SitePoint Sponsor

User Tag List

Results 1 to 7 of 7
  1. #1
    SitePoint Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    3
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Meeting with my first client, any pointers?

    I'm meeting with my first client here in a few hours. He is looking for mainly design work, a service I will be outsourcing.

    Any tips or pointers in meeting with a client, getting their thoughts and ideas?
    Any thoughts are appreciated!

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    whagwan? silver trophybronze trophy akritic's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Posts
    2,780
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)
    Welcome to SitePoint WhiteFire

    Firstly, You should read the articles on SitePoint.com, in particular Brendon Sinclair's articles. Secondly, this will probs get moved to the Business issues board here, as it's a more appropriate area for this question.

    From what I've read - don't let the client know you are outsourcing the design work, just remain impartial and gather as much information about their expectations you can. That will help you when going to a designer.

    Good Luck

  3. #3
    SitePoint Wizard bronze trophy
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    2,670
    Mentioned
    10 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I find people use the term 'client' quite loosely, so it's important to know exactly what you mean here. Are you talking about a person who is already signed up for a project with you ('client') or is this a prospective client ('prospect'), i.e. someone you are hoping will become a client eventually?

  4. #4
    SitePoint Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    3
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Thank you both!

    Shadowbox,
    This is a prospective client

  5. #5
    SitePoint Addict
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    St. Louis, MO.
    Posts
    206
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Be careful with information overload on the clients part. I have found if you start giving options pretty soon the whole conversation is de-railed and you get stuck spinning your tires and going no where.

    Ask them what they need, then ask them what they want.

  6. #6
    SitePoint Wizard bronze trophy
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    2,670
    Mentioned
    10 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    It's worth noting that there are 3 stages of the sales process:

    Conceptual - discuss why they need a web site, what are their objectives and goals, what will happen if they don't get the site etc. During this period, you should show the why you are most suitable for the project and how you can help them achieve their goals. At the end of this period (assuming its gone well), the aim is to get a verbal agreement to do business together, assuming there are no 'showstoppers':

    'Assuming we don't find any technical issues that would stop us working together, would you say in principle that we have a deal?'

    If you cannot get this agreement, don't bother moving onto the next stage.

    Technical - discuss any technical issues that may mean you cannot work together. This could be pricing, timescales, coding requirements, etc etc. With all this out of the way and everyone still happy, move on to the next stage:

    Contractual - finalise the deal, agree on price and terms and basically close the sale.

    Whether you do all this in one meeting or over several is up to you and the client, but you could in theory do all this over a single phone call. From your perspective, the quicker the better.

    The key is in the preparation. It's usually wise to perform at least a mini sales process during an initial phone or email conversation, typically conceptual and technical, this way you don't waste your time going to meetings for projects you never stood a chance of winning.

    For example, I always get a feel of what the stage the prospect is at, are they just kicking around a few ideas or very serious, roughly what kind of budget is there, how many others are they talking to, when is the launch date, are you talking to the ultimate decision maker, what is their criteria for choosing the designer (price, experience, local, references, etc), and most importantly; are they in a position to say 'yes' at the end of that meeting, or will the sales process need to continue beyond this (e.g. proposals, more meetings etc).

    Basically if you are meeting with a prospect, you should already be aware of any serious showstoppers and also have a good idea what they are looking for - the meeting itself will allow you to delve a little deeper into these matters, but the real purpose of the meeting is simply to convince them that you are the man for the job, finalise any contractual matters and to close the deal asap.

  7. #7
    Word Painter silver trophy Shyflower's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Winona, MN USA
    Posts
    10,053
    Mentioned
    142 Post(s)
    Tagged
    2 Thread(s)
    Listen more than you talk. Make a list of questions that you think the prospect may ask you and have the answers ready and have your list of "need to know" questions ready as well.

    I think prospects perceive you as sincerely interested in their job when you first appear sincerely interested in their business. Find out what they hope to achieve with their website and then show them how you can help them achieve it.
    Linda Jenkinson
    "Say what you mean. Mean what you say. But don't say it mean." ~Unknown


Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •