I think that every Freelancer or Web Design Company experienced the following story. The story is what happened to me and since than I provide my potential new clients with a custom made checklist.
A potential new client calls me and we made an appointment to meet. With my up-to-date portfolio I went to the client and the meeting went great, I asked the right questions and if needed explained my questions to them.
Back at the office it was time to write my quotation, I always start writhing my quotation the same day while I don’t like to keep a client waiting too longs. It took me two days, it’s a big assignment and all needed to be perfect.
Next the design. A complex website, member section, payment options and so on. It took me 5 days to finish 3 Photoshop pages of the new website. I always design 3 pages and include it in the quotation, if they sign the quotation I’ll design the rest.
Quotation and design where handed over within the agreed timeframe, 2 weeks, and we walked through the quote and design. The Client loved it, the quote was okay, within their budget and they ask if it was possible to respond within 2 weeks, of course I agreed. Especially while it was a big project, the quote was over $20.000. After the 2 weeks we met again, they had some changes to the website and I re-wrote the quote. This continued several times, ending up with a quote of $25.000 and ready to roll.
“I remember it clearly, it was on a sunny Wednesday morning, the day my potential new client would become my client and sign. So I went over as promised and than it hit me.”
Client: “Well, we’re sorry to tell you but we found an other company that could do the same for just $1.000”
I was speechless!
Whatever I tried, lowering my quotation to $1.000 was absolutely not reasonable or possible, the client made his decision. So after several weeks, maybe months, hard work for this potential new client ended in loosing the client.
6+ months later I spoke with the client just to see how everything was going, I knew when their deadline was. Website was still not done and won’t be, “Why” Was my question? Well, the company, that took my new client, didn’t mention that the $1.000 was a kind of start fee and that all other work would be Subsequent costing. $50.000 later the website was half finished and absolutely not ready for any, near future, launch.
Final words of the, lost, client where: “We had to go with you, than we would never had this problem”, he was right…
The point I want to make with this story.
As client: always ask if the total price is a fixed price, without Subsequent costing. (Until some point of course, while some non calculated extra adjustments will have their price. Use an extra quote for that to be safe.)
Attached to this blog, a checklist for clients who are ready for a new website or website re-design. What information do you need to know and have before talking to a web designer / company / freelancer.