2. Your job includes selling, so better get good at it
In the modern world of business, it is useless to be a creative original thinker unless you can also sell what you create. Management cannot be expected to recognize a good idea unless it is presented to them by a good salesman.
David M. Ogilvy
Clients are possibly your highest hurdle in the creative business – and the most essential one. You can’t always live with them, but you can definitely not live without them. So you only have two possibilities: you can either give up your profession and start collecting stamps instead, or you can choose to become better at selling your work to the client, e.g. by increasing your persuasive skills.
Familiarize with the idea of handling your clients professionally. Put as much effort in selling as you invest in design. Unlike other businesses, where customers have a variety of static products to choose from, the design business is, per definition, the conversion of creativity into a product. You invent things. And if you want to be successful at it, you should learn how to sell them.
3. Presentation is everything
The beauty of our profession contains the predicament of a pool of different tastes. Everybody perceives design differently. Above the line of psychological findings, people are different from each other, thus are attracted to different things.
Let’s say you created six different designs for your clients Corporate Identity. You most certainly have a favorite one – it is the one you know to be best for your clients needs. But you also know that there is a chance of your client not going with that specific design. While he has more insight than you about his business, you have the necessary insight and knowledge about identity design. So how win your client for the best and most significant design?
These are things you shouldn’t do the points you should always follow:
- Avoid sending drafts out per mail.
- Never send initial drafts out per e-mail.
- Unless your job is a website, never bring a laptop to a presentation.
- do not hand out USB sticks or DVDs / CDs of your drafts.
And this is how you could do it:
- Always present drafts personally. You have a personal relationship with your client. Give him the respect he deserves! After all, he is not buying tulips for his wife, but an identity for his company.
- Walk the client through the presentation, do not just throw the drafts at him. Give him some insight about the reasons for every one of your designs. Familiarize him with your thoughts. Use your know-how to make it clear why you chose to do what you did.