Plucking Figures Out The Air

This week I had my most retweeted tweet and shared item on LinkedIn:


Now I was hesitant at sharing this Twitter DM exchange at first as, really, I’m not trying to embarrass anybody (hence no name), or mock them. No, that would be horrible.

But this does show you a problem faced by web designers and digital agencies.


I’m very aware that not every person out there is clued up with stuff like websites; heck, my mum can hardly turn the TV on – that’s fine, we’re all different. In fact, that’s a good thing as, otherwise, us web designers/agency owners would be out of a job.
Which is why a core tenet of my business is all about education. We’re here to help people; many clients are stumbling our there in a digital wilderness; and they need a guide.

How much is it?

It’s completely valid to ask how much something is; price always comes into it (although, it’s not always the deciding factor we think). And it’s not their fault if they’re asking the wrong questions. This is our job to guide them. To help them. To Advise. And this is why I pointed the person to a page on my old site which talked about how much I chard (now decommissioned as thew new GM site is live).

I like to get this information out there quickly as it helps filter out (with all the good will in the world) the tyre kickers & time wasters. To move along the people who have unrealistic expectations about how much quality work costs – let someone else deal with them. Indeed, I’m of a mindset that you need to filter out the tyre kickers as quickly as possible; before they suck up too much value time; time that could be spent servicing quality clients.

How much is it?!

So when the chap came back to me again with a repeated “I need a price“, I pushed back as I needed a better angle on what he wanted. To be fair, at this stage, my warning lights were flashing; my company has been running since 2001 so you get a sixth sense with these things. I could smell ‘tyre kicker’ and I was looking for the emergency exit. Jog on.

The Conclusion

I’m not here to mock; I’m here to help. But at the same time, I’m here to help myself. I can honestly say that the clients I work with are superb people; enthusiastic listeners and does who are fired up about their businesses. So I’m naturally wary about who I let into my world.


P.s. thanks to @ProjectWIP for pointing me to this relevant Dilbert cartoon ;)

Tags: ,

3 Responses

  1. duckonwater says:

    This is bang on Joel, like you, I have have honed my sixth sense over the years to detect the tyre kickers. However sometimes they hide their true identity until you have spent hours on a proposal for them, only to turn round and haggle on price. :(

    It’s a crazy world where people don’t quibble about spending £1500 on their car repairs, but they will when it’s website related.

    Unfortunately, the web industry isn’t valued as highly as it should be, this is something that we can all help change by sticking to our guns and being firm. :)

    • Joel_Hughes says:

      Thanks for commenting, Duncan.

      “spent hours on a proposal for them, only to turn round and haggle on price”
      Tell me about it! I’ll tell you something funny, when I first started dealing with clients direct (about 9 years ago), I would avoid the price issue because of worry about their reaction – so I used to waste more time dragging it out! I just get price ranges out their early now – need to establish if you’re on the same page or it’s a complete waste of time.

      “but they will when it’s website related.”
      EVERYONE knows someone who can ‘knock together a website’ – I mean, it’s drag and drop isn’t it? ;)

      “Unfortunately, the web industry isn’t valued as highly ”
      Hmm…I think it IS valued but not by everyone. Going back to my story early – my life became easier when I raised my prices and got my prices out their quicker; the overall effect of that was steering my business into my lucrative waters and, even better, dealing with lovely clients who weren’t penny pinchers.


      • duckonwater says:

        Interesting, we have both done the same thing. Increasing my pricing was the best thing I ever did. Positioned me into a place where I have fantastic clients.
        Like you, I now get the pricing out asap, even if it’s a ballpark, that way I can determine if they are serious or not. Saves so much hassle!

Leave a Reply