I was doing a proposal the other day for a potential new client. If you have never done this then you won't know what a challenge it can be.
If we were selling car parts then it would be easy, two of those at £299.99 mate! But it isn't, what we sell is an online presence that is the key to many business's success. Some businesses are prepared and able to invest more in their web site than others but this doesn't make the lesser budget website any less important, especially to the business involved.
The trouble is knowing what a business is prepared to put into this. As a general rule most won't tell you the budget they have available because if they don't know and trust you they expect you'll spend what ever budget they offer regardless of the actual result. We are much more honest than that but you have no reason to believe that until you know us better. So either you have used us before, we have a lot of very loyal long term customers, or you have been recomended to us. If you found us, for instance, via the internet, strangely some do, then we'll be a complete unknown to you. I personally would then like to meet you face to face so you can make a proper judgement.
It's rare that a substantial project comes out of the blue. Most new clients will start will small projects, maybe updating an exisiting website, sorting out email addresses or whatever. That way a trust is gained and once that is acheived it is possible to then talk about the bigger project.
So back to budgets; how do we find a budget that will suit the pocket of the customer? Well with any luck the customer will have come to trust us enough to give us some clues if not tell us outright what they have to spend on the project. We can then tell them what can be provided for that budget. That would be far too easy.
So how do we do it? It depends on the client but my favourite way is to present a 'suggested budget'. That way it's not seen as 'the price' but rather a more flexible costing that is up for discussion.