Asking for a client’s budget can be one of the most difficult parts of your initial conversations with a client. But since you’re likely not willing to work for free and you probably don’t want to go through all the trouble of researching the business, the project and putting together a detailed proposal if you’re budgets won’t even remotely match, it’s a good idea to talk about this before you get too far into the process.When you’re done reading this, you’ll know how to professionally have a client tell you what their budget is and how to be able to present your quote in a way that will have clients agree even if you need to quote above their allotted budget. Sound good? Let’s get to it.One of three things is going to happen when you ask for a client’s budget:Some business owners will have no problem sharing and they expect the question. Others will be hesitant and may feel that you’ll charge more if you know their budget (they feel they may be able to get a better deal if you provide a quote first). Others may not have even considered the question.In my experience, most often a client will say they don’t have a budget, are not sure what to expect and just want to get an idea of what it would cost. The truth is, even if they don’t have an exact figure in mind, they very likely at least have a range.Provide Your RangeAfter discussing a client’s project with them, if they are reluctant to share their budget, provide a range that you will be quoting within. For example, you can share that your projects begin at a minimum of $1,000 and in your experience with similar projects, they can be up to $3,000.By doing this you are both stating that you have previous experience delivering what the client needs and you are also providing a wider range so the client does not hold you to a number. If you quote just one number by saying something like “this will cost around 1,000,” and you later determine you need to charge more, the client will not be happy as their mind was set to the number you gave them.Try this out and watch what the client does after you provide this range. They’ll either say “that was more than I was expecting” or they’ll continue the conversation because the number they had in their head is either within the range you provided or above it. Then you can move forward knowing what the client really had in mind.At this point it is your job to determine if you can help the client see the value of what you are providing (we’ll get to this in just a minute so hang in there with me) or if the client is simply just being cheap and unwilling to spend the money he should to invest in his business. So don’t just write the business owner off if they give you a lower number. Continue the conversation to determine this.Name Your Highest PriceAfter you give a client a wide range like we just talked about, they may or may not tell you the number they had in their head. If you’re really trying to get a number out of them, this tactic may work better for you.This time you ask the client what their budget is and when they say they’re not sure and ask for you to provide a quote, start with the highest price you would possibly quote them. Believe me, they’ll bring you down quickly to what they can do.Now that you have their number you can decide how to proceed. You can share with them what you can do for that but also incorporate what we’re going to talk about next.Determine Your Client’s Customer ValueIf you don’t want to directly ask a potential client for their budget, this is a great option to indirectly asking them. Regardless, this is an excellent question to ask. It helps you better understand your client’s business, what they need in order to achieve their goals and they’ll appreciate that you care enough about their business to ask more serious questions like this.The question: what is a single customer worth to your business?Now this could be a one-time fee that the customer will be charged or this could be the overall lifetime value of a client. For example, a deck builder is only going to be able to charge a client a one-time fee to build a new deck. On the other hand, a hair salon may see a new client every six weeks in order to have her hair done and the sale can also include additional services on top of a hair cut such as hair color and hair care products.Now, if you serve a specific niche you should already have an idea of what your client’s customer value is. This can vary from location to location somewhat but you will still have a basic understanding of their customer value before you even speak with them. This knowledge is going to help you know how much you can charge clients, how you are going to be able to help them understand your value and why you are worth the investment you are quoting.If you are an SEO and you believe you can help generate an additional $10,000 worth of online sales for a business, you can easily charge the client $500 or better yet $1,000 per month for your services. That should be a no-brainer for them as they will be receiving an additional $9,000 worth of revenue.As a web designer, you should also understand the goals of the business and how you can help your client reach those goals. For example, when you take a look at a client’s current website and see how low their conversion numbers are, you can better design a website to help increase those numbers. So although it is not your job to drive traffic, it is your job to help design a website to better convert their traffic into leads and sales. When you can demonstrate how your designs are able to help increase their conversions to make them more money, again you can help them see the value of your services.Which OneI always want a client to understand the value they’re getting from working with me which is why I like to understand their industry and their customers worth. This really helps me demonstrate the value. Other than that, I don’t have an approach that I use every single time. Rather, I listen to the client and try to get a feel for which one they may respond best to. You’ll get better at doing that over time as you talk to more and more clients. Initially, try out the different options and see which one flows more naturally for you. See which one tends to help you get the answer you’re looking for.Wrapping Your Mind Around PricingWhen I first started my business, I hated selling and I was scared to give quotes. I knew it was necessary in order to run any type of business but I hated coming across as sales II by talking about prices. I think most people starting out in business or even those who have been running their business for a while feel this way. In fact, it’s perfectly normal. I know you started your business because you want to make money but you also want to be able to help businesses reach their goals as well.And the only way that you can do this is to talk about money. And it doesn’t have to be scary.The truth is if you are not selling your services you are doing these businesses a disservice. They need your help in order to succeed. They don’t know how to build a professional website. They don’t know how to improve their website in order to convert traffic into leads and sales. And they certainly don’t know how to position their websites in search engines in order to bring new leads to their business. But these are the skills that are needed in order to grow their business. And that means they need you.If the client was not prepared to spend money they would not be speaking with you. Just like they won’t do their job for free or low-cost, they don’t expect you to either.So if you accept a project with the mindset that you are going to do everything you can to put this business in a better position than they were before they started working with you, there is no reason that you should not be paid what you are worth. In reality your job is going to help this business make more money.Here’s What to Do NowIf you are serious about having better conversations with potential clients about their budget, what I want you to do is click here to access a list of questions you can ask potential clients about their budget in order to get the information you need. In addition, we’re also going to continue this conversation and you’ll learn more about how to use these questions to qualify a client to make sure you want to work with them and how to handle a client who asks you to change your price.Being prepared is the best thing you can do to set yourself up for success. Go download the bonus budget question list and bonus materials on how to qualify clients and help them to see your worth.
