RGD Ontario Webinar: Bridging The Client/ Designer Relationship
WebinarBRIDGING THE CLIENT/ DESIGNER RELATIONSHIP October 29, 2010. 12pm ET Hello everyone. I’m Mel Lim President and Founder of Mel Lim Design LLC & JOY by Mel Lim
BRIDGING THE CLIENT/ DESIGNER RELATIONSHIP “It wasn’t “my idea” or “your idea”…true collaboration happens when you stimulate each other andput thoughts in each other’s minds.” – Sohrab Voussoughi, Founder & President of Ziba Design
ASKING QUESTIONS The question should not be why don’t they get us, but rather why don’t we get them.// How do we take on this challenge of persuasion?// How do we educate our clients on what is great, goodand bad design?// How do we show that great design leads toprofitability and growth?// How do we prove that design is differentiation?// How do we convince our clients that design is NOTan after thought, but rather the very crucial step ininnovation?
SPEAKING THE LANGUAGE We cannot expect everyone to speak the “design” language, especially business peeps.It’s okay. If they don’t understandus, let us try to understand them.If part of our job is to help steerthe direction of businesses, and use DESIGN to differentiateproducts and services, we owe itto our clients to understand the driving factors behind their decision making.
TAKING ON THE CHALLENGE We have to listen, process and solve Treat client management like another exciting design challenge!Step 1: Truly Listen Step 2: Process Step 3: Solve
SHARE + COLLABORATE Having an honest open discussion “Some people worry that giving away too much information might undercut the value of their products. It never happens. The stuff you share proves your expertise and attracts customers.It makes them want to talk about you and to you.” – excerpt from Word of Mouth Marketing by Andy Sernovitz
TIP #1 Your client IS part of your team. So try to make them feel that they contributed to the big idea. // The most important element in a client/ designer relationship is COLLABORATION. It’s about “we”, “us” and “teamwork”. // When you remove the “I” out of the equation, and replace it with the “we”, you are no longer avendor but hopefully an important partner in your client’s organization.
QUESTION:How many of your clients actually become life longpartners/ friends in your business?
TIP #2 Turning complexity into simplicity. // Our role as a designer is to make the entire collaborative creative process look easy andsimple even though it maybe extremely complex. // Less sometimes IS more.
QUESTION:In a typical project, how many design options do younormally show your clients?
TIP #3 Strategy before design. Get to know your clients. // Great design solutions comes fromgood understanding of business goals and strategies.// Build a strong framework so that you have a metric to measure against.
QUESTION:How many of you build strategy into your scope ofwork/ billable?
TIP #4 Not everyone can draw.Not everyone cares about drawings. // Visual communication is crucial in convincing our clients into accepting proposals and new ideas. // Ideas may be presented in many forms including charts, case studies, ppt, videos, animations, illustrations, graphics, music etc. // We have to think outside our usual sets of presentation methods.
QUESTION:What is the most unique, out-of-the-box, presentationyou’ve done to sell an idea to a client?
TIP #5 You have to REALLY care. // Try to have empathy and understand where your client is coming from. // Nurture your clients.// When you “become” the client, you maybe ableto give your most sound, honest advice that your client will truly appreciate.
QUESTION:How many of you have spent more than $20k on yourown personal branding/ marketing collateral?
QUOTE OF THE DAY “Convince them (clients) that yoursolution is as conservative as they are – because it saves money, it’s more efficient, it has fewerunintended consequences, change is actually the lower-risk road to take, and it actually works.”– Alan Webber, Founder of Fast Company, Author of Rules of Thumb
THANK YOU Books we love // Rules of Thumb by Alan Webber Rework by Jason Fried Authenticity by Joseph Pine Spend Shift by John Gerzema The Design of Business by Roger MartinTwitter // mellimbaceWeb // www.mellim.comBlog // www.mellim.com/baceMel // email@example.comLinkedin // www.linkedin.com/in/mellim