These days, all industries are faced with financial uncertainty, but what happens when you are selling an idea as opposed to a tangible product? This is an issue that creatives face on a daily basis. Whether you are trying to pitch a design to your senior management or a client directly, it is sometimes not easy to sell an idea without the most important ingredient: trust.
It is not necessarily the trust that you are going to create an effective design to relay the client’s message. If a client chose you for a design project, chances are they are familiar with your work and believe you can adhere to that task. The trust most clients look for these days is more reliant on if you will be able to deliver that which you promise within the budget you have set for it.
Over the years, some of my oldest and best clients were the ones that were burned by the designers before me. For new business owners, parting with advertising dollars is not always an easy write-off until a return can be seen, so it is important, especially in these cases, to deliver on what you promise because they are in many cases expecting to be ripped off.
So how do you gain the trust and confidence of those you are trying to pitch your work to? When creating a proposal, spell out exactly what a client will be getting for the price you quote them. If there is an area where the price of the work may fluctuate, explain to them the possible issues and give them an idea of additional charges that may incur. Always have a written proposal that you can have a client sign off on acknowledging that they are aware of what they are supposed to receive. For new designers entering the field, in the case you may take on more than you can handle, it becomes your burden and should not reflect on your client’s bottom line.
Always try to put yourself in your client’s shoes, and be prepared to answer any and all questions before they are even asked. How might you ask? Take your time going through your pitch, and try and get a read on a client’s reaction to what you are saying. If you see concern on their faces, go deeper in to your explanations to address any concerns before they are brought up. This will help instill trust before it is questioned. It is hard to sell people on an idea for even the most experienced creative professional, but the more you can do to assure your integrity going into a pitch, the better off you will be during the process.
~Originally written for @TalentZoo