In this world of competition, every company or business individual is striving to earn as much as possible. Specifically for the business of graphic designing, making new clients is very important. Whether you are a freelance graphic designer or own a cutting-edge advertising agency or design house, there is a cut-throat competition being face in the field of graphic designing. Learning how to pitch your services to potential clients (also known as prospects) is a skill one must master in order to generate more business and become successful.
A perfect sales pitch is almost a myth, as it depends on a number of probabilities and uncertainties. A perfect sales pitch has a simple formula i.e. ‘knowing how to talk about your services’, however; it is often easier said than done. Pitching a design client can be more complicated than pitching any other client. It must be well thought out before hand and executed properly while engaged. So n this post I will try to mark out some practices and techniques that can help you better prepare yourself and deliver the knowledge about your services. For those who might already have most of these points at the back of their minds, this post may turn out to be a refresher course and turn your pitch into a direct call-to-action.
Make sure your business cards are up to date, they speak volumes about how you present yourself.
Pick the Right Potential Client
Not every company that involves graphic designing is your potential client. Being selective about the clients you pursue saves your time, resources and money. Being wise about knowing who your ideal client is, improves your new-business success. Given the expenses involved in the business-development process can be (manpower, money and resources) you should become highly selective on who to serve and who not. Ask yourself questions like: Does it suit our range of services? Will it be a challenge client? Will it be interesting for me or my employees? Are the client’s values and culture compatible with ours… If the answers of these questions go positive, then you should proceed with the pitching process, otherwise, forget it!
An Email Interaction to Start With
Once you have decided which potential client you want to pitch, stat with an email interaction. Making cold-calls or visiting their office all out of the blue is not the way to go. Send a soft introductory email telling them about what you do and what you want to do with their company. Check if they have already been using the services of graphic designer/ company. You will be in a much better position if they already have a design company working for them.
Catch an Insider
Nowadays, most email services have developed an active spam system. And here is where the introductory email tip fails. To counter this, try to find an acquaintance from within the company you are pitching. Knowing an insider has multiple benefits during the pitching process and even after you have nailed the client. The insider can give you valuable information about the company, the decision-makers, company’s requirements and its tendency towards a new pitch. However do keep in mind that the insider should be authentic and reliable.
Research Well Beforehand
Know the client and the project you are pitching before you end up in their boardroom. Your inside acquaintance can help you at this step. Otherwise, the company’s website, brochures, flyers and even the business cards can help you gain information regarding the taste and aesthetics of the potential company. Try to yield the information like, yield the following information: what the client is looking for, the attributes the potential company is proud at, the criteria for selecting a design firm, the budget, any existing research that can be used in the project, the meeting participants and the major decision-makers, the other competing firms and the client’s reasons for ending any current relationships with creative firms.
If you are targeting a specific market or industry, try to surround yourself with their market as much as possible. Look into the latest trends of that industry and research your prospect’s competitor as well. This will help in differentiating your services from your competitors and will provide reasoning for them to choose you over the next guys.
Connect with the Client
You have thought through your presentation and crafted a perfect message in your ads, brochures, flyers, post cards and other communications on your unique approach towards your prospect. However, your objective should be connecting with the prospective client on a personal level. Try to forge a bond with clients. There are many forms of creating this bondage i.e. build personal trust, differentiate yourself and communicate your strengths, style and business methods in a way they can relate to.
If you are well-prepared and know a lot about your prospective client, it is not necessary that you have to show it off to them as well. You would not want to get into habit of saying the same stuff over and over again, just because you prepared it that way. It is important to note that when you talk to your prospective client, be interactive. Talk well and hear your prospects out by listening closely to what they are saying. The longer you are engaged in this interactive presentation, the better chance you have of them remembering you.
Focus on their goals
Try to get into your prospect’s mind and capture their interest to tap it for your own success. Focus on the outcome and match them with what services you can provide to achieve them the best. Show them that your designs and graphical approach can take their company in a different direction which is much better than where it is going now.
Show a Bigger Picture
Your experience in the field of graphic designing can be one of your most powerful weapons in a new-business pitch. Show the prospective clients that you have relevant and meaningful experience with similar projects or companies and that you have a process in place to tackle such projects in future as well. Presenting a bigger picture of your work is the key strategy. Show the kind of your work that has been a vital part of something bigger related to your clients in the past and assure your prospects that you can do the same for them as well.
Sell Your Services
Most companies understand what a graphic designing service is, but few understand why and how they are so important. Explain to your clients about the range of services you can provide to them and how your designs can help them make a mark in the market. Even a simple call-to-action design campaign is enough to increase the bottom line for a lot of local companies. Someone who is not from the design industry might not know this. It is you who should communicate to them that how beneficial you can be for their business.
Don’t Be Afraid to Fail
Even after all the research, hardwork and preparation, there is a possibility that you might get a ‘No’ as a reply from the client. However, you should not at all lose heart on it. Remember that there may be a number of reasons behind the refusal and many of them may not be your fault. When you get turned down for a major project, it’s not a jab at your skills or your business. With every failure comes the chance for you to do two things: pack up and leave, or concentrate and improve your efforts. If you ask me, the better way is to focus on using failed pitches as a chance to refine and optimize your sales message.
For a graphic designer or a graphic design companies, getting involved in the pitching process is almost inevitable. So when you know that you cannot avoid a certain thing, you should do it will all your heart. Same goes for new sales pitching for graphic designers. I hope the mentioned tips might help you nail your prospective client next time you go out to pitch.