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Ask the Readers: How Do You Sell EE?

Ask the Readers There is a wide range of ways to pitch ExpressionEngine as a CMS. Some people use EE as a differentiator, saying they are an EE-only shop, and clients choose them partly for that reason. Others will wait to pitch EE until after they’ve landed the gig, maybe letting the client choose from among a few different options. And there are plenty of other scenarios in between those two extremes.

My question for you is: How do you pitch ExpressionEngine to your clients? Is it an easy sell or sometimes a challenge? Does it figure into your initial pitch to land the client? Give us your thoughts in the comments.

Posted on Feb 10, 2011 by Brian Warren

Filed Under: Ask the Readers

Zachary Lang08:59 on 02.10.2011

Great question, and definitely some that we debate at our company.  We typically present ourselves as an EE shop, and usually present it in an original pitch.  EE is presented as the best of both worlds: open source and commercially developed.

Belarga09:55 on 02.10.2011

We are very upfront with the use of EE. We present a list of prices where EE and all the add-ons needed (e.g. Low-Variables, Playa, etc.) are not only explained but with the online price of each one of them. We have a fee for installing and implementing. We try to differentiate ourselves as a company that brings strategy, design and content to the deal. EE is our framework for us to create.

Graham Huber14:20 on 02.10.2011

I wrote a post on this topic that’s generated some good meta:

John Faulds16:00 on 02.10.2011

The topic of what CMS I use rarely comes up: clients are only interested in getting something that meets all their publishing requirements.

Some will mention Wordpress as they either use it already or have heard of it but generally the only thing I have to say to persuade them to go with EE instead is that it’s what I use on all my sites so can produce results with it more quickly and at a lower cost than using other CMSs.

In some cases clients have come to me specifically because I promote that I use EE on my site so in those cases, there’s no sell.

Tony Geer16:33 on 02.10.2011

Same as John here. We don’t really pitch EE to clients, we pitch solutions - what we can do and how it can help our clients. The only time EE itself comes up is when we’re billing.

Brendan Underwood18:41 on 02.10.2011

Yep, same here. When I client comes to me, they’re after a solution. Most of the time these days they will require a CMS, they don’t really mind what it is as long as there is other developers about for it should the much mentioned ‘bus’ come running through the house. I’m up front about which CMS I use, but tend to be clear that the decision on what tech to be used is secondary to getting the requirements for the project 100% clear.

Steven20:14 on 02.10.2011

To echo Tony, I just tell the client they’re getting an awesome CMS. That said, it’s clear from my site that I’m an EE guy. Most of my work atm is EE integration for other designers/devs - people use me because I know and love EE.

Sean18:13 on 02.11.2011

I don’t get many clients, but when I do I include the cost of EE and add-on licenses in the invoice. All the client cares about is that the site does what I promise it will and that is what they want it to do and finally that it fits within their budget.

John19:27 on 02.14.2011

I’m very upfront with my clients about what CMS is being used and why I chose EE as the only one I use. But this pitch is much more focused on the approach I take what what they get out of it as a result - an emphasis that would probably be pretty universal and could apply had I chosen a different CMS. But there’s no doubt that the fact that I have committed to a specific CMS and the fact that’s it’s community and commercially supported is a helpful part of the discussion. Even clients that have heard of other CMS platforms and asked about them have been swayed - I certainly haven’t lost a client due to my CMS of choice.

mariadelaguardia16:20 on 06.14.2013

Seems like this is a pretty old post, and I hope someone will read it and have feedback! My firm does both Drupal and EE. I prefer working with EE but have a hard time selling it vs. Drupal. Clients are more and more educated every day, and they worry that the EE developer pool is too small and therefore prices are higher. They worry that if they ever need enhancements in the future, and we’re not available, they’ll end up overpaying. Any ideas on how to get around this?