A tough question that a new potential client may ask. It is completely irrelevant to your web design project but how do you tell them this, politely? In this article, I will go over a quick list of what I take to my first meeting to convert an interested party into a client and you can too!
B2B – B2C – Niche Marketing & You
You walk into an interview. The potential client begins telling you about their background and product line. They look you dead in the eye and say,”how familiar are you with this (obscure, specific, something you know nothing about) type of product?”.
I have been doing this for a long time but I always get hung up on this question. If you are like me, you like to be an expert or a Subject Matter Expert (SME). You want to come to the table with knowledge and talk in depth. You have prepared yourself with the latest technology, trends, standards, and 101 about what your business has to offer. You have reviewed their old website (which doesn’t really say what they do/sell) and have come up with a detailed plan to review with them.
But all they want to know is “do you know my products”.
Their Products Do Not Matter
What they do not realize is that it is not about their products. Don’t get me wrong, the products are important (of course!) but your job is to provide them with an excellent web design service, SEO, or other similar tool that will help propel their business. From this perspective, it does not matter what they are selling as long as you understand their niche, marketing, goals, needs, and keywords.
“We need someone who understands our products”
“We need someone who can get the buyers to our site. VERY specific buyers”
When I say their products do not matter, I mean it. Knowing their products will not help you design a more kick-ass site nor will it impact the standard punch down list you follow for a project of this nature. So, what do you say?
Some nuts are hard to crack but at the end of the day it is all about Search Engine Optimization. I have sat in many meetings where potential clients do not know what the initials SEO even stand for. If they don’t know what it stands for, how can they believe that they know what is best for their site when it comes to SEO?
Conveying this to your client (delicately) can be that magical moment when a potential client switches to a client. WOW them.
Here is how I WOW the client upon our first meeting so that the focus shifts from “do you know my products” to “I trust that you know your business and can’t wait to see the results!”.
Web Designer Potential Client Meeting Toolkit – Must Haves
- Website Analysis – Let them know that you have spent some time looking at their website. With tools such as BuiltWith and GT Metrix you can quickly pull up the nuts and bolts that make their system and grade the load speed. Write a report you can share with them. Think of website analysis as if you are a doctor providing a physical – you see the effort and you see room for improvement. As the doctor (skilled expert) it is up to you to provide analysis and recommendations.
- Confidence – When providing your website analysis, you want to be confident in your knowledge. Take some time to truly study their website and determine where it fits in to what you have to offer. The ease in your voice will be recognized as truth they can trust in.
- Examples – Depending on the project, it is always helpful to have examples of what the client will receive. This may be a portfolio of work, a punch down list to show the work that will take place, your project flow chart so that they know their level of involvement and where they come in to the big picture, and (always important!) a list of the SEO tasks that will take place to better position them.
- Stand Out From The Crowd – A well written outline that states what makes you stand out from your competition (examples “we are certified trained professionals with 10+ years experience” “we include training with all projects” “our focus is on the customer. We are not satisfied until you are”)
#4 is SO IMPORTANT. Why you? Why your firm? What makes you different?
The client wants to know what you will do for them. They want to know what you can offer for free as a bonus.
Perhaps the most important thing they want to know is do you have their best interest in mind or is this just a quick buck. By showcasing your customer care process and showing hard evidence in your examples, this client will not worry about “do you know my products”. They will know that you know web design. You know your field. You are the expert they need to succeed.