Over the years I have honed my skill in judging how well a working relationship will be with a client. This is not just for my own sake, but also for the clients. I don’t want to waste their time or cause them any stress. I want them to be satisfied not only with the finished website, but the entire process from start to finish. This is what will hopefully lead to a recommendations & future work.
When in the initial stages of a new project, the budget has to be discussed. There is no getting away from it & I always favour approaching it head on. That way there is no confusion. The client is getting a fair trade – my knowledge & skills used to build them a website for which they pay me some money.
Every client likes to negotiate & often get a few different quotes. I have no problem with this & in most cases actually prefer it. I want the client to have made an informed choice. I want them to know their options & not go into this blindly. If they are prepared to do the research, ask the questions & do the analysis it shows they are willing. A willing client is always a good client.
Last week I had a client who was doing all the research, asking interesting questions & getting various quotes. My alarm bells started ringing when I realised that to them, the price was the most important factor in making a decision. They wanted the cheapest website possible. Now don’t get me wrong – everyone haggles the price – I do it when there is the scope to do so. This was different as this client was not really interested in the quality or features of what they were getting. All that mattered to them was that it was the cheapest. For me a website is designed to satisfy business needs & goals. You should not have a website just for the sake of it. Essentially they were willing to throw money away getting a website, just as long as it was the least amount of money. Some people would say “great, take the money” but I couldn’t.
I have been in this situation before. I have learned that when a clients main focus is the price, it is the project outcome and working relationship that suffers. The saying of “you get what you pay for” rings true. Now I am not saying that the more you pay, the better the project will be. Be realistic and focus on the bigger picture. The balance of features, quality & cost where the client is happy and so are you will lead to the best outcome for all involved.
I think most of us in this industry want to produce the best work we can. There is nothing wrong with walking away from a potential client. I would rather do that than product work that I am not happy with & have an unhappy client.