When you have a project or work that needs to be done, you probably do a little research, reach out to some companies, have a 15 minute phone call and think you’re going to get great service, right?
You’re wrong. And I’ll tell you why...
A task is something you can feel comfortable with doing a 15 minute phone call to explain your problem, and have the other person on the other line tell you how long it would take or what’s involved to generate an adequate quote. A project on the other hand is another story altogether. And if you get a quote from someone for your project, you should be clear on a couple of things.
Phone Calls and Questionnaires Fall Short
First off, how can they know everything they need to know from a 15 min phone call? Sure, maybe they sent over a questionnaire that you filled out, but even then, how much time did you spend on it? And then again, how much time did they spend reviewing your answers, and really thinking through the potential pitfalls? How much can you really divulge in a 15 min phone call? Not a whole lot.
Truth is, that phone call is an interview. The company you’re requesting a quote from is qualifying you to see if you have the money necessary to work with them. But again, this is also flawed. Because even if you do have the money, are they going to quote properly so they deliver on your expectations? It’s doubtful.
Companies offer quotes for a few reasons:
They don’t want to lose the opportunity, so they quickly send over a quote, hoping you’re going to call them back. These companies rarely follow up. This could be on account of shear volume of incoming leads or they’re terrible sales people that still believe “it’s just a numbers game."
They build this into the price of your project. Which could be good, but if it’s not a line item, and they misinterpret your expectations, not really getting to the root of the problem, you lose out and so do they because the relationship is doomed.
They believe (and may have) your project so streamlined that they can provide a quote and deliver. But herein lies another rub, can they really address your concerns and do they if you’re not entirely sure what you’re getting is what you need? In other words, what if you didn’t need the project you thought you did? Are you the real expert here based on what you need?
What if you could avoid the headaches? What if you could make a fraction of an investment that almost guarantees your satisfaction?
Pay for an Expert Opinion
When you go to the doctor for a checkup, you have to pay for it. There’s a reason for this. You’re sitting with an expert on problems. He or she is going to diagnose you and most likely prescribe something based on your screening. When your ailments are outside of the realm of his or her’s understanding, they send you to another expert. You don’t tell the doctor how to treat the rash on your arm. You get his expert opinion. And you pay for it. So why do so many companies attempt this model, but offer it for free and fail? Because they don’t have a discovery process.
The Discovery is the Solution
The discovery process can be a meeting or a series of meetings between you and the company you plan to hire. Depending on your project, the company should focus on the problem you’re trying to solve. And they should never offer it for free. See, you have a reason that you’re contacting a company for a price on what you think you need. But in most cases, you need something else entirely. For instance, we have people call us all the time and tell us they need a website. And the conversation goes something like this:
- Caller: "Hello, I saw so and so’s website and they told me to contact you. We need a website redesign. I’m just calling for prices. How much would it cost?"
- Sales Person: Why do you need a website redesign?
- Caller: Because I’m not getting any business from my current site.
- Sales Person: How will a new website fix this?
- Caller: I know it’s the website, and if we just had a new one….
The real problem is "no lead conversions.” Not the website. The website could be absolutely perfect or not, and still drive leads and sales. But when you ask for a quote on a new website, you’re not solving the problem.
A discovery would get to the root of your problem. The reason you don’t get business from your website could be little to no SEO, poor web copy, design, no content marketing, etc….the list goes on and on. During the discovery process, we would determine what your problem is, what the best solution would be to solve it and provide a price on doing just that.
If your budget was a problem, we would discover that during our session. When everyone lays all of the cards on the table, and looks at what you need, not what you think you need, you get a realistic outcome.