Designers either freelance or independent have primary concern of earning their bread and butter from their skills, however; they often lack in selling their services to right client. Most of the designers often have thick list of potential client lists which remain in the list mainly due to designer’s deficiency of bringing them on board by turning lead in sale. The reason of this attitude is numerous and one cannot really categorize it, hence; we can safely say that designers probably don’t have this skill by nature. It does not mean they cannot acquire it.
In this article, I will give some very useful, simple and doable tips to those who think they need some unnatural support to turn leads in sales. We all know that by far portfolio websites are often the main source of leads, and once you are able to increase the client’s list your portfolio site will become a more valuable asset to you and your business.
Following tips have been tested and frequently suggested, it is possible that you are already working on few of these, however; see if you are missing out on important ones.
More the Merrier – Information :
Majority of designers keep a contact or inquiry form on their portfolio websites. The problem is they seek just preliminary information like name and email address. However, there are others who use a much more detailed form that attempts to get other pertinent information up front. For example, there is no harm in asking for the specific services needed, target date of launch, budget range, additional information about the company, etc.
There are few things you might want to consider before applying the detailed inquiry form. One should keep in mind that by adding too many information inquiring fields can reduce the number of people that are willing to complete it. One the other hand, supplementary information will help you to have a more meaningful and productive first contact with the potential client. One good way of dealing with this kind of issue is not to make every field required. In this way you can give the client an option to provide you the information you seek or he can comfortably provide.
Client should know Prospective Budget :
The chances of converting lead into sale will increase by decreasing non-serious or underpaying inquiries. You can do that by informing your potential clients about your rates. The good thing about designing is that the rates vary dramatically from designer to designer, and you should give some idea about your rates to the potential clients in order to close the deal successfully. It makes sense because if you provide budget ranges to select and the client see that the lowest range is significantly more than they are willing or able to pay, they perhaps won’t bother contacting you. So, the filtered inquiries you will get have maximum probability to be converted as a sale.
It is possible to do it completely opposite by receiving every inquiry possible regardless of the budget of the potential client. It will then depend on your dealing and justifications for rate you quote, effective and persuasive communication may help you to finalize the deal at desired rates. However, it will definitely require your time in communication and negotiation. So, by the end of the day it is something that you can choose to do however you prefer.
Furthermore, if you don’t want to give out your rates then you can seek what client can pay by seeking his expected budget. It will make initial communication much more productive if you have a good idea what the client is looking to spend which will further empower you to adjust yourself within their budget.
Thorough Understanding of Client’s Need :
Never treat all clients at same level as every client is different from other in one way or the other. It means you need substantial time to understand, know and find out specifically what they want from you. You need to make them feel that you know their situation and it will help you to stand out from other designers. Once you know your client sufficiently, you can determine how you can best help them. At such stage, you are best suited to present your proposal which will certainly yields optimum results.
Don’t just stop on understanding the clients, in addition you should look at their situation and do your own analysis of what they may need and propose them exactly what they want. This ability of yours will make it easy in finalizing things with your client and standing you out from the rest.
Open to Accept Close Deadlines :
One difficulty that often haunts designer is the lack of awareness by clients to know how much time a designer needs to finish the job. Such oblivious approach of clients make the task for designers very tough, but you as a designer cannot really make them to realize it. So, in such conditions you have to be open to accept the close deadline calls. People tend to do things at very last moment and when they are paying you then they can be very pushy. So, you need to be open in accepting projects on short notice with a deadline that is not too far off. If you do so, you can certainly increase your chances of bringing more clients on board.
It is always going to be your call of choosing clients with tight deadlines because it depends how flexible your schedule is, and also how badly you need the work.
Transparency is Best Policy :
One best practice is to be transparent and never try to hide things especially in presenting the first draft of proposal. It is very useful to give all the necessary details in the proposal rather than giving them a dollar figure for the project and an estimated date of completion, take the time to break down the project. It is the right of client to know the details and once you provide him details proposal he will feel secure as you have told him how his task is going to be executed. Breaking up your proposal in various phases will also help you to rationalize your quoted money which can further reduce the time to negotiate over prices. This practice can serve you best when you are competing for the job against other designers because not many designers do it, but you then will definitely stand out as being more prepared and detail oriented.
Be Proactive and Seek the Job :
Never be a dull, boring, reactive employee. Client’s don’t really like those who sit back and make their clients come to them and tell them to execute a specific task. You should be proactive and often seek your client’s needs yourselves. It is not difficult to drop an email of inquiring about any possible task, it is simple practice yet overlooked by designers. Your enthusiastic can land you some good clients.
We are human beings and we have to accept it that we want more so, in order to get more you need to either do more or be strategic in making your moves. The above mentioned tips are simple and easy to adopt with maximum output. Once you start practicing them, you will feel confident in approaching to prospective clients with greater probability of turning it from a lead to a deal.