into customers. You could explain that penny pinching at this point will thwart their growth.
And Then, The Moment of Truth Arrives. . .
She says, “Great! How much will this cost?”
This is your make-it or break-it moment. Price it too high and you’ve lost her. Price it too low and you lose.
It doesn’t have to be that way.
Step Five: Consultation, Part Three
Your Success Lies in Developing a Mutual Understanding
To help our Web Design Mastery Course students learn to cover all the bases and accurately price their websites, we developed The New Tricks Website Cost Estimator™.
The New Tricks Website Cost Estimator ™ doesn’t create the proposal. Rather, it’s a highly-effective tool for having a conversation that will bring you and your client to a mutual understanding of what’s involved in a website development project and what factors determine its cost.
Before using it with a prospective client, we recommend running several simulations through the Estimator process (based on past client projects) to validate that the final prices seem reasonable for what you can charge. We expect that you’ll need to adjust the options and pricing provided so that the final tally reflects the services you provide and is in line with your own price range.
The Cost Estimator Conversation
When it’s time to talk price, you’ll get out The New Tricks Website Cost Estimator™and go through the process of reviewing and discussing the list of options and services.
Covering the details of the project, including possible sticky areas – right up front – gives you the chance to educate your prospective client on what’s involved in a website project and also provides the client the opportunity to see how their choices and decisions affect the bottom line.
When you tally the final price, you’ll have an idea if it seems reasonable for the scope of the project. And, you can gauge how your client reacts to the cost.
If the cost seems reasonable to you, you’ll tell the client that the price is exactly what you thought it would be, given that other sites like what they’re requesting fall within the same, narrow range.
If your client thinks that the generated price is too high, go back through the Estimator and look for adjustments that can reduce the cost. For example, your client may realize that they can’t afford the “champagne taste” option for their project, after all.
If you think the generated price was too high, you can offer them a discount off that price, which they will appreciate.
At the end of the consultation, your prospect will walk away having learned a great deal, including having a thorough understanding of the many elements involved in the creation of a website. Having this detailed conversation with your client before they choose to work with you will make it easier for you to set limits once the project is underway. It will also serve as the basis for managing change requests, since you can reference initial decisions made and agreed upon during the consultation.
The process you go through with your prospective client during this consultation creates a high-level of trust and professional respect that will give you a better chance of winning their business.
By the end of it, you’ll have formed the basis for a great client relationship, nailed down an exact and fair price for the project, and, you’ll have all the information you need to create your proposal.
Your thriving career as a professional website designer or developer depends not only on your skills but also on your ability to communicate clearly in order to accurately price – then close – your website proposals, in a way that supports both you and your clients.
These Five Steps, along with The New Tricks Website Cost Estimator™ are your new, must-have tools that bring it all together in a way that allows you to bypass potential headaches and create a win-win situation for everyone.
Please contact us to let us know how your consultation process using The New Tricks Website Cost Estimator™ is working for you, your business, and your clients.
We wish you resounding success.
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