Adding the art of sales to your creative process

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Ways to better communicate with your clients to cut down on conversational clutter, keep clients happy while making good design decisions and design projects on budget.

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  • They’re funny…and we’ve all felt this way, and have had a right to feel this way at the time. Holding these ideals as a chip on your shoulder will poison the way you interact with prospective and current clients. Effectively killing the relationship AND your paycheck. It doesn’t matter how good of a design you are your client must trust you and it’s difficult to trust someone who doesn’t like you before you even meet.
  • The best way to fight this bad rep is to lead by example and start acting like who we are, skilled professionals.
  • Adding the art of sales to your creative process

    1. 1. Adding the art of sales to your creative process
    2. 2. About me & you
    3. 3. Overview• Roadblock removal• Rules and Rights• Steps for Success – Step 1: Get it together before you get together – Step 2: Get a read on your client – Step 3: Get a read on their audience – Step 4: Pre-sell – Step 5: Design – Step 6: Sell your design
    4. 4. Vocabulary for our talk today…• Designer – the person engaging in conversation with the client, can be an account service person and/or a designer actually creating the art.• Client – the person commissioning the art, can be a boss, co- worker, mother, brother, business owner…
    5. 5. An honest look at what’s working against your work.Roadblock removal
    6. 6. How do you feel when you’re in a sticky situation with a client? When do they most often occur?
    7. 7. • Clients are not payingHave you ever said: me to babysit they’reWhat do all of these statements paying me to designhave in common? • I shouldn’t have to change the way IThese beliefs communicate, they hiredare holding meyou back • I went to design schoolfrom building so my ideas are the best,successful client they don’t know whatrelationships. they’re talking about • Clients are crazy • Everyone wants everything for free
    8. 8. People say…Designers start projects they can’t • Creative people are notor don’t finish.Designers don’t value their time good communicatorsand expertise.They say they can’t because they • We’re flightydon’t want to. • UntrustworthyDesigners talk down to clients andthrow fits about revisions. • Overly emotional Our reputation is in danger
    9. 9. Clients are not paying • Planning is what keeps me to babysit they’re paying me to design projects on budget • Planning is what keeps clients happyREALITY CHECK – Dogs, kids and clients are all crazy without rulesROADBLOCK – Everyone likes to know what to expect • Maybe they should pay you to babysit
    10. 10. I shouldn’t have to change • Remember, clients are the way I communicate, the client hired me paying you so be nice • Clients really do need your help, but won’tREALITY CHECK take it unless you go about it the right wayROADBLOCK • You can get what you want but just not the way you want to go about getting it
    11. 11. I went to design school • Clients do their job every so my ideas are the best, day and you don’t clients don’t know what they’re talking about • Clients talk to their target market everyday and you don’tREALITY CHECK • Clients get in their own way and it’s your job toROADBLOCK help them see the designs in the correct perspective to get the desired results from their audience, you are a facilitator, don’t act like an expert it unless it’s called for
    12. 12. • They are if you let them be Clients are crazy – or take away their control – talk down to themREALITY CHECK – mislead them – or don’t meet theirROADBLOCK expectations • Perhaps you’re crazy, you know what they say about birds of a feather • Consider a catch and release program
    13. 13. • And they will until you Everyone wants decide that your work is everything for free worth paying for • Set the precedentREALITY CHECK upfront for what is paid work and what is freeROADBLOCK • Have a formal agreement in writing to refer back to with tangible items
    14. 14. Rules of engagement for client and revisions warfare.Rules and rights
    15. 15. Number 1 rule of design:Don’t design to get your emotional needs met.
    16. 16. Rules of perspective• Understand your role – Creative advisor helping them find the best way to represent their company – Assist them to choose a good design that represents them well to their audience – A communication liaison between the target audience and the company, do your part as a good communicator and you’ll have a client for life
    17. 17. Rules of perspective• See it from their perspective – Clients are not art critics and don’t have the training you have, they see bad design so often they are used to it and can’t tell bad from good – Often they feel threatened by something they don’t understand• Listen, stay calm, do not defend, ask questions and really understand their point of view• The first person to go emotional looses
    18. 18. Know your rules of engagementTo keep yourself from being walked all overin the design process create your bill ofrights for example:• The customer is not always right but their opinion is crucial to the successful outcome of a project. They have a right to know our opinions about their ideas and then with that knowledge can make an informed decision about their work.