Why Is Website Security So Important?It’s a common myth that web hosts take regular backups of websites and will help get a website back up and running in the even of an attack. For some select hosts, this is true, but for most it is not. This means unless you are strategically taking website security measures, the website is left open to be easily attacked.An attacked site could redirect visitors to different websites, have software downloaded onto visitor websites, tank the site rankings and even take down the website completely. And anyone is a target.What Can Web Designers Do to Help With Website Security?Web designers can either take manual steps to secure a website and / or use available tools to help protect and monitor sites. The following are a handful of tasks that can be included on an ongoing basis:
- Malware Detection
- Malware Cleanup
- Stopping Website Hacks
- DDoS Mitigation
- Continuous Scanning and Monitoring
- Fixing any issues related to attacks
Will Web Design Clients Sign-Up?When I talk to a client about website security, one of three things happen:
- They agree it’s important and sign-up
- They agree it’s important but never sign-up or follow-up (or what I like to call the polite decline)
- They decline to sign-up
Obviously, the ideal situation is the client signs-up. The problem…convincing clients it’s worth the extra cost of doing so.
So the question is how do you sell website security to clients.
Over the years I’ve found 3 ways to sell website security packages with the most success. Here I’ll share those 3 options.
1. Include website security in web design packages
When you’re selling a web design package most clients don’t like to see the price slowly going up and up as you upsell them. That’s why it’s best to ask clients about all their needs and provide suggestions before providing them with a quote. This is even more so the case for tasks that are best done from the beginning (like website security).
In this option you provide website security and backups as a part of your web design package. This means you increase the cost of the package (and don’t itemize each feature) and the client will see the add on as just a part of the package and not as well, an add-on.
Obviously, this option won’t work if you’re working with a client who doesn’t need a full web design package which brings us to the next two options.
2. Include website security services in website maintenance packages
If you’re working with an existing client or a new client who came to you for something other than a website design package, you can’t include website security services.
On the other hand, you can use website security services as a part of your website maintenance packages to help you sell those packages. Offering to protect, monitor and repair any website security issues as a part of a website maintenance package can be a big selling point for clients.
3. Ask clients to sign to decline
I love trying out new strategies with my own clients and sharing the ones that work really well with you. And the sign to decline option is one of my newest and favorite options for selling this service because it dramatically increased the number of sign-ups I received.
How does this option work?
Ideally, of course, they sign-up. But if they decline (or do the polite decline), I send them the website security decline form and ask them to sign it.
Want my website security accept / decline form? Click here to grab a copy to use in your business.
What’s included on the form?
This is where I describe the risks of not protecting a website and what it means it terms of lost revenue should something happen to their website. This goes back to what I covered at the beginning of the article. It’s my job to make sure the website owner understands the risk they are taking by not protecting their site. I try to make this an emotional decision for them by having them feel the pain a bit. This means I ask questions like:
- What would you do if your website went offline for a week or longer?
- How much would it cost you to rebuild your website?
- How much revenue would you lose if your site went down?
- How much revenue would you lose if you lost your organic rankings because your site was blacklisted?
This helps them see the risk in terms of money and no one wants to lose money, especially a lot of it.The website security decline form talks about the risks associated with not protecting a website, what website security can do to protect a website and then simply asks the client to sign that they assume responsibility and understand the risks associated with not signing up for website security services.Why does it work?No one wants to sign it. It holds them responsible and no one really wants anything you’ve listed on the form to happen to them.So what happens? They sign up.If you’re not already educating your clients about website security, it’s important to start doing so and it can be a great way to upsell your clients and add a source of recurring revenue to your income stream. Implementing these tactics will help you sell more website security services.And it’s easy to start doing this right now. Just click here and I’ll give you the exact template I use.