Being a leading website agency in Sydney means I get a lot of enquiries. After being in business for close to 15 years I have built up a large and loyal base of customers who I love working with each day. I am often very busy maintaining their sites and implementing improvements. We love taking on new customers as well and meeting with them but we do charge for these meetings. In this blog article I just want to go over the reasons why we do this to both educate prospective customers (who can sometimes get angry that we charge for even initial meetings) and also as it may assist other agencies:
So you found someone who is willing to meet with you without charging for the meeting! Well done. But the truth is that you are paying for that meeting one way or another. People who don’t charge for meetings or their time directly ALWAYS, did I say always, I means ALWAYS amortise that amount across their invoice items. If you find someone who isn’t covering for their time it’s a signal that they are likely allowing for all sorts of other things you are probably not utilising aka fluff. Or perhaps a more worrying sign, it means that their business model may not be sustainable. At Northern Beaches Websites, we have taken on many projects from companies that have gone bust and left projects in shambles and clients angry and frustrated. When working with us you know you are working with someone who is running a successful business that will be available in the long term to support you. Also at Northern Beaches Websites we offer a price match guarantee for any equivalent service – beat that! We can’t offer this kind of guarantee if we give customers free meetings.
When we meet with you that is time we could spend working on other things and earning money or investing into our own products and services. Let’s face it, you don’t work for free and we don’t like to work for free either. A cleaner won’t clean your house for free, a lawyer or tax professional won’t give you a free consultation or advice and we are no different. Some customers want or expect lots of meetings as well, we don’t allow for this kind of thing in our costing. Please value my time as I value yours.
It’s not possible to have any kind of meeting without me disclosing things like best practice, opportunities for improvement and our techniques and approaches. I have never had a meeting where I haven’t tried to be as helpful as possible and provide the best advice. This advice is worth more than whatever you could pay for the meeting even if you choose to work with one of our competitors.
That’s fair isn’t it? We get it, you don’t like to pay for meetings, so this is why we refund the cost if you go ahead. That way you don’t pay for the meeting ultimately and if you choose to work for someone else we still get reimbursed for our time. We find this is the perfect balance for all involved.
Some people like to have meetings because they like meetings, or feel an obligation to meet their website developer. I can’t tell you how many successful projects I have delivered for people who I have never seen before on all corners of the earth. Meeting in person is fantastic I agree, but it’s not a necessity to deliver a successful project. We have developed really structured systems to get the necessary information from you, particularly from our quote form and project development form.
We get a lot of enquiries from all sorts of people, from all kinds of business. We get a lot of people who I like to call dreamers who fantasise about a website or think I am going to build them the next Facebook for a couple of hundred dollars. By charging for a meeting it’s a way you can demonstrate that you are serious about your project and that you value our time and expertise. If running a website is a fantasy for you, we don’t want you as a customer, we want people who are committed to their business and want to succeed. At Northern Beaches Websites we don’t just take on any project that comes to our door and we feel we have a professional duty of care, and we are frankly doing you a massive favour, by not taking on your job as it will save you a lot of time and money.