When I first started Blue Light Labs in Atlanta Georgia I was young and full of myself.
I really wanted to give my clients an ear full and tell them what I wanted for their website project. Those days I was spending a great deal of my time driving from prospect location to prospect location with my laptop and notebook trying to make a sale.
Previously I had gone to art school and after holding a job as an IT administrator where I learned a great deal more on the technical end of web development.
Recognize what your doing wrong
When I decided to start my own company I had no sales or marketing experience what so ever. Sales and communication were something I thought would just come natural for me. Well, I was dead wrong. The more I think about it now, the more I realize that If I had used the same approach, I would have sold a great deal more web design jobs. One hundred or so meetings later I started paying attention to how the flow of the meetings went and how the prospect responded to our presentation. Everything from our choice of clothing, business card, proposal and portfolio to how we answered questions and gave input, there was so much that needed to be tweaked when we broke it down.
As many people might think some of these things are common sense, I was shocked about what clients would tell me about one of my competitors trying to get the same job. Many would say "They just talked my ear off" others would tell me "All they wanted to do was talk about the budget and have no Idea what our company was even about". I put together a list of key sales elements that took us from turning one out of five clients into prospects to one out of two when competing with a stack of proposals. Then, holding on to those clients and turning them into referrals using the same elements.
Push only one primary client Liaison
When working on the design phase or development phase if a company client has more than one contact it can cause a disaster. Everyone will always have a different opinion. This can cause frustration and confusion when communicating with multiple people on a project. From the beginning of the project we ask the client to assign just one point of contact that way if there is a board assigned they are forced to communicate together before shooting feedback at the designer or developer. Almost every project we have not done this with has been a headache to complete.
Listen and respond with confidence
I did not realize how much I talked during a sales meeting until I really took a step back and observed myself. Don't get me wrong too little communication is not the solution, but really listening to the client and thinking before you respond makes a much better impact. They don't need to know everything about the world of web design and allot of that information you can fill them in on later once you have the job. The primary objective of the first sales meeting is to land the job so keep it simple and stick to the main points of the project.
Communicate and outline your benefits
It is really good to know what makes your web design company unique. I always felt like client communication and perseverance where our strong points. Really Know what your client is looking for and communicate that with your deliverables. If I look at testimonials that clients in the past have written about us get a pretty good idea.
- Be Prepared do a little research
- Have all your company assets at your finger tips
- Respect yourself and your company