Frequently Asked Questions: Service Providers

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Designer Leads FAQ

Check out our new screen shot demo walk though of how designers obtain leads. If you have not, you should first read How it works and also see what is a valid lead.
Questions answered here:
  1. Do you guarantee that the leads are good?
  2. If I use credits for a lead and dont win the bid, do i get my credits back?
  3. Why should I pay for leads! The person who wants the project done should pay right?
  4. How to I report an inaccurate or fraudulent posting?
  5. How many contracts should I expect to close?
  6. Once I see a project I want, how do I get the contact information?
  7. I just purchased credits with PayPal and the website is still showing that I have 0 credits available.
  8. I purchased 4 credits. I have used only two of those credits. Your website is saying I have 0 credits available.
  9. Can you give me the criteria you use to establish credibility of a business seeking bids?
  10. When I purchase a lead I get the contact information. What information should I send the company?
  11. Is there ANY way to bid on an RFP even if it is closed?
  12. When responding to a RFP, what is expected from me?
  13. How do I get payment once I have completed the project?
  14. How does DesignQuote differ from the other freelance sites?
  15. How do I adjust my email alert criteria?
  16. Why does my photo look cropped strange?
  17. How much does it cost to purchase a lead?
  18. How do I delete my account?
  19. What constitues a bogus lead?

  1. Do you guarantee that the leads are good?

    Updated 09/19/07
  2. We guarantee all leads are verified and real before posting

    Design Quote screens every lead posted in order to make sure you are bidding on a real project. We cannot guarantee you will win the project, but the poster is a legitamate person or company in need of design services.

    We do have a quality guarantee! While we cannot guarentee that every client will turn out to be good, or even end up deciding to go on with their project, we do guarantee certain things. In the design business, no matter where your clients find you, whether from a website, the yellow pages, google ads, or DesignQuote leads, you will always have some clients that turn out to be either just looking for prices that don't have funding in place. Perhaps they are just trying to get an idea on what things cost. This is just like people walking onto a car lot - they may be "just looking" and its up to the sales person to sell them a car. Everyone is just looking until they turn into a sale!

    With that being said, we guarantee that the project leads have been requested by a validated client. We have three full-time employees that oversee daily operations. There is always a customer service person on duty Monday - Friday 10-6 EST. This person validates every project via phone and/or email.

    The initial verification process requires the client to respond to two emails, and normally we also do a phone call verification before the project is posted. If a project is posted and then the client never responds to any of the designers that have purchased the lead and does not respond to our closing requests, we consider the project bogus and refund the credits. Each project is closed and reviewed and each case is handled individually. You can leave your feedback for each project to inform our support staff of your experience.

    If the client reviews the bids and does not choose a designer, but closes the project with a legitimate reason, such as dissatisfaction with the bids or choosing a designer outside DesignQuote, we normally do not consider that bogus. But as stated above each project is handled on a case by case basis and we try to be as fair as possible, if it is a bogus project our standard response is to refund the credits back into your account. Read What makes a valid sales lead

    Our new bidder acknowledgement system makes the client approve every single potential provider. This way if a client has already received 4 bids and awarded the contract, they will reject or ignore your bid and you get your credits back when the project closes. Read More

  3. If I use credits for a lead and dont win the bid, do i get my credits back?

  4. Our leads provide you with contact information only

    There is no guarentee that you will be selected for the project, however, after purchasing a lead there are no other commissions or extra fees.

    The credits are for purchasing the lead information and the client's contact information. It is an opportunity to sell your services to a potential client. We do not guarantee that you will be selected for the project; it is up to you to sell the project.

    We believe the model at design quote delivers a superior service to designers; ensuring quality, well-paying jobs with no commissions to pay to a middleman. We do not get between you and your client. You can continue working for them on new projects for years and never pay us another dime.

