For web designers, there’s nothing worse than spending over an hour on the phone or meeting in person, spending half a day with a lead who is simply a bad fit and never going to move forward with you.

To help you avoid wasting hours, in this solo podcast episode, I’m sharing my proven strategy (that I refined over a decade) for funneling and filtering out bad fit web design leads.

In this chat, we cover:

  • How to categorize your leads (pro tip: leads are either “questionable” or “qualified”
  • Where to send your lead depending on what category they fall into
  • Creating a “potential client” page for questionable leads
  • Having a process for diving right into a discovery call or proposal for qualified leads
  • How to determine whether a lead is questionable or qualified

This funneling system was an absolutely game changer for me in saving time from talking with bad fit, $300 cheap web design leads so I hope it helps you too.

Note: This episode are the highlights from a lesson inside my Web Design Business Course which is currently being revamped! Version 2.0 is dropping in July 2023 but the majority of the new lessons are available NOW inside Web Designer Pro for early access.

Get early access to the new business course today when you join at

If you’ve been on the fence about Pro, now is an amazing time to dive in. There’s currently a no-risk 14-day guarantee, a monthly option and when you join, you and I will have a private DM coaching thread where I can guide you on the best resources and strategies for you and your business.

Hope to see you inside Pro so we can connect and build your web biz fast!

And either way, I hope you implement this lead funneling strategy TODAY for your business 🙂

In this episode:

0:02 – Filtering and Funneling Web Design Leads
3:18 – Lead Categories
4:42 – Questionable Lead Strategy
8:51 – Qualified Lead Proposal
10:26 – Differentiating Between
10:47 – Package Pricing
13:03 – Investment Mindset
17:25 – Quick Recap

Web Designer Pro

Featured links mentioned:

Episode #271 Full Transcription

Welcome to the Web Design Business Podcast with your host, josh Hall, helping you build a web design business that gives you freedom and a lifestyle you love. Hey friends, welcome into the show. Great to be here with you in this one. It’s just me. This is a solo episode in this one. I wanted to do a follow-up episode on the last conversation that we just had on the podcast with the CEO of my web design agency, eric Dingler. We talked about getting web design client leads and how to build your pipeline of leads, how to convert and how to have a goal for getting the right amount of leads that work for you and your business.

But there was a piece to that conversation that we hit on briefly that I wanted to dive into in more detail, because it’s really important that you save time from talking with bad fit leads. So what I’m going to do in this episode is share with you my proven framework, my proven system for funneling and filtering out bad fit leads. This is what I refined over the years as a web designer of a decade plus, and towards the end of that journey of me getting my clients, i had this system so dialed in and so nailed down that I was literally spending barely any time with bad fit leads And I cannot say that that was true for the first several years in my journey. I know you’re feeling the same, where you’re like, oh my God, why did I spend an hour and a half talking to this person on the phone? Or why did I drive 45 minutes to meet with this person and talk for over an hour And I know they’re not going to be good fit. I know they have like $300 and they’re just not going to budge or they’re not a good personality fit.

So all that to say here is my top strategies for how to filter out bad fit leads to save time during this proposal process and in this lead process. I do want to say too this is actually pulled from my business course. I am currently revamping my business course. Version 2.0 is coming out in July 2023. The first five module actually the first, almost the whole course now by the time this is going live is already live inside of web designer pro for early access. That is my coaching and course community. So if you’re not yet a member of web designer pro, go to joshallco slash pro to join us there and you can get early access to the new version of the business course, but you can also purchase the course standalone at joshallco. That’s going to be available in July here in 2023.


Anyway, down to my filtering and funneling proven system. Here’s the big thing you have to remember with leads Not all leads are the same. When it comes to getting website leads, it’s easy in the beginning, like anytime you get a lead. I remember this feeling so well. Anytime you get somebody who sends in a contact form, is interested in a website project, or maybe they call you or they get referred to you and they’re DMing you. It’s like every lead is like oh my gosh, it could be a new client. It could be a new client, so exciting. But that wears off when you start to spend way too much time with bad fit leads, like we just talked about. So to help you with that, my biggest tip is to separate leads into two different categories. So all leads come to you, but it is your job to funnel them into these two different categories. One category is for questionable leads.

