Lesson Two: Speak to me. Speak to the decision maker…
Once you´ve made the decision of what type of designer you are, who your market is and have obtained listings of the industries you want to target, it´s time to call. Here´s where things get tricky. The person who you want to meet with can be one of several people.
A. The owner
B. The creative director
C. The V.P. of Marketing
D. V.P. of Sales
E. Whoever approves the budget for outside design projects
F. Whoever makes the final decision to hire outside designers
G. In-house graphics director
H. The Department head-If you´re working with a large corporation, each can handle their own projects and budgets etc. Therefore each is in charge of who they use
I. Procurement manager-This is if it´s a large corporation with an "approved vendors list". I try to keep away from these firms because they´re hard to get into and difficult to get on the list. What you´re looking for are prospects who"?¦
Have a need
Have a project
Have a budget
Looking to make a decision on a firm within 1-3 months
As always it´s important to speak with the right person or the person who can help you close the deal. The decision maker is the key to moving any business deal forward. However, sometimes you need to deal with two or three different people to get to the right person. Often times the person who signs the check isn´t necessarily the person who makes the decision on what type of new brochure the firm is looking for. So the tips listed above will allow you to narrow your search down to one or two key executives who can help you to the final destination. A meeting and a sale. If you´ve ever set an appointment with someone who had no buying power or authority then you understand how important getting to the right person (the first time) is.
Lesson Three: Put your thinking caps on"?¦
Most graphic design users fall into two categories. Those who know exactly what they want and aren´t shy about telling you. And those who have only a vague notion of what they want. In other words they need help, they know they need help and they have the money and an idea of what they want but aren´t sure how to get there. This is your chance to shine.
Category one: I know what I want
If they fall into this category, your challenge will be suppressing some of your creativity while serving the client´s needs. Just because this prospect knows what he wants doesn´t mean you can´t share an opinion. If you do, be sure to do so in a way that´s subtle.(i.e. that´s an interesting color choice. Do you mind if I ask how you decided on this particular color/ May I make a couple of suggestions as alternatives?) Most prospects are open to suggestions because they realize that if you can make this project better without sacrificing integrity then they´re usually all for it.
Category two; I have no idea what I want
This one is a bit trickier because the temptation is to offer as many options as possible. Don´t. Stay focus. Here´s where asking the right probing questions comes in hand. You´ll need to hold their hand a bit more but it will be worth it in the long run because the prospect will appreciate you expertise.
Some questions to ask regardless of the type might include"?¦
Do you outsource a lot of your design projects?
What type of projects do you outsource?
Since you have an in-house designer, is there any particular reason you´ve decided to outsource?
Do you have a budget?
How soon do you need these pieces?
Do you need design as well as printing?
How are your other design needs (i.e. web)?
Tony Wilkins is the author of "Telemarketing Success for Small and Mid-sized Firms available in most bookstores and online at www.amazon.com and www.xlibris.com you may also find out about his workshops and services at
http://stores.ebay.com/telemarketing-success via e: mail at email@example.com or phone 415-267-4872 .If you´d like to be notified of a new posting for this column ,please contact Tony Wilkins at firstname.lastname@example.org