How many times have you gotten a contact through your web site
asking how much XYZ website would cost? They say, “I want a website
like this one.” Or ask, “How much would a website for 'this type business'
be?” When you ask what their budget is, they don't know. You can spend
an hour looking at what they have (if anything), what they want, and
then writing a quick guesstimation/quote… maybe you go ahead and
spend hours putting together a full estimate. I get them all the time.
And sometimes, since I'm rarely the least expensive bidder, they go
with someone else — or no one at all just now. It's just too far outside their budget.
Maybe there's a better way.
I ran across a post tonight on the Signal vs. Noise blog
about this very thing. And since I have an estimate waiting, I'm going
to use it. It will probably go something like this: Me, “Well, I'd be
happy to give you an estimate. What is the budget for your project?”
Client, “We're not sure yet. What do you think it will cost?” Me, “OK,
so a solution around $80,000 will work?” Client, “Oh no, our budget is
more around $X-Y.”
This should work to narrow down the budget — even if the client
doesn't think they know what it is. I like this — a lot. I'll try to
let you know how it goes.