    19. 19. Know your rules of engagementExamples continued:• Respect will be awarded to those with a backbone. We are a young company and a quality company. We hold firm in our values and seek knowledge from every experience. We are respectful to others and expect the same in return. When the need for firmness arises we are firm with a smile, preferring to kill others with kindness.
    20. 20. What are your rules of engagement?
    21. 21. N o mo r e o f t h i s !I know you believe you understand what you thought I said but I’mnot sure what you realize what you heard is not actually what I said.Steps for success
    22. 22. Steps for Success – Step 1: Get it together before you get together – Step 2: Get a read on your client – Step 3: Get a read on their audience – Step 4: Pre-sell – Step 5: Design – Step 6: Sell your design
    23. 23. Step 1: Get it together before you get together
    24. 24. • Review your designStep 1: Get it togetherbefore you get together process and uncover any potentially challenging areas • Create email templates to use throughout theSTEPS FOR process so you don’tSUCCESS forget key details • Make design templates • No paralysis by analysis
    25. 25. Step 2: Get a read on your client
    26. 26. Step 2: Get a read on your client • Take notes – Later you can use these notes to describe the art using theirSTEPS FOR SUCCESS words. “Parrot Phrase.” • What is their goal for the piece? – The reason they tell you is not the real reason. – Your job is to uncover the real reason or you can’t help them achieve the goal.
    27. 27. Step 2: Get a read on your client • How do they perceive themselves? – New kid on the blockSTEPS FOR SUCCESS – A major competitor – Incorrectly perceived by the public – Established but unknown Un d e r s t a n d i n g t h i s ma y h e l p y o u h e l p t h e m s e t g o a l s .
    28. 28. Step 2: Get a read on your client How do they communicate? (DISC) – Short impatient, big picture discussion (D)STEPS FOR SUCCESS • Dominance: Direct and to the point, decisive and bottom line oriented. These people tend to be independent and results driven. They are strong-willed people who enjoy challenges, taking action, and immediate results. – Energetic and agreeable fast talkers (I) • Influence: Optimistic and outgoing. Often highly social and out going. They prefer participating on teams, sharing thoughts, and entertaining and energizing others.
    29. 29. Step 2: Get a read on your client How do they communicate? (DISC) – Easy going slow paced speech (S)STEPS FOR SUCCESS • Steadiness: Empathetic & Cooperative. Typically team players and are supportive and helpful to others. They prefer being behind the scene, working in consistent and predictable ways. They are often good listeners and avoid change and conflict. – Thought out detail oriented sentences (C) • Conscientiousness: Concerned, Cautious & Correct. These individuals are often focused on details and quality. They plan ahead, constantly check for accuracy, and what to know "how" and "why“.
