In this guest article, Behzad Jamshidi explains the pros and cons of using a budget selector in a freelance designer’s contact form.
First things first, what is a budget selector?
A budget selector is usually a pull down menu located in a designer’s contact form or project request form. It contains various price options for the potential buyer to select from.
Budget selector vs. No budget selector
I have always wondered if having a budget selector could be of benefit to freelance designers. Some designers have this option in their questionnaires and claim that having this available when the prospect fills out the initial contact form can be very beneficial. The feedback I have received from people who have not implemented the budget selector proves that many designers are skeptical of the idea, yet the ones that do use it, say they love it.
Some have expressed that a prospect does not know what a web site should cost and we, as designers, are the experts for recommending a price. Others, conversely, believe that everyone knows how much they can spend and have compared it to buying a car. When buying a car, you don’t walk into a dealer and ask for a car discussing budget. I have also been told that as a freelancer, I should be the one to educate the prospect on the value of my services and persuade them to go with the better more expensive option.
Some designers say they are too busy to educate price-shoppers and occupied with working for well-paying clients, which is very understandable. Others say a cheap prospect will always search for a price cut and will not change their shopping habit based on price.
Feedback from the community
Below is some feedback I have compiled on this topic from other freelance designers.
- the prospect feels like your all about the money and not the service
- the prospect ignores the budget selector by not selecting any option
- the prospect refuses to proceed with contacting you and leaves your site
- the prospect will always choose the lowest amount
- starting at a low budget range may lure cheaper clients
- a wide price range may cause confusion for potential clients
- a narrow price range may limit wiggle room for quoting the project
- it over-complicates the contact form
- not knowing the budget can run the risk of a bad initial estimate because of a bad initial scope
- not knowing the prospects budget can waste valuable time putting a quote together
- prospects assume you will charge them the max of their budget regardless
- helps the designer avoid the dreaded question in person “what is your budget”
- it adds a sense of professionalism, gives the prospect an idea of the quality of work to be expected
- gives the prospect some idea up front of the range of prices they should consider
- cuts down price-guessing and helps conversion rate
- allows for educating and presenting various design/price solutions
- clients that do not fit your pricing plan will not waste your time haggling
- designer can focus and spend more time putting together a proposal than guessing about budget
- sets the expectations from the start
What do you think?
Have you seen any success or problems by implementing a budget selector in your freelance design contact form or project request form? Should all designers add this to their site? Add your comments to the conversation.