Okay, it's time for a rant. This week I've been beat up a couple times and I'm truly at a loss that some of these folks have made it as long as they have in business. I want to get a few things straight when you go to negotiate and purchase services from your next Agency.
The Price is What You Pay, Not What You Get
This is the cost of the product or service that you're looking to buy. While the cost of two products or two services may exactly be the same, the actual product or service that you're receiving will not be the same. As a result, please don't ask for a shopping list of crap and request finite quotes… we know what you're doing. You're going to take the shopping list and requested finite quotes and shop them to everyone else. We're not everyone else. Regardless of how detailed the shopping list is, I repeat, we are not everyone else. What we provide you will be different. Different features, different services, different timelines, different attitudes and ultimately different business results.
If you shop for an agency based on price, you're a loser who doesn't understand business. There, I said it. Online marketing isn't Wal-mart. Stop it.
Paying Less Doesn't Mean You Saved Money
What you decided and agreed upon paying is, hopefully, tied to the value that you predict you'll be receiving with the product or service. If you received an annual software license and the software helped you do things more efficiently (aka: Return on Investment), helped you keep more business (aka: Return on Investment), helped you acquire more business (aka: Return on Investment) or helped you increase profitability (aka: Return on Investment) then the value of what you received exceeded the price you paid. This is a good thing. This is what you want to do.
Conversely, paying less money and not getting a return on investment is bad. This means you lost money… not saved money. So… go buy the logo on a crowdsource site instead of hiring a branding agency and spending six digits to look like a billion dollar corporation instead of a downtown liquor store. You should be expecting different results and a different value for the money you invested.
Paying More Doesn't Mean You Got Ripped Off
My Mom's television just broke this week. She looked back and it was 7 years old and it cost her $2,200 back when she purchased it. Today, my Mom ordered a much better television with a wider screen for $500. She was amazed at how technology has evolved so quickly and how affordable she could buy a new, better television. She wasn't angry that she got ripped off 7 years ago. She was happy that she got something fantastic now. This is a good thing.
We recently automated site analysis reporting that used to take a week for two people to complete manually. What took us about 60 man-hours with a series of software applications we licensed now takes us less than an hour. I let some of our clients who were happy with our past reporting know if the new endeavor and let them know that – since our costs are now a fraction of what they were, we were passing those savings onto our customers. It's significant – what they paid for 1 time could now get an entire year of reports from us.
Most signed up, but one wrote me back and said they were pissed that they were ripped off that they paid so much for the previous report. Of course, when we delivered the report, they were ecstatic… not pissed. They used the report as a blueprint for developing their online marketing strategy for the next year. A few thousand dollar investment in the report would result in hundreds of thousands of dollars in return. That is exactly what they thought, right up until we lowered our price. When we lowered the price we somehow shifted from a great value to a ripoff.
Now that the rant is over, I will say this. We will work as efficiently as possible to ensure that the value of the work we do exceeds the price you're paying. When we do that, you'll get superior business results. When you achieve superior business results, you will appreciate the work we're doing for you. If we don't achieve those results, then we can discuss that as well.