It's nearly 11:30 on Wednesday night and I'm still at it. That's kind of late for a guy known to be in the rack by 9:00PM. But, It's been one of those frustrating days.
Now, before you get out the violin and start up with a "cry me a river" tune. It's not anything you can do...it's about me. Well, me and what we see but sometimes our clients and perspective clients...don't. Here is an example and a lesson:
Today we presented a client with a bill for work we've done on their non-profit website. It included a total re-design, blog, original photography, writing, new logo and lots and lots of changes. Lots. "Can you change the word safe to the word safely..?" You get the idea. And, we were at this project for nearly four months. Because it was a non-profit we charged only for the designer and none of my time. None.
The bill came to $2,123.46.
They were, "shocked". "If I had any idea this would have come to over $2,000 we never would have done it."
But here's the deal. They knew. We're very careful in discussing our rates. We make it a point to cover what the client wants and what they do not want. We give examples of what $600 buys, what $6,000 buys and what $60,000 buys. We have them look at various sites and tell us what they like and what they don't. We log every "charge" and every "no-charge". There is a narrative along with each days work and who did what...even if we don't charge for whatever is being done, it gets logged.
Where did we fail? That has bothered me since this morning. What did we do wrong? How could we have prevented this? And, I think I have the answer:
Perceived Value vs. Real Value
You see, we failed in determining their perceived value of the Internet. That's what came out during the conversation today and that is what really stings. We had the initial meeting, we discussed design, we talked about rates, we spent hours in creative, we walked them through the reasons to blog... but we failed to see their actual distrust and low perceived value of the Internet.
They don't get it...and we missed it. And, we learned something today.
Michael P. Libbie - Insight Advertising, Marketing & Communications where it's not been a total loss...we learned something. www.InsightCubed.com