For a freelance designer, closing a deal is one of the least favorite jobs. A design pitch is only successful when you efficiently close a deal with your client and start working without wasting any time. Although, as a designer, your work says it all, however, closing a deal on a design project requires you to employ some of your communication skills of sales to let the client know what you are offering and how you are the best person for the job.
Securing clients or closing a deal is has a vital impact on your freelance business. Some designers are pretty good at work, but when it comes to closing a deal for a project, they cut a sorry figure and turn out to be on the losing end. It all comes down to the communication skill and fortunately; there are some really simple things that can be employed to make yourself more effective at securing the deal you are aiming for. Our article today aims at those few tips that can help you communicate your way through securing the deal.
The Client Needs Attention:
One of the important things that you need to know is what the client is looking for and offering it. Each project and every client is unique and you are not playing it right unless you offer personalized services. Offering customized solutions is always a good way of impressing the client and closing the sale. This sounds simple and that’s why most freelancers overlook it. There are some designers who simply send out a canned response or a template email stating the generic job pitch and portfolio link. Clients know which response and personalized and which is not and they will simply trash the ones where the designer hasn’t put an effort in responding to them.
When a client is talking with you about your terms of business and other stuff, it is most likely that he is talking to some other freelancers too. If you are placing a bid or filling the contact information on some website, there may be many other freelancers doing the same thing. This is where your prompt response can bring land you a project. Clients appreciate it and it sends out a positive message to them regarding your communication skills, responsiveness and customer service. This is also your chance of making a good impression on the client.
Personal Touch in Professional Communication:
Although professional communication is important in business but some clients like to work with people who they find good. So it’s the best way to be yourself when you are with the client and not just be all business-like all the time. It’s a communication skill to be personable without seeming unprofessional.
There is a lot of communication involved in a web design project between a designer and the client which can get on to become intimidating for the client. Therefore you have to employ your best communication skills to make the client feel at ease with you and that puts you in a good position for getting the project.
Show Your Expertise:
In one of the points above, we discussed about the benefit of providing a solution fit for the client’s situation. Keeping this customized service offer in view, you will also have to show your expertise and demonstrate how much you are experienced in the subject in question. This could be on a general level but what’s better is to know examples of similar projects. Explain how you have seen this situation before and how you had helped the client then while also pointing out that you are the right person to handle this project.
You can take help from the case studies to show the client how you were able to handle a similar situation with some other client. You can also show how the client benefited from your work or the statistics from the result of the project because that’s the biggest motivation that the client needs to hand you the project. Some designers have even adopted the practice of including a detailed case study in their portfolio or including a printed booklet for a better impression.
Although this is a simple point yet many designers miss out on it. You are communicating with the client to get the project, so show how much you are willing to get it and ask for the business. If you are done with the process of talking about the project, deadlines and budget etc and you have decided to take it up, take the next step by putting it in black and white. Ask the client that you should move forward and sign the contract because this is where you have to get started.
There is another perk of asking for the project from the client. It gives you a chance to get to the points where you can make the client speak about any objections that he has. Because if the client has some objections, he might be thinking about moving to some other freelancer and your asking about them might change his mind. It may also happen that they although they like your proposal but there are something which is holding them back and making them hesitant to move forward. When you clear things out with them, it clears their minds of all the doubts and they get ready to take you up. Even if the issue addressed is not in your control, talking about it lets you know what you are facing with.
Follow Up on the Communication:
This is one of the most common mistakes that freelancers make. They start communicating but don’t follow up. The time that you should wait for following up depends upon the situation and the conversation that you made in your last communication. It is always a good practice to send a follow up email or make a phone call after some time if you don’t hear from the client himself.
It is noticed that clients who make initial contact with you might fail to contact you for any reason whatsoever. Therefore it is your duty to follow up on your mutual communication as a reminder and don’t simply assume that they are not contacting you because they must have hired another designer. There can be many reasons; one may be that they have just not decided to move forward and you might increase your chances of getting the work by being proactive.
Drop It if it Doesn’t Seem to Fit:
You should know that not every project will be the one for you to take up. The issues may be related to the time frame given, budget, type of industry or the project itself. If your brain does not think that certain project is catching your interest, you should tell to the client and drop it. You will just be wasting your time by taking it up. You can save this time up for pitching other potential clients and take up something that is of your interest and something that fits you best.
The Wrap Up:
Prompt responses, addressing the issues on hand, talking professionally and showing your expertise – all counts to make a good impression of yours in front of the client. You have to make sure that you are reaching out and following up in an appropriate manner as every small thing counts when the client has to choose you from a number of other freelancers.