On a beautiful day, I am having breakfast, which can be a cup of coffee with a bunch of scrambled eggs or a cold morning pizza. I check my emails in my phone and of all of them, one catches my attention: “You have a new contact on the site”.
My heart leaps and my imagination begins to soar. I already think it’s someone wanting to do an advertising campaign for Super Bowl or the redesign of the new iPhone and I’m already ordering the pre-sale of Playstation 5. I open the email as a child opens a gift at Christmas.
But as fast as I open it, my dreams fade away from reality. In the body of the email, I have the person’s name and contact. In the message space, a text that calms my euphoria: “Hello, how much for a logo?”.
Not that I complain about receiving a contact on my website. Quite the opposite! Rather a person asking me for a quote than an empty inbox. But let me elaborate on why I am telling you this.
Many people who make the first contact asking for a quote do not know the benefit of a logo for their company / product / service. They know they need one, but they don’t know why they need one.
And among several reasons, following the rule and not the exception, this hinders our creative work. We see it being commoditized and not delivering all the value that we know a logo can deliver.
But here’s the lesson: it’s not the customers’ fault! It’s the designer’s.
If you, as a designer, instead of just providing a blended-rate — based on your monthly spend on Netflix, Kool-Aid, food delivery, and hours worked (I hate to charge for hours) — try to understand the customer’s problem in depth, why did he consider he needs a logo and dig more and more, with wonderfully intelligent questions, until you understand his needs, we can start to reverse this situation and have breakfasts that feels like a Christmas ad on a pandemic-free year.
Clients diagnose themselves and this isn’t so good
You, someone with a great life, wake up one day with a monstrous headache. The birds that used to liven up your day with the singing now seem like a hellish symphony torturing you.
With your portable pharmacy at home, you take an Advil, lying down while you wait for the pain to leave your body and soul. Hours later, a Michael Bay movie continues to explode in your head and you decide to see a doctor.
At the consultation, the doctor asks what you’re feeling and you answer something like:
- Doctor, I have a terrible headache. I’ve already taken a few Advil and it isn't working. I would like another headache medicine.
From the agony in your voice and the repetitive massage on your temple, he notices that you are in an incredible amount of pain.
Now, what would a good doctor do? Prescribe a remedy for headache, b-bye and cheers, right?
No! Of course not!
A good, caring and dedicated doctor will ask you many, many questions. I’m not a doctor, so I don’t know what the questions would be, but I imagine it would be questions about other symptoms to better understand your problem.
After the doctor has a diagnosis and realizes that your headache is not just a headache, but perhaps hypertension or something even more serious, the doctor will prescribe a more appropriate solution to your problem — which, yes, could be another headache remedy. or even surgery.
If you replace “headache” with “communication problems” and “medicine” with “logo”, we have a very similar scenario.
Did you notice the similarity here? In both situations, the client/patient diagnosed themselves.
The client knew they had a problem, they THOUGHT they knew what the solution was for that problem and looked for a specialist to provide that solution. But in reality, they didn’t know exactly what the solution was — and he didn’t even need to know, the client isn’t the expert in that industry.
It’s a pretty common situation. We have all done this at some point in life, either with medicine or applying the first solution we found on Google.
But if we consult a professional and they are good, they will first understand what motivated the client to look for this service and only then be able to propose solutions — which may be something within their range of services or not.
The client does not want a product or service, they want to achieve a business goal
So when a client asks me how much for a logo, they don’t want to invest money to have a logo.
- They want to increase engagement so they can sell more and earn more.
- They want to reduce turnover or attract new customers from a strong positioning.
- They want to increase the loyalty of repeat customers so that they become engaged and promote their service.
- They want a logo because they are going to invest in marketing and they want to start on the right foot with consistent material, a strong identity, and communication that embodies their essence and purpose.
Or any desirable business outcome to which they think a logo will contribute.
Keep your client focused on DESIRED BUSINESS RESULTS, instead of worrying whether green symbolizes hope or red represents love.
This starts at the first meeting and, preferably, even before that, in your marketing and your own reputation, in your branding.
In your sales conversation, you establish that they are the experts on the business results they want to achieve and that you are the expert on the creation or strategy that will help them achieve that result.
If you are unable to reach into an agreement, it is a sign of a bad customer.
At the end of the day, it’s about mutual respect:
You are not going to tell them what business results they should seek, and they are not going to tell you how you should do your job.
Stop selling, start serving
Chris Do, my coach — even though he doesn’t know it — and amazing founder of The Futur, says we should stop selling and start serving.
He defines selling as pushing your forcing your service or product, but without caring about the health of the client’s business.
Serving has a similar goal. Making a transaction in which you provide a service or offer a product and the customer gives you something in return, usually money.
The biggest difference is that when you are serving, you are working together and creating a healthy business relationship. You care more about the customer’s bottom line than your monthly billing — which in fact will be much higher if you can help the customer achieve an amazing business goal!
So you, the entrepreneur, don’t push your sales and stop trying to convince your client that they need your service or product.
Be present, ask, listen and understand their problem. If you have or know the solution to their problems, offer it. Delve into the conversation with a helpful mindset and not as a salesman.
Plus, that impression that you have of “I hate selling” will gradually disappear when you genuinely help someone else.