How To Sell A Website

Hello friends,I keep on roaming on the internet for learning new things which gave me very good exposure to the business world and marketing world.I have luckily got this article while i was randomly surfing on the internet.I would like to share it with you all.

Before I even begin to commence on this tiring and inevitably pesky subject, I would like to make clear that this isn’t a tutorial or much in the way of decent advice, but more of a question. I never feel I’m up to the standard as either a designer or businessman to be dishing out the advice, so I tend to approach subjects from an inquisitive, unbiased 3rd person perspective.

I don’t know how to sell a website. I know how to build a website. I could sit and talk to you for hours about web design, in person – writing articles can be too time-consuming, though all in good time. But as for selling a site to a hopeful future client, there’s no exact science, but perhaps an art.

From the tiny amount of business experience I’ve gained from my time in this world and as a freelance designer, one of the most important lessons I’ve learnt, although not always acknowledged, is not to waffle and geek it up. The client doesn’t care if you’re using valid XHTML 1.0 or AJAX, if the site is designed in a ‘Web 2.0′ style or uses semantic, table-less mark-up. Hell, most clients couldn’t care less how good the site looks as long as it works and doesn’t cost too much.

It makes me cringe just to write that, but it’s true. It makes sense though. If I were to reverse the role, I was the client and someone was selling me a new boiler. I couldn’t really care less what new fan-dangled eco-friendly technology some box-heads in Germany have managed to condense into a chassis half the size of my existing boiler. I wouldn’t particularly bat an eyelid to the fact it has a touch-screen digital control panel or an ultra-sensitive air density thermometer (now I’m really making stuff up!) At the end of the day, all I want to know is that it works and won’t cost me the arm and leg I so invariably care for.

If there were any other snippets of advice I could give from my own experience selling a site, they would be as follows:

Don’t mention price, not at least until you have as much information as possible. Judge your client first, you may find they are unaware of how much a site could actually cost, in turn expecting a lower price. However they might be imagining a much higher price than you go in with, and may think you’re cheap. Also bear in mind that a single businessman just starting up their first company won’t be looking to spend too much, whereas a large well-established firm might not think twice to spending well over the odds as long as their happy. As I’ve said, selling isn’t a science but an art, and so is finding the right price.

Listen. That’s all. As I think it was Jimi Hendrix once said – “Knowledge speaks, Wisdom listens”. The client doesn’t want to hear you chatter on about standards, usability, techy jargon. I say XHTML – the client stops listening. Instead, listen to the client. Get a good picture of what they do, what they know and where they want to go with the website. In the long run it will help put together a better design.

Speak as if you’ve already got the job. Don’t quote me too much on this. But I have often found that speaking in the future tense as opposed to conditional (eg – “I will do this with your site” instead of “I could do this with your site”) helps to portray confidence and also, maybe on a subconscious level, helps the client to think it’s definite instead possible.

Don’t claim to be something you’re not. Or claim to do something you can’t. If a client requires functionality that you don’t know how to create, unless you’re extremely confident that you can learn it quickly, or you know someone who can, do not tell them you can do it. In some cases the client may decide to go look elsewhere – your loss. But if you lie to get the deal, then admit to the client later on (or in most cases – lie more to work your way out of it), the client will automatically loose trust in you. This is no good for a working relationship. Someone will respect you more if you’re honest and up-front about where you draw the line. After all, you can’t be expected to do everything!

Don’t be cocky. You may be a great designer, you might think you are when you’re not. Arrogance can sometimes get you somewhere, however most of the time it invariably gets you nowhere. Be polite, don’t get cocky. You will often find that a future-client, regardless of how Internet-savvy they are, will actually base the majority of their judgement on your character, not on what you can do. If you come across as likable and sociable, it’s only going to increase your chances of sealing the deal.

How long the list could get, but I don’t feel like I’ve got the know-how to take it much further. Maybe I’ll one day write a sequel to this article, perhaps reinforcing it or arguing it, whatever the case hopefully evolving from it.

If you have any ideas or suggestions – Please comment on the article as you always do :)!

The original article can be found here. Many thanks to the origianl author for such an informative article.

  1. You know, I’m just coming to that realization myself. I totally agree, clients really don’t care that you used pure CSS instead of using tables where they ought not to be. I’m not sure if I’m prepared to make that decision or not, in order to make the client happy. I mean where do you draw the line in quality (vs just looking good) for some extra cash. Something we all as programmers/designers must think about, I suppose.


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