  5. Why should I pay for leads! The person who wants the project done should pay right?

  6. It's a cheaper and more direct alternative to advertising

    All buisnesses need to connect with potential clients or customers. Winning a client that posts a 6 credit project yields over a 400% return at least on your investment.1

    Everyone in business pays for leads, either by advertising, or renting a storefront or marketing on the web.

    If you are a freelancer or have a design business then you already do pay for leads, either by printing business cards, buying ads, postcards, Pay-per-click ads, the yellow pages, a sign on a business...

    Its all marketing cost and one way or another if your going to attract potential customers (eg leads) you are going to pay. After you add it all up, you will see the COA (Cost of acqusition) of a client is actually quite low compared with say Google ads, Magazine or Newspaper ads, or other traditional forms of advertising.

    Most people build it into the cost of doing business. In other words, you should model your prices to cover the cost of your lead and still make a profit.

    Are you telling me I have to pay $4 per credit to bid on a project? What happens if I don't win the bid? You keep my $4 or more I invested just to bid?

    That is precisely how the website works. You pay us for the service of collecting leads and dropping them on your doorstep. You save time and resources advertising, marketing and trying to hunt down leads. If you are confident in your product and your ability to close the deal then this should be a great opportunity for you. The average return on investment here is around $9 per $1 spent on leads. So the average designer that buys $100 worth of leads earns $1000 - several of our providers earn $50+ per dollar spent!

  7. How to I report an inaccurate or fraudulent posting, or a client that doesn't respond?

    Updated 09/19/07
  8. If a client has posted a bogus job you will be refunded

    Bogus leads will be posted from time to time. If a project is investigated and found to be bogus then all credits that were used to bid on bogus projects are refunded.

    If you email a bid and get no response that doesn't neccesarily mean a project is bogus. Wait and leave feedback on our feedback system (see below). If you get a bogus phone number and email and cannot reach the client at all, notify us immediately via lives upoort or create a support ticket and we will investigate. Otherwise use the:

    NEW: Integrated feedback system.
    Here is how the process works: Once you purchase a lead, it is added to your leads (under the "my leads" tab). After the bid closing date the client is notified and instructed to close the project. When a client closes the project, they enter the outcome of their decision, this is emailed to every designer that bid on the project. Once closed you are emailed and instructed to leave feedback for that lead.

    As soon as a project closing date passes we email the client every night (and call them after 5 days) to ask them to close the project. If a client doesn't close a project within 10 days we close the project and set it as "under review" - you can then leave feedback.

    When you leave feedback you can let us know if the client responded to you, if you won the project, or if the project was bogus. We now review all closed projects and if we find a lead was bogus we will refund your credits. Otherwise if we find the project was awarded, everyone who purchased the lead is notified of the outcome.

  9. How many contracts should I expect to close?

    On average you should win about 20% of your leads

    With a professional presentation and communication skills many clients win more than 20% of their purchased leads. Your results may vary but with a solid portfolio, communication, and work history you should win about 1 of every 5 leads.

    This really depends on your sales skills and communication with the client. The industry average is around 20%. In other words, you should be able to close 1 out of every 5 projects you bid on. Most jobs do not sell out all slots so in most cases you are only competing with 3 or 4 other designers and you may have better a better chance. However, some jobs are very desirable and sell out quickly to 8 designers. These jobs are harder to win. If you are not closing an average of 20% you may need to review your methods, techniques, portfolio and presentation. Deliver a professional presentation with good communication and reasonable prices and you should have no problem closing jobs. Have a look at your other sources of leads and examine how many clients approach you compared to how many actually contract you to work. Your closing rate on designquote should be no different.

    These numbers average out over time. If you give up after unsuccessfully bidding on just one or two jobs you're not going to get anywhere. If you bid on ten jobs and still don't win any projects it's time to review your process. Get on some forums and blogs and start asking people for feedback. Some good forums to check are DTG forums and WebmasterWorld.

