Shortcuts To Success

by Brendon on July 8, 2005

One of my favourite writers is a guy called Seth Godin. Seth commented on his web site a few days back regarding his frustration with a reporter who didn’t like his answer to a question.
Didn’t Like His Answer
“The reporter didn’t like the answer I gave her about how to build a email marketing list.
I told her that the first step was to offer something in your email newsletter that people would actually want to read.
That the second step was to promise people exactly what you intended to give them.
And the third step was to create content that was so remarkable that people wanted to share it. I explained that if you take your time and keep your promises, it’ll build if it deserves to build.”
Seth was explaining that there are no shortcuts to quality, but the reporter just wanted to know how to achieve the same result when you have no time or nothing interesting to say.
I See That A Lot
I see that a lot with clients who think they can get a great web site for $500.
It happens something like this:
I’ll have a meeting with a person and assess their web needs, wants and expectations. (Quite often we’ll have 2, 3 or 4 meetings to establish this.)
They’ll ask for a ball-park figure. Now, I never used to give a ball-park figure (rough estimate)because it’s much better to demonstrate the value of what we do rather than just the cost.
But these days I’ll generally provide a ball-park figure because it qualifies the prospect a little for us (it also causes us to lose potential clients because they don’t understand the value we can provide – and that’s because in an initial meeting we wouldn’t have a perfect idea of the value we can provide).
What that means is we don’t spend another 10 hours work developing a web site proposal for a client who has a budget of $200.
Anyway, let’s say the ball-park figure is $5,000. That’s for a fairly small web site. What often happens (and by “often” I’d say 50% of the time) the person will say “Our other quotes are for $300 and $500.”
Perceived Risk
Because one of the biggest choice influences in buying is perceived risk, we’ll get a “No” immediately because the person would prefer to risk $500 than $5,000.
The person buying web services hasn’t adequately assessed the risk/reward because they are too focused on the initial cost.
Here’s How We Developed A Recent Web Site
Had x3 1 hour meetings with the client to establish their market niche, their market positioning and their exact needs and wants from the web site.
Completed 6 hours research on competitor web sites and benchmarked against relevant web sites.
Spent 3 hours developing concepts for the site design.
Spent 3 hours researching appropriate keywords and phrases relevant to the web site market.
Stop Right There
So far that is 15 hours of work.
* Before we’ve even designed a thing.
* Before we’ve written a word of copy.
* Before the client has seen anything.
* They’re the things you have to do to develop a successful site. We know because we’ve done it before and it works.
The Only Shortcut To A Successful Site Is Doing It Right The First Time
The only shortcut to a successful site is doing it right the first time. That is the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.
Find the right web developer. Ask them for testimonials. Ask them for a quality guarantee. Get it done right. And look at the value, not the cost.

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