Venting: Budgets


This week we’ll address the wonderful issue of budgets from both our own and our client’s point of view.

But first, I cannot tell you the amount of times I have experienced the following scenario.

A client comes to my office, they love my work, I love them and it’s a bit of a love fest.

Then, something similar to the following conversation takes place:

Client: Preston, how much do you think this is going to cost?
Me: Well, it varies. What I’d like to do is discuss your needs, then I’d love to get back to you with a range of costs.

Client: Yes, yes, but can you still give me a range more or less?
Me: Well, I think it’s best if you tell me more about what you’d like to spend and we can see how we can accommodate you needs.

Client: Well, I don’t know but give me a range anyway. I won’t hold you to it.
Me: (My inner voice is saying, “Preston don’t don’t don’t…”). Well, in that case I think it’s going to be around $100K.

Client: WHATTTT? Are you out of your mind? I was only planning to spend around $25K.

This scenario reminds me of when you are first dating someone and you like each other, however you hesitate to say the words, “I love you,” because you don’t want to be first.

I find that getting a budget from most clients is a HUGE challenge.

This is one of the reasons I resist talking money directly with my clients allowing my comptroller to do so instead.

Before going into greater detail on budgets, I’d like to get some feedback from you. When dealing with new potential clients, do you find that most clients hesitate giving you a budget because:

  • A. They actually do not know what things cost
  • B. They know what things cost but are shopping around
  • C. They want to low ball what they are spending in order to get as much as possible from you
  • D. Whatever your prices are, they want it for less
  • E. They are on a strict budget and just want the best they can afford in their range

Our clients are our livelihood, and there is no right or wrong way to deal with budgets. My goal this week is to suggest an effective way of dealing with all clients to get the job and make a profit.