Clients: reveal your budget!

Hide & Seek

Clients should stop being coy with their budgets and put their cash on the table.

Here’s why:

Compare like with like

If you ask two or three different service providers to quote for a piece of work, they will all provide a quote that involves different levels of service, different features and different elements. The three quotes may vary wildly in cost, mainly because the three quotes include different amounts of value. The lowest quote probably offers the least features, while the highest quote includes more stuff – more benefits, more features.

If you want comparable quotes, be honest about your budget.

Get a quote that you can accept

Hiding your budget is not a clever tactic and provides no benefit. Reveal your budget and receive quotes you can work with. Why hide your budget if it means you receive unrealistic and unworkable proposals?

Procuring services is not like playing poker, so show them what you got.

This post was inspired by Alex Cowell’s piece on budgets at the Cubeworks blog.


  1. Good point. I always find that when a client is coy with me about their budget, it’s usually because they’re hiding a plethora of planning uncertainties. For example, most people I’ve worked with have largely left their web copy out of the plan for their new site ALTOGETHER (as it can just be written once everything else is done, right?), so when the topic of money comes up, it usually raises the question of ‘how little can you do this for?’.

    Comment by Michael Morrison — June 17, 2010 @ 5:28 pm

  2. Hi Michael – thanks for stopping by.

    Yeah – I know that scenario all too well! The thing that annoys me more is when people think that concealing their budget is a clever tactic, as though it will help them ‘win’. Negotiations and deal-making should not be about winning or losing, it should be about mutually beneficial agreements – so hiding a budget is just pointless. But even if a client wants to ‘win’ – they are more likely to lose if they aren’t honest about their budget.

    Comment by Leif Kendall — June 21, 2010 @ 9:36 am

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