  10. Once I see a project I want, how do I get the contact information?

  11. You get client contact info after purchasing the lead and being acknowleged by the client

    Clients must first acknowlege you as a designer. When purchasing a lead you won't automatically recieve their contact information.

    First you must register. After this you will be able to purchase credits. You can then use these credits to purchase the contact information for the client.
    New: Once you purchase the lead, the client is notifed that you want to bid, after they acknowledge that you want to bid you will receive an email with their contact information. This ensures you dont purchase a lead for a project that already has been awarded.
    See how designers obtain leads for more detailed information.

    Paypal may take a few hours to process

  12. I just purchased credits with PayPal and the website is still showing that I have 0 credits available.

  13. Sometimes PayPal takes a few hours to update in our system. If the credits do not show up within a few hours contact support via live help or login and create a support ticket.

  14. I purchased 4 credits. I have used only two of those credits. Your website is saying I have 0 credits available.

  15. Jobs cost diffrent amounts of credits

    Credits are tiered based on the estimated amount of value of a project. The higher paying jobs will cost more credits.

    You may have bought one project that cost 3 credits and one that cost 1 credit. Please remember that the price of the project determines the amount of credits that it costs. Check your credit history. The link is nexxt to "buy credits" after you login. If you find a discrepency, contact support via live help or create a support ticket and we will investigate.

  16. Can you give me the criteria you use to establish credibility of a business seeking bids?

  17. Anyone can post a project on our website, whether it is an "amateur" or an enterprise level company. Companies post the years in business and employees and their contact information is verified. DesignQuote is unique in that you can post questions to the client BEFORE purchasing the lead. All questions and answers are anonymous and posted on the lead page.

  18. When I purchase a lead I get the contact information. What information should I send the company?

  19. Sell yourself as a professional provider

    When contacting a client you are trying to convince them to use your services. Nothing is absolute in this stage so be professional and friendly while trying to win the project

    After you purchase the contact information, you should call or email the company to get more information to create your bid. Give them your best sales pitch. Remember that purchasing the lead does not guarantee the work. Each project allows up to 8 bids, so you could be competing with 7 other people in your field for the job. The system does notify the client that you are a bidder and gives them your contact information when you purchase a lead.

  20. Is there ANY way to bid on an RFP even if it is closed?

  21. Project bids are on a first come first serve basis

    We limit project bids to 8 designers which benefits both designers and clients.

    There is no way to purchase a closed RFP. We limit the number of bids on most projects to 8. We do this so that too many people don't go after the same project. A designer has a better chance of landing the project by limiting the competition. Also, many clients don't want to review bids from 20 or 30 freelancers.

  22. When responding to a RFP, what is expected from me? I have purchased a couple leads, but I don't know if I'm going about it right. When you speak of a quote, what do you mean? What kind of contact does a client want? Do they want an immediate graphic and a price? Help me understand this.

  23. Highlight why you should be chosen

    Sell your skills and back them up by having a strong portfolio. Be sure to communicate with the potential client early.

    Every potential client for you will be different, but some advice I can give you is that you are selling yourself. When you contact someone you need to understand that up to seven other people are also going to contact them about their project. You may not need to have a draft right away, but a portfolio of your work and a ballpark price of what you can do the project for might be helpful to landing the deal. If you are great at graphic design but not good at selling your product, I would recommend "Selling for Dummies." It is a very good book to learn the basics of selling yourself. You should read: Standards by AIGA . Along with all the other Papers they did on Copyright, Photography Usage, Fonts, Etc.

  24. How do I get payment once I have completed the project?

  25. Payments should be worked out with the client on an individual basis

    Most common is to take down an initial payment before starting work or sending any finished designs. Payment should be clear to both parties from the beginnning.

    This is something you need to take up with the person that you did the project for. We would suggest sending them an invoice. And it is a good idea to get a partial deposit to start work. Never send completed work to a client without receiving any payment. For design work you can send watermarked low res images for approval, then if they like it, get them to send partial or complete payment before you release the final product. This is something you need to work out as a standard business practice for your business!

