“I’ve been talking with some people…..”

by Brendon on June 17, 2005

“I’ve been talking with some people…..”
If someone starts off a conversation with those words you know there’s trouble just around the corner!
Me? I was sitting in a client’s office just about to take him through his new and improved web site when he started thye conversation with those words. We’d worked hard to develop a web site that, I have no doubt, will be a terrific asset for his business.
But, you see, he’d been talking to some people. Specifically people in his industry who he’d had a chat with about his web site.
You see, he wanted to run past these people what we were charging for the site (“They almost fainted…”), the new site design “Not as nice as our site and we only paid $300. Our designer could do that site in 2 hours.”) and the sales system (“No, that won’t work. It’s terrible.”).
Natural Thing To Do
It was a natural thing for our client to do. He wanted reassurance from external parties that he’d done the right thing in employing us. When he was told he hadn’t, well, then he got worried.
So my client sat me down and told me all of this – bearing in mind that we’d finished the site. The very same site we’d developed in close consultation with him.
What Could I Say?
What could I say? A bit actually and here’s how I went about it.
1. I told my client how I could understand his anxiety at the new site was being developed.
2. I empathised that asking others in his industry for their views was a legitimate way to ensure he had done the right thing in engaging us.
3. We then started talking about what we established as the goal for the web site when we first begun development: sales.
4. We then had a chat about how we were going to achieve more sales than the site had ever provided – by generating lots more traffic (strong search engine component), providing lots more content (a 30 page site rather than his old 1 page site) and having an excellent offer that was very easy to buy.
5. We chatted about how the design is only a small part of the overall web presence – there is also search engine optimisation, copywriting, content, load time, etc.
6. We discussed how we had developed the design in close consultation with him to meet our objectives of branding, positioning, demonstrating, ease of use, quick loading and lots more.
7. Basically, I reassured the client that the site was developed to meet the goals we have set. Nothing more and nothing less.
The Frustrating Part
The client is a lovely guy and an excellent client. The frustrating part of the whole exercise was two-fold.
1. The people giving the advice had no idea what they were talking about – I visited their site and it’s plain terrible.
* Splash Home Page that does nothing (except keep visitors away from the information they want)
* The search engine optimisation is extremely poor
* The product prices are unclear
* White text on a light blue background (very difficult to read)
* The purchase page requires credit card details but the page is not secure
2. The other frustrating thing is that there are plenty of web developers out there who would have designed my client’s site for $300 (we charged more than 10 times that and it was a cheap job for us).
There is no way in the world we can develop a web site for $300 and still make a profit. Developing a web site takes skill, knowledge, understanding, expensive equipment, detailed assessment, research and lots, lots more.
Sure, you can get a quick job for $300. But will it be a successful site? Nope, I don’t think it will be.

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