What have you learned about selling web design? What works?

What have you learned about selling web design? What works?

Hey guys any girls, I’m wondering what specific techniques you’ve found helpful in selling web design. What works, doesn’t work, is ideal, less ideal? I’ve found that positioning as an expert to be a great move (takes time thou) … helps sell before you sell so to speak.

What have you found that works?

Old Selling Vs. New Selling (Non-Selling Really) Plus 7Am Sunday Ass-early —

Selling Web Design

I had a double-pattie fuel burger last night, late, and that usually means a more restless night and early rise with lots of energy. So here I am, 7am on a sunday, in Parnell, Auckland – an older, yuppyier area, and super-cute town. Yes, it’s very quiet, and the sunrise is fabulous on this clear sunny, summer day. So nice to skip winter again – I hear it’s brutal in NY.

I’m up early and the creative mind is on a tear, so I take advantage and get a few things done to support the freelance web design life. Here are some keys on what works in selling web design …

Old vs New

You may feel that you have to convince clients to get a website or hire your or get software X. You have to convince. I call this old selling as it feels used-car salesman like. Bleh.

In new selling, and what I suggest, is to attract clients who are ready to buy by being positioned as a great choice. There are (contrary to what you might think) loads of clients out there who need your help. Clients are hiring web designers hand-over-fist… just look at all the sites out there for freelancers and jobs being won.

They both take work, but in new selling, I’ve found higher paying clients, more natural way of winning new contracts, less fuss in the sales process, more trust and good behavior from clients.

It’s a zoo.

It’s a bit of a zoo for clients to shop for a web designer or website. So much going on. So techie. So may price points. Clients looking to hire you will put trust and ease of working with high on their list. Earn that trust.

If you can show how a website “fits” into their business, they will like that. They like to know that the website you’ll help them create has real business value.

Think share/attract.

Forget trying to “convince” anyone to hire you. Forget chasing. Instead, think “share” information with the client. And think attract. What would attract clients to you?

I’ve recently heard, “Publishing is the new selling.” Publishing like articles, press releases, blogs. I’d say, “Sharing is the new publishing.” Sharing as in your insights, wisdoms, pointers that your clients would LOVE to know about.

Remove price from the question (mostly).

In my experience, price becomes a big issue when there is no other clear value for clients. I remember one time, spending hours with a prospect to outline a proposal – which was loaded with features, tech info, etc. Wrote an elaborate proposal and dropped it off at his place. The prospect disappeared, never even called. I put a lot of work into it. Crap. In retrospect, I can’t even recall why my proposal was any good. I can only recall worrying about the right fee. I recommend finding out what the client values the most in their decision to hire you or not (or someone else, or do it themselves). Find that out best you can and really point out how you help in that area.

Price will become a lesser reason.


I’ve noticed these to be big deal “makers”:
trust – yes, they just trust me and hire me
experience – they see I know a bit about their market (experience not in years of web design, but in years of working in the industry of the client, or, years with a specific tool/technology the client wants – e.g. WordPress, php)
the person who referred me – a strong referral can land the deal on its own
taking time to listen to clients – just the act of listening is powerful with clients

The nerd seller and the force-feeder.

A quiet techie, nerd-type who is patient with a client, diligent in listening and humble in their approach is so lovable. Throw on a smile and just say, “Would you like to get started?” And if the client is ready, they’ll say yes and you take payment – else, they will bring up anything else they feel they need to discuss.

Trying to “tell” the client why they “need” this is like force-feeding them cough medicine. You believe it’s good for them, but they don’t want to swallow it. It’s yucky. It never worked out for me. I prefer to know that what I’m doing is what they want AND what I think that will help them in a big way.

I’m wondering what’s going on in your head. ;D

Do any of these hit home with you? What are you finding is working? Not working? What do you “suspect” might be good to try? I’d love to hear what you think.

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