So, you learned about some new tools and terminology in my last post. Now, you are ready for the first touch with the client. That is is an essential part of the process from client inquiry to delivery. Our company mostly gets clients through website/contact form. In this article I will reveal you my approach and experience.
Great way to reject your non-match clients before he/she starts typing an email is to have this piece of content below (“Work with us if you…). That is a useful lesson I learned from experienced web designer Emanuel Blagonic. Of course, we implemented it on our design/development service page.
Yeah, your potential client realized that he wants to work for you and you received his first e-mail.
Hi Kontra, my company X Ltd. works in the tourism industry for about ten years. I want to build a new website soon as possible. That is my existing website, and I need your quote and deadlines. I want something modern site with a great design.
Company X Ltd.
First, touch. Before meeting.
Great, but now what? We don’t like emails like this; it is a not a good sign. But be aware, that most of your potential clients don’t know too much about website development and design process. Of course, you need more information for best proposal and estimations. So, I will usually write an e-mail like this.
thanks for contacting us.
In the attachment, you can find our questions. After that, I can back to you with an approximate quote.
Also, here http://www.example.com/ you can find our prices / and services.
Here you can download our set of questions for web design). Of course, you can always add some specific questions depends on your company workflow.
As you can see, I pointed a potential client to two things.
In this step, you can see how serious is your potential client. If the client doesn’t have time to fill this questionary, possibly (99% from my experience), he isn’t the right client for you. Web development project seeks effort from clients too, and this is first little sign that you could have problems with him during the project. What about delivery of other materials? (such as content; texts, photos etc.). What if he doesn’t have time to answer / and approve additional step? You wait for him for about three weeks, and your people (reserved for this project) are without a job. Maybe, he won’t tell you the budget. Unfortunately, this is not your client. How can you build a house or buy a home if you don’t have a budget?
Without this questionary filled up, there is no step (meeting) ahead.
Maybe the potential client isn’t aware how much project like that cost or what does it take from his side. It will be a good “filter” Ii this client isn’t for you or doesn’t have a proper budget. That is ok, no hard feelings. If you don’t have the money, you never go to a Mercedes store. Right? 🙂
If a potential client sends that questionary with all answers and he has proper budget, it is time for the first meeting.
A first meeting is here, and I will suggest you how to focus on a few key things.
#1 Questions, again.
First, you should ask client all unanswered / and unclear questions. Ask them to talk about their business, process etc. What kind of content is on those pages? What are their roles and possibilities? Who is responsible for content delivery and creation? Who is a person in charge from their side?
It is an important part. Write down everything. More questions – more answers and the project will flow smoothly in realization phase.
Try to define deadlines with your clients. First their wishes and then your possibilities – availability of resources. There is always a “We need this immediately” situation.
But never promise anything before you check everything with your team.
#3 Talk with a client about work process, additional hours, project scope.
It is an important part to talk about this before you send all of this to him after a meeting. What if he wants something that isn’t included in the project scope and offers? What if a client has a delay in answers and this causes jump into your next project? What are your rights/ and client’s rights?
Talk with him about all procedures and work process before you send this to him. Explain all of that and why is that important for your company etc.
After you send an offer and procedures, he will understand this without unnecessary questions.
#4 Your Gut
Is this a client for you or not…? Believe in your gut feeling; sometimes it is better to say “Thank you” than go into cooperation that will result in stress for both sides.
The first touch with a client is essential. If you define all things well, the project will flow smoothly and without problems. As you can see, I mentioned only one meeting, but it depends on project’s complexity. Sometimes it could be 3-4-5 meetings before you define everything. But don’t go into a project before you set everything.
In the next article, I will focus on the agreement and offer creation.