Want to Blow Your Competition Away? Then, Try This…

December 13, 2021

A guest post by Pamela Durkin, ASID, LEED AP ID+C

Want to blow your competition away?

Then try sending a client gift BEFORE you even have the job.

I’m sure you’re scratching your head right now. Sure, we give clients gifts at the end of a great project, but before?!

Yup, you heard me right.

Here’s the thing, we live in a skeptical world – and talk is cheap. You can sing your own praises all you want, but you need to show a client what working with you is going to be like.

Ok, so how?

With the Shock & Awe box. Believe me, it will blow them away.

After I have pre-qualified a client, I will make an appointment to visit the site and review the project in person. Several days before the appointment, I put together my Shock & Awe box and FedEx it to them. Why? Because it creates an air of importance, and you want them to feel important.

The box includes several critical items. Of course, information about me, but it also prepares them for how the project will progress when (not if) it gets awarded to me. I include some Testimonials, recent press and a typical project process with timeframes. Most importantly, it includes my FAQ sheet, questions I get all the time. I address, ahead of time, my texting policy, what happens when they find something on their own and why everything seems to take so long.

This gives them a level of comfort on what to expect. Most of my clients have never hired a designer before, so they are unsure of how it all works. These documents also clearly set my boundaries for when I take meetings, the fact that I don’t work weekends and I’m definitely not a marriage counselor. You can customize your FAQ sheet as it best applies to your business. Think of questions or concerns that come up again and again.

I also include some small gifts and snacks. My handwritten note tells them to go ahead and get comfortable. I encourage them to peruse the information with some sustenance and I will address any questions they may have at our meeting.

This allows me to set the ground rules and the client can absorb the information at a leisurely pace. If they have questions or concerns, it is only a few items, which can be addressed at the meeting. It makes the whole process MUCH more enjoyable, while you are further qualifying the client.

If for some reason there are some deal breaker items in the package, they will let you know ahead of time, which is great. You can address it and if it still is not to their liking, you can cancel the meeting without wasting their time or yours.

After receiving this amazing package, the client thinks, “If it’s this good before the job has been awarded, how good will it be after they’re hired?” This is exactly what you want. You are already anticipating their needs and their questions…..which is GOLD!

So, try adding a Shock & Awe box to your pre-sale process. It’s so simple you’ll be amazed at how EFFECTIVE it is. You will never wonder, “Did I do enough?” when it comes to going after amazing jobs!

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Written by Pamela durkin

Design is powerful and Pam wants designers to step into that power. After almost 30 years in the design business, helping other designers create a business they love became a new passion for her. She teaches others how to be magnetic and attract the best clients. This method makes owning a design business easier and more fulfilling and who isn’t up for that? Her book, Elevate! Can be found here.

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