Most of us love our jobs and what we do and often find it challenging yet fun but roping in our marquee clients is also critical to our business. You maybe fantastic at designing but if you can’t get in the big clients, your service doesn’t get the credit and work it deserves. Pitching to the big clients is quite an art. We’ve put together a couple of things you can do to bag the biggies!
1) Avoid Haggling on Price: When you’re working with big clients, it’s important not to compete on the price. While this may work with micro-clients or smaller projects, it’s quite the opposite for bigger organisations. Major clients or bigger organisations usually assume if you’re pitching to them, that you have the resources, the skill, the infrastructure, the man-power, fixed employee salaries and an office to do business and so have a big enough budget for it.
Quote high. Higher than usual. A low quote can mean you’re either inexperienced or inadequate to handle and manage the project. Be careful not to quote too high either. A reasonably high quote is a good starting point. Be realistic.
2) Pitch Results not Potential: Many businessmen and business owners have had negative experiences with designers who promise potential but fail to produce the desired results. Unfortunately, this scene is all too common and portrays even good designers negatively. To overcome this negative barrier & get your client to believe in your work, pitch results rather than potential. By this we mean, share portfolios of websites that you have created that aren’t appealing just visually but designs that are highly effective.
Focus on your specialty while pitching. You know the designing best & are the only one who can provide an overview of the process and your approach to your trade. Giving details and value add lets the client know you’re confident of what you do.
3) Prepare Samples: Along with promising results rather than potential, show the client you’ve done it before. That you’re not just an empty promise but you deliver. Take samples along with you when you go to pitch. Because of the resistance to design as mentioned earlier, companies tend to budget lower for web designing to avoid losing money. Showing some samples beforehand is a great way to break the myth about designers and show you’re worth the money. When you show your samples, be sure to mention statistics like how your design has increased conversions (See How to Create Calls-to-Action to Increase conversions), how visits have increased, how you’ve reduced customer service costs etc. This assures the client that you’ve done it before and you will do it again.
4) Professionalism is key: If you’re going to pitch to a professional, make sure you’re professional yourself. Many small agencies and designers pitch to big clients but fail due to lack of managerial resources and size. You can create the illusion of a highly professional service by hiring an assistant to take your calls, manage projects like they’re routine. Bring dignity, success & results to the table. If you look like you’re on the same page as them, they’re more likely to give you a shot.
5) Focus on the long-term: With single projects and smaller assignments, this might not be of much importance. However, with big clients, it’s important to build relationships and convey your ability, your skill and your turn around time (for changes) to show long-term interest. This establishes that you are reliable and understand the client’s requirements. This is a huge positive especially if you have a chance to bag more projects with the brand in the long run.
6) Go prepared: Lastly but perhaps most importantly, do your homework before you meet the client. Learn the strengths and weaknesses of their existing designs & go prepared with solutions & ideas. While small brands may be easily impressed by this preparation, big brands already assume this to be your modus operandi. They already expect you to know the brand, what they do as well as know their competition. Preparation is the foremost part of your pitching.
Follow these 6 simple things the next time you’re heading out for a client meeting with a big brand & they’re sure to be impressed!
If you’ve got more ideas on how to bag the big clients, share it with us and our readers in the comments section below! We’d love to hear from you.