    30. 30. Step 2: Get a read on your client In what way do they best interpret information? Kinesthetic, 10 – Draw pictures or diagramsSTEPS FOR SUCCESS – Taking notes – scattered (not necessarily visual) or organized (visual), brief (audio) – Have to talk though ideas – lots of questions and Audio, 30 conversation – Types of words they use Visual, 60 “looks like”, “feels”, “I’ve heard” – Talk with their hands – Visual paints a picture with hands – Kinesthetic more repetitive gestures to create emphasis
    31. 31. Step 3: Get a read on their audience
    32. 32. Step 3: Get a read on their audience • Collect general target market type informationSTEPS FOR SUCCESS • Don’t act too smart, let them tell you • How much do does their audience understand about the product the client is trying to sell • What is the relationship of the business with the target audience • Consider the audience communication style, ask the client if they notice trends
    33. 33. Step 4: Pre-sellIn sales we call this an Up Front Contract
    34. 34. Step 4: Pre-sell Talk now about items that immediately raise concerns.STEPS FOR SUCCESS – Don’t tell them what to do – Ask them more questions to get a clear photo then express concerns from an experts perspective. (Think like a lawyer.) – Ask them what’s most important in their design requests so you can accommodate them – Get excited about their ideas and let them know when you think they’re really good
    35. 35. Step 4: Pre-sell Talk now about items that immediately raise concerns.STEPS FOR SUCCESS – Allow yourself to buy into client ideas even though they are not your own, sometimes they have a stroke on genius and you won’t see it unless you’re open minded – Explain any considerations that should be taken based your target market conversation
    36. 36. Step 4: Pre-sell T h e wh a t d o e s i t t a k e t o g e t f i r e d • Ask them about their expectations from c o n v e r s a t . a designer i o nSTEPS FOR SUCCESS • Tell them upfront about potential bumpy spots in your process, share your timeline, costs and your expectations of them. – Get permission to tell them if they’re about to make a really bad design decision – Explain what will happen if your expectations are not met
    37. 37. Step 4: Pre-sell • Learn how they want to communicate – Ask them about a follow up call orSTEPS FOR SUCCESS meeting after and during the work process – Who’s involved with making design decisions – What’s the best way to contact them • Tell them how you want to communicate
    38. 38. Their agendaYour agendaTimePossible outcomesYour up front contract
    39. 39. Step 5: Design
    40. 40. Step 5: Design Design what they said they wanted. – Even if it’s not perfect it allows them to see that you heard their requests and honoredSTEPS FOR SUCCESS them – If you think the design isn’t working out determine the problem areas and re-work those areas within the clients given parameters. The reasons for changing these areas should be justified logically, not emotionally: • Key items are the noticed first • Easy to understand layout • Charts/Graphs and other must have details are easy to see
    41. 41. Step 5: Design Design one better. • Do not do this to win a design war with the client. If the clients requests are justifiedSTEPS FOR SUCCESS they must still be met on the new design. • When you design a better than suggested design it must still reach the same intended goal and outcome • Don’t be afraid to change the parameters if needed for example in most cases a cluttered one sided print design can be done easily and not much more expensively on two sides
    42. 42. Step 6: Sell your design
    43. 43. Step 6: Sell your design Based on your client read determine how will they will best interpret yourSTEPS FOR SUCCESS designs in a positive light. – Always let them know their responsibilities – Assign a deadline for a decision/revisions – Let them know the next step in the process
    44. 44. • Send over the designs with brief thoughts • Include only red flags and big touch Step 6: Sell your design points DSTEPS FOR SUCCESS • Generally they’ll call you to follow up Audio and Conversation Tips  Call to follow up immediately after sending  Allow them to lead the conversation  Don’t tell them what to do  Help their decision based on results/goals (ex: ink, load time, cost, effectiveness of message overall)
    45. 45. • Cut down to only the best options (3-4) • Include which design you like best Step 6: Sell your design • Can follow up right away to talk it ISTEPS FOR SUCCESS through or the next day Audio and Conversation Tips  Guide them to best results  Focus conversation on how others (audience) will see and interpret the design  Give your opinion
    46. 46. • Cut down to only best options • Send designs let them know when you will follow up in a few days by phone Step 6: Sell your design or email S • Let them know when you’ll want aSTEPS FOR SUCCESS decision • Give them the option to meet in person Audio and Conversation Tips  Persuade for best designs with pros and cons  Share your opinion  Speak slowly, give them time to process
    47. 47. • Write a detailed email referring to designs or include with actual designs, pros and cons of each option Step 6: Sell your design • Let them know when you will follow up (a few C days later) with a phone call or emailSTEPS FOR SUCCESS • Give the option to meet in person • Let them know when you want a decision Audio and Conversation Tips  Explain how the design works or doesn’t work  When persuading for or against a design refer back to goals to assist or desist a decision.  Stick to the facts and details
    48. 48. Are there clients that you have the most challenges working with?What’s their style and how does it differ from yours.Your style –vs- Client style
    49. 49. Overview• Roadblock removal• Rules and Rights• Steps for Success – Step 1: Get it together before you get together – Step 2: Get a read on your client – Step 3: Get a read on their audience – Step 4: Pre-sell – Step 5: Design – Step 6: Sell your design
    50. 50. Thank you!Any questions for Monica?

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