Being in the business of building websites, naturally one of the first phrases I hear most often is “I want a website” or “I need a website” from potential customers.
And probably the majority of web designers would say “great” and dive into the discussion of what features they want, what colors, what content etc etc.
I took this approach myself many times as well.
Dealing with various customers – over time – I noticed a trend developing. My discussions with customers went well beyond the initial topic of website features and website look.
One question I asked in the process was “Why do you want a website?” and more often than not I would get answers such as “to promote my services” or “to reach my customers that are online” or something similar. I would say ‘ok’ and then move on to the project details. That is where I let opportunities to provide deeper value slip by me. With the number of websites online approaching 1.147 billion why not add one more..lol.
DIG A LITTLE MORE
By accepting my customers gut reaction answer I was not providing the best value I possibly could. By digging deeper I could uncover more and vital information about root problems and issues the business owner was facing and be able to tailor solutions based on those specific pain points or specific problems.
In one case an initial answer of “to promote my business” became “I need more customers” which became “I need to sell more of my higher profit margin items.”
Now I had the information that I needed to provide more value to my client. It changes my entire approach to the project.
There are lots of web designers out there for business owners to choose from, and there is definitely a market for the “I need a website” and “sure, here it is” approach to web design.
But over the years of helping my clients my view has changed significantly and I personally would much rather be the guy that solves peoples problems and provides high value solutions rather than a “build me a website” – “yes sir/mame” type of web designer.
In many cases an initial inquiry of “I need a website” evolves into something more, a more specific objective in which a website is one tool that can be used towards solving a deeper problem. So before you call up your website designer and say to them “I need a website” maybe you don’t just need a website.