This post has been in the making since June 2008, when we first registered an account with Wufoo, a great online contact form builder, and started collecting "get a free quote" submissions on our company's website. It is about time to reveal some of our findings, and besides making the data interesting and entertaining, we hope this post can be helpful to many web design and SEO firms out there as well as customers who are looking to hire a web development or SEO agency and are about to submit a quote request form explaining their business needs.
When we put together our quote form, the main idea behind it was to get customers to leave their email address, brief description of the project as well as budget preferences. Our form had 7 fields and only three of them were required: Name, Email and Project. We've received nearly five hundred responses overtime, and about 30-40% of the leads generated sales. "Get a free quote" form process became a science for us, and what we've learned was that we were able to get a pretty good idea of what type of clients we would have to deal with by simply reading these clients' initial online quote requests, which varied in length from a couple of words to lengthy essays.
4 Types of Clients Who Submit the Quote Request Form
Based on our experience in the technical field and multiple quote request submissions done via our website, we've divided clients into the following categories:
Type I: Difficult to deal with and do not know what they need
These clients normally want to get top-notch services for a penny in addition to not being sure what type of services they actually need. If you decide to work with these folks, be cautious and let them know up-front what you can offer and at what rate, so that you do not end up spending hours modifying things for a penny, arguing and eventually ending up with an unhappy customer.Quote request form submissions from these folks are very vague and normally very brief as well as contain extremely low budget preferences.
Type II: Difficult to deal with but know what they need
Working with these folks is easier than with Group I. By having a clear job description you can at least estimate the amount of time you need to put into the project to deliver what you promise and leave a customer happy. Giving a solid flat fee quote in this case is essential, as if you are giving a price range or an hourly estimate, instead of doing actual work, you may end up spending hours explaining that you actually spent this specific amount of time to make this specific change request.Quote request form submissions from this type of clients normally contain a detailed description of the project and examples of sites/functionalities that they like.
Type III: Great to work with but do not know what they need
A lot of small businesses and startups fall into this category. These people are respectful and need technical guidance to implement their ideas, which is exactly what we get paid for. It is critical to get a good understanding of the client's needs and then explain how the client's business idea can be implemented technically and how much time and resources will be required.Quote request form submissions from Group III customers oftentimes do not have a clear project description but contain relevant contact information and brief description of the client's situation and personal life.
Type IV: Great to work with and know exactly what they need
These clients are treasure. It is a joy to work with these folks and more importantly, these customers are willing to implement all good recommendations and ideas that we contribute to make the end product look and work better than intended.In most of the cases, you can expect an accurate budget preference as well as detailed project description put into the "get a free quote" form.
Here are some real examples of the online quote requests that we've received:
"I need a really simple, yet not cheap looking website for my soon to be up and running immigration law website. I put $300-500 because, well, I don't want it to LOOK cheap, but I'd like it to be, uh, cheap."
"Looking to build a small 4-5 page web site. I know how to build web sites."
"My company would be an online job board geared towards women changing careers. I would like to have advertising as well as a social network and for people to upload their resumes and so forth. My budget is $300-500"
"Good morning! I'm a professional intimacy consultant specializing in sexual well being. I would like to blend my professional site and sexuality blog. Do you offer services on a barter basis?"
"looking for help with SEO. can you take a look at the sites. All have the same template and content but on different domains. "
"What I "envision" for my website, is using flash, so it stands out from all the others. What I would like to see is the opening screen when they click on my site is something like a flash off a dog off leash, a person on the other side of the screen gives a hand command (or says come), and the dog comes running, sits down right in front of the person, and then goes into the down position (lay). Then they can click to enter, or a dog bark is heard, and it opens automatically to the "main page." Could you something like this?"
"Three letters, S-E-O, that's it."
"We had a nice website which someone screwed up, this website right now is elementary and we need one up asap. Have got a couple quotes and just want to look around a bit more."
"I don't have tons of money, so you may not be the company for me. But my sight does not include the key words for massage therapy and I need some links added and general update not an overhall."
"I currently have my website hosted and done by someone; however, they are HORRIBLE when it comes to making needed changes (and I don't even make them very often). Was curious to see if you host, update, etc? Also, may be looking at having some custom animation done in future/revamping website/adding shopping cart, etc."
"I am looking to have a fairly sophisticated website developed and my inquiry is somewhat unique. Before I describe the project I'd like developed I wanted to inquire into whether the following was possible: I have done extensive market research on the business side of the idea and that is essentially why I a pursuing the project. I know it will be a real money maker. The problem is that I am merely a guy with a great idea and not the financial resources for having it developed. I have spoken with a number of web developers who have told me that the way I am hoping to get around my lack of capital to develop my idea is possible and people have gone about it this way. So my question is, if I came to your web development company and laid out the project and what it is I am looking to have developed, and upon your own independent research you concluded like me that this idea does in fact have huge profit potential, would it be possible for us to come to an agreement to have my website developed with your compensation being equity in my company?"
"Hi! We are looking to create a social network. Is your company capable of creating a social network that includes picture uploads, status updates, etc?"
So, here you go.
If you have some funny or interesting quote request submissions, please share them in the comments area below. If you are curious about how our quote request form looks like now, please visit artdriver.wpengine.com/about/contact.
Oleksiy is the Founder of ArtDriver. He oftentimes takes the lead as the Agile Project Manager and SEO expert on selected projects, which allows him to be hands-on with the latest trends. In his spare time, Oleksiy enjoys playing the guitar and spending time with his family.