    Remember, DesignQuote is a LEAD service - we are just connecting you with potential clients that have expressed an interest in buying services. It's up to you to sell your services.

  26. How does DesignQuote differ from the other freelance sites?

  27. We provide clear and low pricing for all our leads

    Design Quote does not take commissions or have any hidden fees. We provide you with client information for the stated amount of credits at the time of purchase.

    Unlike other websites such as elance,getafreelancer,getacoder, we do not charge a commission or a percentage for the work that you do. All we do is offer the lead and give you an opportunity to obtain the project. Once you win the project, it is all yours to do as you wish- no middle man to deal with. Also you get to keep the client for ever without paying us another dime.

    Unlike other lead sites, we actually verify each lead before we post it. Most lead services just forward you emails directly from their contact form, so you end up with a lot of junk leads that you ahve to return. DQ lets you cherry pick pre-qualified leads and just buy the ones you want - no contracts or monthly fees.

    No bidding wars: Sites like post each users bid, and allow unlimited bidders so you are competing for work at the lowest price with many people who are willing to work for next to nothing - this drives down the value of the projects, and in our opinion devalues the entire industry.

  28. How do I adjust my email alert criteria?

  29. Log into your account, click on My Alerts tab near the top, configure your criteria for your default searches and email alerts.

  30. Why does my photo appear cropped?

  31. Photos are cropped for browsing convenience

    Your picture will show in full when hovered over.

    Photos preview a small portion of your photo or logo. When a users cursor moves over the photo, the entire image appears. Example: (hover your mouse over the image)

  32. How much does it cost to purchase a lead?

  33. The cost of a lead depends on the project's budget. Credits cost $4 to 5 each depending on how many you buy. You can get free credits with bulk purchases. You may refer to the table below:

  34. How do I delete my account?

  35. Remember you can adjust your email preferences if you dont want emails for every project under "My Alerts" If you still want to cancel your account log in to your DesignQuote user account; go to the Profile tab. Click the 'Delete My Account' button under your profile information. Unused credits are non-refundable.


    "Using, we have been contracted for well over $12,000 in less than a month, and I only spent $60. Talking to people over placing bids seems to make a big difference. has made it easy to get the projects worth doing without spending too much time finding them! Thanks DesignQuote!"

    - Tim Jones 01/26/2007
    Eternal Works LLC
    Virginia Beach, VA

    Budget of Project Credits
    Under $100 1
    $100 - $249 2
    $250 - $499 3
    $500 - $999 4
    $1000 - $2499 5
    $2500 - $4999 6
    $5,000 - $7,499 8
    $7,500 - $9,999 11
    $10,000 - $14,499 13
    $15,000 - $30,000 15
    $30,001 - $50,000 17
    $50,001 - $70,000 19
    $70,001 - $90,000 21
    $90,001 - $120,000 22
    $120,001 - $150,000 25
    Help Me Choose. 99

    Pricing may change at any time.
    The current rate for credits is approximately $5 per credit.
    The more you purchase the cheaper they are.
    For Example $40 would buy 8 credits at $5 each - we give you a free credit for a total of 9 for $40.

    Introducing our new $250 package - our best price per credit ever!

    We have added a new bundle level of $250 for 65 credits, that breaks down to $3.85 per credit!

    • $20 buys 4 Credits
    • $40 buys 9 Credits - (8+1 Credit Free!)
    • $60 buys 14 Credits - (12+2 Credits Free!)
    • $80 buys 20 Credits - (16+4 Credits Free!)
    • $100 buys 25 Credits - (20+5 Credits Free!)
    • $200 buys 50 Credits - (40+10 Credits Free!)
    • $250 buys 65 Credits - (50+15 Credits Free!) Best Deal ($3.85 each)

1 Assuming you are paid at least the $1001 posted minimum estimate for the project.
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