These are leads that you’re like I don’t know if I want to get on an hour call with them, and even if you say a 15 minute discovery call, we all know there’s no such thing as a 15 minute call. They’re at least a half an hour to 45 minutes. So one category is questionable leads. The second category are for qualified leads. These are leads that right when they come through your door they are going to be. You can just tell they are a legitimate business owner or there’s somebody you just jive with and feel really good about working with. Maybe it’s a referral from one of your really good current clients. Those are how I found some of my best referrals and leads. And you’re just ready to go. You are ready. They don’t need to go through any preliminary information. You’re ready to get on a call or ready to get right into the proposal stage. So those are the two paths questionable lead versus qualified lead.


Now for the rest of this episode. What I’m going to do this is a shorty style episode. We’re just going to cover the highlights from what I cover in my business course. But I’m going to share with you what to do, like where to actually send them in each one of these funnels, and then I’m actually going to give you some tips on how to identify questionable leads versus qualified leads, cause that’s probably the next question you’ll have is like well, how do I determine who’s questionable versus who’s qualified? So we’ll get there next, but first off, where does a questionable lead go?


My question to you right now is do you have a system in place for a questionable lead, or what do you do Like, what do you do with them? And it’s okay if you’re fairly new or you haven’t done this yet. I’m just I’m challenging you, because this is something I want you to do immediately, and that is to have a place to send questionable leads. Cause some of you. I hope you don’t do this strategy, but if you are, i encourage you to stop it.


You don’t wanna just ghost everybody, because you may have a questionable lead that could turn into a qualified lead. You also may have a questionable lead that might be a really good referral source for other qualified people Once it like maybe they’re questionable, but maybe their network are actually really good people to be referred to. So you don’t wanna just ghost everybody here, like, oh nope, they don’t look like a good fit. Now you could refer them to another web designer in your network or something like that. But I’ve got a strategy that’s even better for you And that is to create a potential client page. You could call this a good fit page. You could call this a are we good partners for each other page? Whatever you wanna call this a potential client page, this is what worked for me. This was the game changer Is a page that you send your questionable leads to, and it can be almost a different version of your homepage, except there’s one big difference Your potential client page has your price ranges on it. Now I do not recommend sharing your pricing upfront on your main website.


You can, and a lot of my students are doing this with success if they have more product type services. But if you’re doing more bespoke, value-based type of services and you’re getting into the five, 10, 15k range, you generally want to prime them and warm them up or get them on some sort of call or proven system to make sure they understand the value before sharing with them your price points. Because you may have a lead that sees 10K and they’re like oh, oh, my gosh, i’m out, nevermind. But if they understand that a $10,000 investment will yield them 100X that over the next few years, then they’ll be like okay, i see this as an investment now and not just a cost. It’s gonna leave my wallet and never come back.


So the way you start then, when you prime them, these questionable leads, is with a potential client page, and you could do this with an email. You could do this in a variety of different ways. I kind of like having an actual page for this, mainly because it could be a different version of your homepage. Let’s say you have two versions of your homepage and you’re like I just don’t know which one to use. Use the best one or swap them out for your homepage and then save the other aspects for your potential client page Just talks a little bit more about your business and really gets them right to the price ranges that you have. And then that way they see And the price ranges that I personally recommend inside my business course that worked for me are 2,500 to start, $5,000 in the middle tier and then 7,500 to 10K plus in the top tier, and all those price ranges have starting at.


So you don’t lock yourself into a pricing box if you will. And the cool thing about that is is if a questionable lead sees that and says, okay, i was thinking like two or 3000. So maybe I’d be good fit for the first package that Josh and his team offers. Well, as long as they move forward, then you know they’re cool with your pricing, they’re cool with your price ranges at least. Now if somebody comes with that $300 budget and they see that you start at 2,500, then they’re out and they may even not even move forward. And then if you follow up with them and they just say, yeah, i can’t even afford the first tier, then that’s fine. It’s just not a good fit for both parties. So that is the number one strategy for questionable clients. You send them to a potential client page Again.


