In this post I’m going to explore why being upfront with prospective partners regarding budget matters when looking for website redesign or web marketing type services.
Trying to uncover budgets is nothing new in the sales profession; however with companies trying to get the best value for their dollars, it’s more important than ever to get this information out on the table. From my experience, companies are often hesitant to share this information and typically say something along the lines of “I don’t have a budget” or “I’m trying to figure out what things cost.” Call me a cynic, but I feel everyone has a general idea of what they have to spend or want to spend on specific services. Spending a little time on the web, you can fairly easily get a general idea of what anything costs.
When it comes to budget, companies are mainly hesitate to share this information because they fear being taken advantage of. As a company that provides web development and online marketing services, this information is very important for a couple of reasons. First, it helps determine if we are a good fit. If a company is looking to spend a couple thousand dollars on a site redesign, very quickly we are able to determine it’s not going to be a good fit. There are a ton of other firms out there that can serve them better.
Second and most importantly, it allows for different options or approaches to be presented based on what is truly needed. With being more of a custom shop, one size doesn’t fit all. I find that a more systematic approach to fixing problems is the best solution. Meaning based on their budget and truly understanding there long term business goals, determining the best approach by focusing on smaller short term strategies to over time accomplish the long term goals.
This is best illustrated by a prospect that came to us and was very upfront with what they had to spend. After a few conversations, we had a firm understanding of their pains and goals. They felt using their entire budget redeveloping their site was the best approach to generating more leads. Yes, they needed a new site; however, after a bit of research, it was very apparent that they also needed a more comprehensive online marketing strategy to get more overall traffic to the site. This is where knowing what they had budgeted for the project comes into play. We were able to come up with a plan that focused more heavily on online marketing activities while making a number of site enhancements in the short term to help with the conversion process. I feel it was a more responsible approach as it focused on activities that were going to drive leads and ultimately sales. The thought process behind it was to start generating revenue as quickly as possible to show ROI as well as to support and justify a complete redesign in phase II.
I realize companies feel they may be given up something or losing leverage within the buyer/seller dance by disclosing budget, but I feel in this day and age it’s very important especially when looking for these types of services. If you are looking for a true partner – which you should be – why would you hold back? Do you keep secrets from your doctor or lawyer? If you don’t trust them enough to disclose budget, then they probably are not the right fit anyways. Honest shops will give you fair pricing regardless of how much they know about your budget.