KBB Collective | The Designers' Corner

Jul 22 2013

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Tell your “story” to sell your services and attract clients

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If you have happy clients, you’re overlooking one of the most powerful, simple and non-sales-y tools to help you win new clients. It’s powerful because not only does it cause prospects to say “yes” to hiring you, but they’ll do it faster, too.

What is it? Client stories! So often designers tell me they don’t like selling because they think they have to brag about themselves, and that makes them uncomfortable because they don’t want to sound sales-y or conceited. The problem is, your client won’t hire you unless they know what you can do for them.

One of my favorite ways to do this is by telling client stories. People are wired to enjoy stories, so rather than bragging about yourself, you’re telling a story about someone else. It just so happens that you’re the person who helped that client.

This is why client stories are so powerful, and my favorite non-sales-y way to win a client:

  • It provides social proof that other people have hired you and loved what you did for them.
  • It allows you to demonstrate how you uniquely solved your client’s problem, which will make you stand out from other designers.
  • It encourages your prospective client to put themselves in the other client’s shoes and imagine themselves experiencing the same result.
  • And my trade secret: it allows you to turn an objection into an opportunity.

But be careful. If you do it the wrong way, it could come across as sales-y. Here’s what you should focus on to ensure that it comes across the right way, and makes your client want to hire you:

  • It needs to be a relevant client story. The client you use must be similar to your prospective client or they won’t be able to relate. Or worse, they might think, “That’s great, but how does that pertain to me?”
  • Focus on the relevant problem your client had … and how you uniquely solved it.
  • Paint a picture of the finished space – how did your client feel about it? What did it do for them? What were the benefits? Be as descriptive as possible so your prospect can visualize themselves in that picture, too.

Think about commercials you’ve seen. What do they do? They show people just like you, with a similar problem as you. You start to relate to them and maybe even feel the same problem or frustration as the character on the screen. Then they show how they uniquely solve that problem with their unique solution. And finally, they show the character on screen enjoying many wonderful benefits – benefits which you, too, want to experience.

So you imagine yourself in the commercial, knowing that if you bought that product or service, you’d get to enjoy those great benefits, too. And then…you go out and buy the product or service!

At the end of the day, your prospective client needs to know that you’ve helped other people like them before, and telling a relevant client story is the easiest and fastest way for them to know – quickly – that you’re the best designer for them. If you use client stories the way I just described, you’ll give them exactly what they need to hire you.

– Maria Bayer is the Authentic Sales Coach for Design Success University. For a link to her webinar, click here: dsu-id.us/14R8Xw8.

This entry was posted on Monday, July 22nd, 2013 at 4:32 PM and is filed under Bath Design, Business, Kitchen Design, Marketing, Projects, Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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