I actually show you this and give you real world examples of this inside of my business course. It’s a lesson in module four, in the module on sales and getting clients. So my business course is available. The new version is going to be available in July and this module and this lesson is ready right now inside of Web Designer Pro. If you join us over at Web Designer Pro to get the more visual and high in depth aspect of this lesson Now for qualified leads, that goes right into your process for either a discovery call or a proposal, and what I show you in the lesson in the course I’ll share with you now.


We can’t look at this visually because this is just an audio episode, but what I do in the course is I actually show you my questionnaire for proposal. So this is intentionally an in depth questionnaire that provides everything that you need for a proposal, and what I like to personally do is have clients go through that questionnaire to give me all the details as far as their business, their goals for the website. They’re a little bit about their customers and then just basics about where they are with their current website, because that’ll give me an idea for the scope of the project And then we’ll do a discovery call if needed. Now a lot of my projects that converted we never even talked on the phone. I just got the form in that gave me enough to do a proposal. I sent that over, they accepted and then we’re off and running. Then we dive into the rest of the strategies that I cover in my business course on getting the project started and then doing a strategy call and a strategy questionnaire, which is different than this stage of discovery and proposal. So either way, you want to send them to your proposal stage, for me personally, my framework is that they go to a proposal form, a contact form for a proposal. Then, if needed, we’ll do a discovery call only if and when needed And then I can give them a lead, i can give them the proposal. Because that is the biggie These are. Again, these are qualified leads.


The reason we don’t send a qualified lead to a potential client page is because often we’re going to be instituting what’s known as value based pricing. So another lesson I have in the business course is the difference between pricing models and pricing ranges, and a big part of that is packaged pricing versus value based. So some of the projects that I did for $10 to $20,000 were instituting value based pricing, because what you don’t want is to have somebody who has a budget for $20,000. And then they see your ranges that start at $2,500 or $5,000 because they’re going to be like well, you know, i feel like my project would be the middle range. Why am I? you know, 4x what you would normally charge. That’s because they don’t even need to know your current ranges, because you’re going right into more of a custom proposal, because it is a qualified lead.


So, in short, questionable lead goes to your potential client page that has your price ranges qualified leads. Where do they go? Right into your proposal process? Ideally a questionnaire for a proposal slash and or a discovery call. And that is what you do, my friends, with leads, because leads are different. Some leads are questionable and they should never even hop on a phone call with you. Some leads are qualified and they require a different process. Now let me wrap this episode up with a few tips on how to identify these different leads.


Questionable leads are generally going to be a little more random from how they enter your world. It may be through social media. They’re generally going to be colder leads. They may be through SEO, like they may have Googled something and found you and went through your contact form. They may be looking for web designers on a directory and or something like that. They may see you. Or they may be a referral from a not so great client or person in your network, like you might have somebody in your family who knows somebody and you know they’re like Oh yeah, my nephew does websites and then, yeah, they’re just you know they. I mean, maybe they’re a good lead, maybe they’re qualified, but oftentimes they’re just not the right level for you. So they’re generally going to be a little more random, cold style leads.


They’re also going to be very expense minded and ask about cost. These are red flags that I tried to avoid immediately. So look out for that. If somebody is saying so, how much does this cost? Why does it cost so much? I’ve talked to other web designers. Why are you so expensive compared to other ones? Those are red flags. Now you can help people understand the value and them upgrade eventually, but this is a big red flag that I’m wary of. It’s very tough to get somebody to move from expense-minded to investment-minded, knowing that this is not money that you’re just gonna pay and then never get it back. The goal is to pay this money, to invest it in your website, which is going to return you so much money in the future, so very near future Maybe this month you’ll get it right back. So definitely be wary of that.


