Answer: prominently list your service fees on your home page to weed out unfitting clients.
If you sell products, this is a no-brainer. But since a majority of U.S. business are service-based companies, this is a must if you want to spend more time closing business instead of qualifying it. At the least, and when using custom bids, you should be listing your minimum purchase order on your home page (yes, I said home page) — and DON’T bury your pricing; make it palpable.
“But I don’t compete on pricing, so there’s no need to list my fees,” you may exclaim. Neither do I. But the reality remains that a majority of consumers still do, so you’d be wise in politely showing ill-suited customers the door sooner rather than later — it really is better for all involved.
I’ve been doing this for two years now and can honestly say it has increased my close rate while improving my sales effectiveness (read: no more wasting time on clients I’m not well-suited for). I regularly refer prospective web clients to my single-page (though outdated) site to ensure they understand from the get-go if I’m within their budget.