21 April 2009

Overcoming Professional Prejudice

I've just been on the phone with a potential client. From our brief chat it's clear that they have experienced problems with "web" people before now. This has affected their view of our services at FlipStorm, even though they know nothing about us.

So, how do you overcome that kind of prejudice? You could turn to the salesman's pitch... tell them all the guff they either already know or don't want to know and spin it to make it sound like you're the best. If they buy in, they've got to spend some more money and they might just get lucky.

If they are smart though (and your client is always smart, no matter how stupid they are!), they won't go for any of that. So you need to toss them a bone. Prove to them that you are prepared to go that extra mile. Give them something for nothing... a favour!

Some of you may see this as flaring up the spec work debate, but before I start a urinating competition, I'd like to mention that there are absolutely no limits on how far you take this; it's entirely up to you, if you think it will achieve the desired result without costing you too much. If you make it clear to the client that this is a gimme and that any work as follow-up from that will be payable then you're in no danger of giving false impressions or cheapening your services.

Quite the opposite, in fact; it adds value to your services. It could be a deal-maker and something so simple to you that it takes you all of 10 minutes. Those 10 minutes are definitely worth a new customer!

Ah but, I hear you say, will that be a quality client? That depends largely on how strict you are with your freebies. Too much and clients get used to it, expect and eventually demand it.

We will have to wait and see if it pays off in this case, but I have found it to be genuinely worthwhile.

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