But a few days ago, I had the chance to be pitched to for a web project that I simply don’t have the time to do on my own. I sat in interviews with multiple web designers and web design agencies and I LOVED what I learned.
I’ve never had a chance to experience a designer’s pitch from the client’s perspective. This post will offer a few ideas to help you win the account next time you pitch to your design client. In addition, if you have any advice on winning your next client pitch, leave a comment for all of us to enjoy.
The first impression
Did you know that when you meet someone for the first time, they immediately make a judgment call. They judge you by the way you dress, the way you greet them, the way you stand, the way you shake their hand, the way you do your hair, and more. The list is endless.
So it’s important to make a killer first impression when you are meeting a potential client for the first time. (For more on that topic, try reading “The Designer’s Guide to a Great First Impression” here at GDB.)
When you meet your potential client for the first time, stand up straight, look them in the eye, introduce yourself, offer a professional handshake, and smile. Dress at least somewhat professionally. I’m not saying you have to dress like you’re attending a funeral, just be presentable and dress to represent your company and services as best as possible.
When it comes to pitching and winning, first impressions really are everything.
Establishing a connection
After creating a good first impression, it’s absolutely vital that you establish a connection with your client. The best way is to offer a personal business card. This not only shows that you are willing to stay connected and available for any of their needs, but also demonstrates preparedness and professionalism.
Take time to make sure your business card also offers a great first impression and won’t get tossed in the trash after the meeting.
Other ways to establish a connection include telling stories and personal experiences where appropriate and finding common experiences and common ground between you and your potential client.
It can be hard, but one of the most important parts of pitching to your client is to appear human without sacrificing professionalism
Believe it or not, the most important part of your client pitch might come after the meeting is over. If they specifically asked for any information (references, portfolio samples, etc.) take scrupulous notes during the meeting and be sure to get them the information immediately.
Imagine if your competition made it a priority to write them a follow-up email right after the meeting, but you waited a few days. Who looks more professional and responsible?
Also take time to ask what the next step is and when you can expect to hear back. Helping your potential client set deadlines shows you are responsible and deadline-driven; two very important attributes of a successful designer.
If you want to win your next pitch make the follow-up as important as the actual client meeting.
How do you win pitches? Share with us.
Those are a few of the things I recently saw as I sat on the client side of designer pitching sessions. What else have you found to be successful when you pitch to potential design clients. I’d love to hear your suggestions, so go ahead and leave a comment.