Inside KOMODO's Pitching Process: A Must-Read For Future Clients
So you want to build a digital product? Previously, we talked about the red flags of pitching to watch out for whenever you approach a new agency - many of which are based on trying to beat each other on cost.
In this article, we’re going to throw back the veil and show you exactly what goes into our pitch process and our pricing - which can often be higher than some of our competitors.
This’ll help to accomplish two things:
Show what goes into our pitch so future clients (hopefully, you) understand why we do what we do and what we require from them.
Show that we’re not flying the red flags we’ve already mentioned and show the true value of our final price.
It’s not an overestimation to say we are often more expensive than other digital agencies - but that’s for a very good reason. We build projects to succeed - not to just deliver set criteria and then hand it off to you to fend for yourself. Your product’s success is our success - which is why we have so many great testimonials and long term working relationships. We work with a handful of clients at a time on lengthy retainers - prizing quality over quantity.
Let’s look at the process from your first enquiry through to being given a price and see why choosing Komodo means working with a different kind of agency.
Typically you’ll approach us with either an idea or a challenge. Standard agencies may take this challenge and estimate solely based on that - giving you a price that hasn’t taken much of anything into account aside from a finished project.
Komodo works differently. We start with an initial consultation call where we get to know you and understand your business, your project and your budget. The call roughly breaks down into two key areas:
Who you are
Is this a project we can add value to? If not, we’ll recommend another agency.
Is this a sector we’re familiar with or feel we can make an impact in? This means you’ll benefit from expertise and experience.
Do you, or does our point of contact at your business, understand the digital sector? If you’re adept at technology, we don’t need to explain many of our updates or decisions - if you need a bit more support, we’ll factor this in. This is part of our honest approach: we will consider the time it’ll take to manage you as a client and ensure you feel comfortable throughout the process.
Do you and your business fit our internal client personas? We know who we work well with and which projects we’d likely to add value to. If there isn’t a fit, we’ll let you know - unlike many agencies who would accept and add a cost on top of the project to account for this, we’re not afraid to turn work down if it doesn’t fit.
What you want
Do you have an idea or a problem? What is it that you want to accomplish with your product?
Do we have contextual knowledge of this sort of project? Is it similar to something we’ve done before, or is it an exciting new challenge? Again, we won’t work on things that we feel we don’t add value to.
Is there a long-term vision or future for your project? Every successful project we've had has been grounded in a long term vision.
The most important question we ask on the call is ‘What are your success criteria?’ - which enables us to be held to account and gives us the drive needed to help you succeed. If the answer is just ‘release the product ASAP’, then we might not be the agency for you.
Why take your time to do this call?
This consultation call is for both of us. It’s for us, as an agency, to see if we can offer real value to your project. For you, it gives you an opportunity to explain your product or idea and have certain aspects challenged that many other agencies wouldn’t bother with. It helps us both determine the key question:
Will we be a good working fit for one another, and will the project be something that has a future? If both of these seem promising, we’ll probably invite you to our workshop.
If we’re not a good fit, then you have only given up 20 or so minutes of your time - without having to wait weeks for an inaccurate estimate or received an instant one not based on reality. Even better, you’ll also likely walk away with a recommendation from us as to which other agency may be able to help you.
Just because we may not be able to work on the project doesn't mean we won't still try to help you get it done.
The workshop phase is where we invest a huge amount of time and effort into prospective clients. It’s where we can really provide true value that goes far beyond a standard pitch.
So, we invite you to spend half a day with us to really draw out your project. The workshop is for businesses who are serious about setting up their project for success.
How it works
Investing time into pre and post-workshop prep means that the session itself is entirely outcome-driven.
We’ll take your input such as your idea, your challenges, your business and your sector. We don’t just take an idea at face value, we apply our experience to it and challenge your assumptions with creative suggestions. We’ll then use the workshop to outline the project and derive clear outcomes that meet the success criteria we defined in the call.
The workshop is about interaction so that we can outline the risks and opportunities across a project’s timeline - such as new iOS updates occurring during the development of your app. We’ll use what is outlined during the workshop to define an approach to delivering the product and a detailed breakdown of the project deliverable so that our pricing is clear, transparent and makes sense.
Compared to traditional pitches, which often give a rough outline of the project and a cost estimate, the final workshop output is an extensive document that details our full estimate and process. Laying out this process also means you won’t get burned in future by continued additional costs that weren’t scoped from the beginning, or delays in time due to unaccounted fixes or updates.
Sound like a lot of work? Good - we work best with teams who value detailed due diligence and good process. It’s never a volume game for us - it’s about asking: “are we the right people for this project?”
Our proposal document is a culmination of the work done in the workshop and the initial consultation. It’s a fairly detailed and intensive piece of work - so we will call you to go through it rather than simply ‘dump it’ on you.
The proposal, like our questions, is designed to outline work that can be held accountable to your defined success criteria.
No other agency does it like us (probably) - because it means sticking our necks out for a project rather than delivering it and then forgetting about it. We want to work with our clients for the lifetime of their product, or at least until they're ready to take care of it themselves.
This process is all about showing you that we are genuinely invested in your success. We care about the outcome - if we can’t point a future prospect to you to show them our work because you were unhappy with it, then we have failed.
Want to work with us?
It’s all about honesty and integrity. We don’t work with anyone we don’t think we can add value for. We price based on the project’s genuine timeline, with considerations made for risks and ongoing support of both the project and you, the client.
We price a project based on things other agencies overlook, and we are happy to be held to account for the agreed success criteria to guarantee a working relationship that ensures ongoing success.
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