How do web agencies decide if you’re a good fit?
It happens. Popular, respected web agencies often find themselves in a position of having too many leads. Amazing as it may seem, there is such a thing as too many! We had a crazy situation last year, for example, when we were spread so thin we couldn’t take on the new projects we were really keen to work on. Nuts. It’s a difficult balance, and one we’re constantly tinkering with.
It’s an interesting situation to be in, quite bizarre really. Everyone and his dog wants what we do, but only a select few value our services enough to allow us to keep doing it. It means we have to choose our clients very carefully.
It’s a tough decision. Nobody likes to turn good work down. But on the other hand having zillions of hot leads isn’t the be all and end all of a thriving web agency business. And all leads are not equal.
Whenever we’re faced with a beautiful barrage of lovely leads, far too many to handle to the standard we insist on, we decide who to work with based on chemistry. Not on budgets, not on ego, not brand reach, size, products or services. It’s a touchy feely thing, a people thing, a cultural thing.
Here’s how we choose the people we love to work with, and make the perfect match.
Testing the chemistry
To us, qualifying a lead is about the chemistry. We – like you – spend at least eight hours a day at work, through the week. We sometimes work weekends, although we try not to. When you’re spending that much of life at your desk, it needs to be stuff you love doing, with people you enjoy working with. People you gel with, people on the same page, singing from the same sheet and with the same h2 work ethic and professionalism.
Taking the bigger business picture into account
Then there’s the bigger picture, the business bit. Does the project in question support the bigger picture? If we don’t feel we can make a real difference to the prospective client’s business, we’d rather let it lie. If we did the job, would we add the finished website to our portfolio? We like working on projects we can be genuinely proud of, that reflect well on everyone concerned. Are they in it for the long term or a quick wham-bam, thank you ma’am? We much prefer long term partnerships.
Are we the best web agency for the job?
Then there’s the professional side of things from our perspective. Do we have the right capabilities, skills, expertise and experience to do the best possible job for the client? Do we think we’ll do a better job than other agencies? If so, we’re on the right track.
How about all the practical stuff?
There are all manner of practical aspects, too. Is the client sold on WordPress, the top class platform we’ve used for years? Do they take crucial ancillary stuff like hosting and site security seriously enough? And what about ongoing work – we like to send the websites we design out into the world knowing the client will keep them up to date, write regular blog posts, keep the content up to standard. Not just take the site, sit on it and let it slowly die off.
Meeting in person to explore the relationship further
If we tick all the right boxes, we like to meet face to face to consolidate things and explore the client’s business goals. This helps us identify people who are just pushing for a quote, which can indicate they’re more interested in the cost at this stage than the quality, or in us. If a meeting isn’t practical we send out our briefing questionnaire. If someone doesn’t want to engage with the process, it’s fair to assume they might prove to be hard work down the line.
We love you, you love us, everybody’s happy
The best thing about being choosy, even if you’re sometimes forced to make tough choices, is the relationships that fall out the end. Long term, cordial, professional relationships based on trust, common ground and similar outlooks. Let’s hope that turns out to be you!