5 Questions to Ask Your Clients During the Website Sales Process

When you speak with a potential customer about a new website for their company, that customer is evaluating you, but you should also be evaluating that customer and that project to make sure that it is a right fit for your organization and your skillset. You are interviewing the client as much as they are interviewing you!

In this initial meeting, there are a handful of questions that web designers should be asking, including:

1. Why Are You Redesigning Your Website?

Obviously, this question is focused more on the redesign of an existing site than creating a first website for a brand new company, but either way, you want to understand what this organization’s goals for this project are and what they hope to get out of their new website. The answer to this question will help you determine whether or not your skills are a fit for the job or if you would need to bring in additional expertise.

For example, if a company’s driving goal for a website redesign is to improve search engine findability, then you will need to include a keen focus on SEO for that project. If there primary goal is to improve multi-device support, that should be something you can deliver. If these requirements are not part of your core competencies, that doesn’t mean you have to pass on the job, it just means you need to engage with someone who can bring those skills to the project and can complement the expertise that you do have.

The answers to this question about what a company expects to achieve with their new website often provide a perfect segue into our next inquiry…  

2. Are There Any Specific Features or Functionality That You Need In Your New Site?

The functionality of a website can significantly impact the complexity of that project.

As such, you need to understand what a website needs to do if you wish to establish a scope of work for the project and also determine whether you have the ability to create that desired functionality.

A website that is purely informational, with basic content pages about the company and the services they offer, may be an easy site for you to create, but if what if a project also needs more advanced functionality like Ecommerce? Can you handle that alongside those aforementioned informational pages?

In some cases, there may be existing platforms and code that will allow you to easily add functionality to a site. In the case of Ecommerce, there are a number of existing solutions that could be used to bring those features to a project.

In other cases, functionality may need to be custom developed for a website. If an organization’s needs are so unique that no existing solution exists that will meet those needs, the functionality will have to be coded from scratch. This obviously adds quite a bit to that project’s scope, and you will need to determine if you have the resources to accomplish that task.

3. Who From Your Company Will Be Involved In This Project? Can I Meet Them?

When you begin work with a company on their website, you start a relationship with that organization, and like any relationship in life, you want to make sure that you are compatible.

By meeting the people who you will be working with for this project’s duration, you can help determine whether not this is a team that you want to work with and also one which you feel you will be able to successfully accomplish the goals which the company has set for their new website.

4. When Do You Need This New Website Project Completed By?

Everyone wants their new website done as quickly as possible, but you need a more substantial date to work towards and you need to make sure it is a realistic date. If a company wants their new website done in 2 weeks, and you know that it will take at least 8 weeks to properly complete the scope of work, you need to have this conversation up front and properly set expectations. In some cases, if a tight deadline must be met for some specific reason (new product launch, upcoming event, big marketing push, etc.), then you may decide to do the project in phases, launching a stripped down version of the site first to meet the deadline, and then returning to the site to add additional features later.

5. What Is Your Budget For This Project?

No one likes to talk about money, but you need to know what the budget for a project is if you are expected to make a proposal. Many companies are hesitant to discuss their budget, fearful that web designers will inflate the costs of a project based on that budget, but that is not how professionals work. A web professional needs to know your goals for a site, and then they need to know what you can afford to spend so that they can make the best recommendation to meet those goals within your budget.

Think about buying a new home. If you contact a real estate agent, one of the first things they will ask you is about your budget. This is so they can show you homes that fit into your financial picture. It makes no sense to show you a house you cannot afford, nor does it make any sense to show you homes that are far less than you can spend because those homes are unlikely to meet your expectations. They want to show you a property that will fit your needs and your budget, which is exactly what web designers need to do when they seek out a budget for a proposed website project.

Talking money can be uncomfortable, but like the other questions in this article, the answer is critical to the website sales process and it sets the stage for the questions which will come later in a website kickoff process.

Edited by Jeremy Girard on 1/12/17

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Girard, Jeremy. "5 Questions to Ask Your Clients During the Website Sales Process." ThoughtCo, Jan. 12, 2017, thoughtco.com/client-questions-during-the-website-sales-process-3469974. Girard, Jeremy. (2017, January 12). 5 Questions to Ask Your Clients During the Website Sales Process. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/client-questions-during-the-website-sales-process-3469974 Girard, Jeremy. "5 Questions to Ask Your Clients During the Website Sales Process." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/client-questions-during-the-website-sales-process-3469974 (accessed December 15, 2017).