Landing a New Client the Right Way
Some designers love the thrill of the hunt. There’s nothing quite like signing up a new client for your services. The problem is, a lot of designers struggle with this. It’s not that they aren’t good designers; it’s just that they struggle with their approach. If the old saying “It’s not what you say but how you say it” has ever been true, it’s true in this case. Here are some helpful tips for landing a new client.
You Have to Build Trust
You can’t walk in the door believing that you’ll gain their instant trust. Unfortunately, you’ll have to prove yourself to every client you’re going after. Keep in mind that this is true for clients that look for you as well. You mention awards or professional recognition you’ve received. If you haven’t received any awards, that’s okay, but having those help to establish your authority and credibility, so use them!
Nurture Your Clients
Nurture your clients and nurture your business relationships with them. Take the time to walk them through the process. Most small business owners don’t understand the process. All they know is that they want their business to succeed, and your services can help them to do that. Help them to understand what you do, what’s expected from them, and how the overall process will pan out.
Think about how nervous your new clients or prospects must be to come to you in the first place. They may not know what they need, and they are likely terrified to be spending money on your services in the first place.
Clients Are Looking For One Thing
When it comes down to it, clients are really after one thing. This one thing is why they came to you in the first place, and believe me, you’d better deliver. That one thing they want is results. What will happen when you handle their business, promote it, and develop a true brand and presence in their market. If you don’t deliver results, they aren’t likely to come to you or recommend your services to anyone else.
Help Them to Understand the Value of What You’re Doing For Them
Whether you’re handling their social media marketing, designing a logo from scratch, or you’re building a website for their business, they should understand every aspect of what you’re providing for them. Be sure to mention any extras you provide that your competition doesn’t. Maybe your pricing for a website includes the SEO, where your competitors charge separately for it. Maybe you go the extra mile when creating a logo, and you not only provide the vector file, but you also save it in jpeg and PNG formats. Maybe you go even further and save it at different sizes so they can drop it into their Facebook & Twitter accounts. A small gesture can go a long way. Brian Honigman quotes Walt Disney in his post for Kissmetrics:
“Walt Disney said it best, “Do what you do so well that they will want to see it again and bring their friends.”
I can’t tell you how many clients I‘ve landed just because I followed up with them after a couple of days. Some clients may be at the tipping point for using your services, and that extra instance of showing care is what finally convinces them to hire you over the competition. Remember, this whole process is a big, scary experience for small business owners.
A follow up phone call may go something like this:
“Hello [client name], we spoke a few days ago about building a new website for your business, and I wanted to see if you had any questions about anything that we talked about.”
That simple phone call re-opens the door, and shows that you are there to serve the client. This extra 2 minutes of care could be the catalyst that snags a $3,000 web design project. Also, it’s just good will and that positive action is sure to come back to you.
Follow Up! Part 2
Another follow up technique is useful when you’ve already done a small project for them. Let’s say you designed a logo for a client, and they were considering a website, too. If they weren’t to the point where they were ready for a website at that time, you can always check back with them within a month – 6 weeks. If you did a good job for them with their logo, and you worked well together, they are likely to use you again for another project.
A simple gesture can go a long way in business. It’s simple when it comes right down to it. If you are friendly and truly helpful to your clients and prospects, they are likely to hire you. If you do a good job for a client, even on a small project, they are likely to recommend you to others, or use you again themselves.
Do you have any tips for landing new clients? I’d love to hear what you do to get more business. Please leave your tips in the comments section below.