Often they’re gonna talk about that mindset of a website as a cost. You can tell they’re like, oh gosh, it’s so expensive, but they’re not viewing it as an investment, which you could just very clearly say listen, i mean, you could be as frank as this in the way that you would say you could just say well, our website designs are investments for our clients. They, we build this website for them and it gets them sometimes immediate results. And you can always do what I’ve talked about a lot on the show and I’ll relay here too, and that is, if somebody is numbers-minded you can just ask them how much are your clients paying you, or your customers, and like what’s their average investment for you in a year? And if it’s $1,000 that they typically pay, then shoot. If we build the website for $5,000, it’s only gonna take five of those clients five converting clients to the website to pay off the website. And then suddenly they’re like, oh okay, and now what have we got five new clients every month through the website. 12 times five is 60. I’m getting better at live math here. That’s $60,000 all through the website. That was based up a $5,000 investment. So you can always do that with your questionable leads. You’re welcome to even take that little snippet that I just said and put it in your potential client page above or below your price ranges, if you would like. You’re welcome to do that.


And then, finally, questionable leads often might be just. You could just tell they’re not a great personality. Fit Like I’m a bit of a stickler on grammar. Well, not necessarily the grammar, because I do have often spelling mistakes, but punctuation in the way somebody comes across via email. I would typically tell within a sentence or two whether somebody is gonna be somebody I’d wanna work with and who I would feel comfortable being organized to send me content. Cause just remember, not only are qualified leads like revenue and budget and all these things and expense minded, but you have to think about are they gonna be a good lead for us, like moving forward? are they rushed? Are they stressed? Are they sending me like 10 emails that all have one sentence and there’s no punctuation or capitalization or anything Like? how’s that gonna go when they’re sending you client or content? excuse me, probably not pretty good. So questionable leads be very wary of those. That’s how I identify those. I go into more strategies in the business course, but those are some of the high level things.


And then qualified leads. Qualified leads are, like I mentioned earlier, generally gonna come to you from your really good quality clients cause. Good clients tend to know other good clients. These are folks who are gonna be much more business and results minded, so they may be talking and framing the conversation about how are you like what are you gonna do in the website that is going to get us more clients, so they’ll probably talk more about strategy and what the website’s gonna do. Those are wonderful conversations because it takes you out of the well, i don’t wanna spend $3,000 for a website because I don’t have that kind of money. Well, it’s like well, cause your website sucks. Of course you don’t have that kind of money. So they’re gonna be framing conversations very different.


Oftentimes, too, they may be trying to weed you out, which is actually a really good thing Often. Sometimes that can be dangerous and they could be questionable. Or they’re trying to make sure you’re a good fit for them if they have no budget. But I’ve found that some of my really good clients were making sure I could deliver or that I actually cared about them And, quite frankly, that I wasn’t gonna flake, because a lot of really good clients have had terrible experiences with flakey web designers who ghost them and never show up or agencies that treat them like a number. So, for those of you who are the small team and we just talked with John D Saunders recently on the podcast about the power of being a studio or being a shop instead of a full blown like digital marketing agency There’s a lot of power in that and you can really come across well to those leads who are going to be a good fit for you, just like they’re going to, you’re going to be a good fit for them. So those are some of the high level things as far as identifying qualified leads versus questionable leads. Hope those help.


And again, the big strategy here to filter out bad weeds, so you are not spending hours and hours and going to meetings with bad fit leads is two paths. Real quick recap questionable leads versus qualified. Where does the questionable leads go? They go to your potential client page with their price ranges, where your qualified leads go right into a proposal stage and a discovery call. By the way, if you’re wondering when they come through your contact form, how you actually do this, i’m going to save that because that is in my business course. In this lesson, i actually give you my email templates on where to send them and how to come across once they come through the door. So I hope to see you inside the business course. right now It’s available inside a Web Designer Pro for early access And for those of you who just want the course itself, you can go to joshallcocom Business.


The course is going to be dropping should be mid July 2023 when we release the course fully to the masses, but for right now, it’s almost all nearly done, ready for early access inside a Web Designer Pro. So I hope to see you there. And for right now, friends, i hope this helps. You have got to treat leads differently questionable versus qualified. There is my framework. That is what works for me. I think that is well worth the price of this podcast, which is free anyway. So just imagine what’s going to be even better for you in the course, because this is just the free stuff. So all right, friends I hope to see in the course. I hope this helps Cheers to funneling and filtering out your bad fit leads and cheers to getting more leads in your web design business. What an exciting time to be in web design. So keep out of friends. See you on the next episode.


Web Design Business

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