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Initial Client Meetings (Pre-Proposal and Contract)

GD245 Professional Design Practice
by

Lisa Langenhop

on 11 November 2013

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Transcript of Initial Client Meetings (Pre-Proposal and Contract)

Cultivate Long-Term Relationships
Tips for Initial Client Meetings
Meetings Pre-Proposal and Pre-Contract
Strong client service is not an option. It should come standard with every client interaction.
These are billable hours though
Why cultivate long-term clients?
Reliable profit
Familiarity makes easier business
Finding new clients is harder than maintaining current clients
We don't handle accounts; we handle people.We are not looking for one-project stands; we are looking for long-term relationships.
-Fiona Robertson Remley
How to Cultivate Long-Term Clients
1. Quality of Design work
2. Frequency of Contact
3. Quality of Contact
4. Maintaining a Personal Connection
5. Proper Handling of Open/Difficult Issues
6. Establishing working style
7. Meet your deadlines and expectations
At the First Meeting, 1
If at all possible, meet in person. If not, Skpe.
Connect as a human before business
Find out how they heard about you
Be aware of what you wear
Provide an agenda for the meeting (can use this as a notes page or questionnaire to make sure you don't forget anything!)
Let the client fully describe why they called you.
LEARN AS MUCH AS YOU CAN
LISTEN, LISTEN, LISTEN
Understand all requirements!
Ask about your competition
Discuss Budget Ranges
Establish a Potential Time Frame for Delivery
Don't oversell your capabilities
Be honest
Don't use designer lingo!
At the First Meeting, 2
Accounting Tip :
Bill your new client pursuit hours into your overhead costs. Otherwise they will be either un-billed or applied to your client cost.
All business relationships are built on mutual respect and trust
Expect transparency and honesty from your potential clients
Client doesn't allow you to define your own value ; AKA client expectations are inflexible/impossible
You don't have the competency to complete the project. Respect your limits!
Client undervalues your skill set. Maybe even threatens to use other options.
Watch Out For...
http://sacreativenetwork.co.za/2011/11/11-dumb-things-clients-say-to-graphic-designers/
After your initial meeting, you should be prepared to write a proposal or contract

Client interactions can be very frustrating and difficult, but you can minimize that by using the previous techniques. Listen, communicate, and practice and expect honesty.
In the end...
Full transcript