A couple of weeks ago I got a call from a prospective client who wanted more information about working together. We started talking and I began to ask him more questions about the project. He needed an e-commerce website, so I immediately started drilling down into his needs because e-commerce is hard. Not hard to build, but hard to be successful at. I ask a lot of questions when it comes to e-commerce, because not only do I want to know about the business, what they do, what they sell, and how we’re going to accomplish that goal, but I want to know why someone is going to buy from them. What’s their unique selling proposition? How will we measure goal achievement?
A couple of times during this conversation, he was surprised by the questions I asked and didn’t have solid answers, but was intrigued by the questions. We got around to the part where he asked about price. Because he didn’t have all his answers together, I couldn’t give him an exact price but gave him a ballpark answer.
Him: “You asked a lot of questions and I really like that you went deep and learned more about my needs, but I talked to [insert big company name here] and they offered to do it for $3,000 less. What can you offer me that they don’t?”
Me: “I think you just answered your own question.“
It’s easy to give out a low-ball quote without knowing the details of the project, but once you dig deep and learn what’s really involved in making the project a success, it changes the scope. Can I build a fast e-commerce site and load it with your projects? Absolutely. But isn’t it better that I ask you about your goals, come up with a strategy for achieving those goals, and design and develop the website with those goals in the forefront?
What’s the difference?
Is your goal: “I want to sell my products online” or is it “I want to have a website with my products on it?”
That’s the difference between building a website with your products and planning a website with a strategy for selling those products. Putting your products online is easy. Selling your products online is not. Seeing the difference between the two is what makes us different.
I’ll be honest – I didn’t get that project. This person couldn’t see past the price difference and went with the big name company. And that’s fine, and I do hope his website is a success. But what you get when you work with us is personalized service and a commitment to understanding your project and planning to achieve your goals. Whether that’s worth the cost is up to you.
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