Digital Masters - Growing Your Web Dev Business

My Top 3 Sales Tactics for Web Design Businesses

January 19, 2022 Marisa VanSkiver, Captain Coder Season 1 Episode 38
Digital Masters - Growing Your Web Dev Business
My Top 3 Sales Tactics for Web Design Businesses
Show Notes Transcript

Last week in episode 37, we talked about where you can find web design clients.

The problem is, now that you've found them, how do you actually make those sales?

I'm certainly no sales professional. I am, quite frankly, an awkward, stereotypical web developer who's never been the best an interpersonal communications.

But my sales closure rate is ridiculously high.

Want to know exactly what I do to improve my sales rates?

In today's episode, I'm going to break down exactly how I run my sales communications and sales calls that get me from a browsing to a yes and the top 3 things that I do every time that work like magic.

Last week in episode 37, we've talked about where you can find web design clients. The problem is now that you've found them. How do you actually make those sales? I am certainly no sales professional. I am quite frankly, an awkward, stereotypical web developer who's never been the best at interpersonal communications. But my sales closure rate is ridiculously high. Want to know exactly what I do to improve my sales rates? In today's episode, I want to break down exactly how I run my sales, communications and sales calls that gets me from browsing to a yes. And the top three things I do every time that work like magic. Ready. Let's go. Now, no one, I treat them like a human. This one is, well, should be a no brainer. But do you know how many different business owners I talked to that tell me that I treat them differently than other web developers do? I'm a coder, and I think this problem is certainly more prevalent in the role coder community. But there are literally businesses out there who think that web developers always speak in a condescending, misogynistic, rude tone and take forever to respond to any communication. Even as a woman coder, they're never sure how I'm going to act and kind of just expect that I would behave like everyone else in my industry that they've met. I have literally heard from multiple clients over the years that I am a breath of fresh air, often in the sales stage. What makes me so different? I take my ego out and remember that I am just human. I talked about this more in episode 29, but customer care and how you treat your prospects is incredibly important. You want them to trust, you know what you're doing. But more than that, you want them to like you. If they don't, they might hire you. But your position is never secure. My human focused approach is actually one reason why a client fired the developer of three years and hired me and why another client refuses to use any other developers ever again. Her words now part of this don't talk down to your clients. I don't think a lot of website builders and coders try to speak condescendingly. But I think we often try to showcase that we're intelligent. We also forget that not everybody understands our language and the technology that drives our business in the attempt to showcase our expertize . We often come across as condescending and rude. Why now? one theory I have is that technology, especially websites, is a bit overwhelming and mysterious to those who don't get it. If you have something that's always felt overwhelming and confusing to you, does it offend you just a little when someone comes in and treats it with nonchalant ease ? Probably a bit instead. And we'll talk about this more change up how you talk to your clients about what you do now. I often stop myself and I get excited and I get into the tech speak and I say, Oh, sorry, let me get out of tech, speak more than that. I try to use positive inflections in my voice, and I smile when I'm talking to them. When you're conveying a positive tone, it's a little harder for someone to get offended. Now, most of my clients know that I'm just excited by what I do, but rarely do they feel like I feel I'm better than them because I'm a coder. Now, if you want to keep that positive energy flowing, turn on your video. Being able to see your smile and facial expressions does wonders for the prospects you're talking to. It'll help them better understand your tone and keep them from feeling talked down to more than that. It reminds them that you too, you're human. It helps to put a face to your name and gives them a chance to see your workspace and a bit of your personality. Now, I used to do most of my meetings in person, but video is a lot lower stakes for me. I can still be wearing sweatpants or leggings. I'm wearing leggings right now, actually, and I rarely even put on makeup for calls. After all, that was the real me. I did decorate the wall behind my head, so they get to know my personality a bit too. I mean, if you want to be, just look. Now, video just helps to humanize not only yourself, but the person you're talking to as well. Think about it this way. It helps remind you that there is another human on the end of the screen and it helps you focus on their needs. Getting to know your prospect a little bit more more than you think you need to actually goes a long way to improving your sales. And this is a big one, according to my prospects and clients. What many of them tell me is that they'll email a web developer or designer and it will take weeks for them to get any sort of communication back, answer communication within one business day. How is it fun for anyone to wait weeks for a response, especially in the sales phase? You might end up losing them to another developer who answers faster, but more importantly, you're dragging out the sales process longer than you'd need to be, and you're just preventing yourself from getting the money and starting the project. If you're super busy and you know it's going to take some time to get to their request, just let them know. Often, when I'm a bit overloaded, I'll respond back to let them know, Look, I've got your email, but I can't make that update or talk until this day . Most customers understand you are busy, but clearly communicating helps alleviate them from feeling ignored. Now if you struggle with answering your emails because I get it, it's not the easiest thing in the world. I set myself three times throughout the day when I focus on my email. I'll check and respond first thing in the morning. Then at lunchtime and at the end of the day, this helps to ensure all of my emails have a response sent out by the end of the day. But it also just keeps me from being in my inbox all day long. Now, our second sales tactic, use their language. This one is tough when you've been in the industry for any length of time, but use your customers language when you're talking to prospects, not yours. What's true for when you're writing website copy is just as true during the sales process. Now this really plays into the concept of not talking down to them as well. If you're spending the entire sales, call using industry terminology and saying things that, frankly, your customer doesn't understand. They're going to walk away from the call thinking one of two things either. What you're hoping they're thinking that you really know your shit or what they're probably thinking. You're an arrogant ass. Guess how often it's probably going to be the second? Just guess, like 90%. And yes, that is as scientific as any statistics Barney Stinson gives, but it's based on experience. And when you don't translate your business and how you're helping someone into terms that they understand and care about, you're going to have a huge disconnect. They're not really going to get what you're going to do, what they need you to do. And they don't really even understand what they're paying money for. That's not a good spot to be in when you're asking for thousands of their hard earned dollars. Instead, you want to focus on talking about the outcomes your customer cares about. What is it that building that website is going to do for them and their business? How will it help them grow? How will it make their life easier? I literally just had this discussion with a client a couple of weeks ago. They wanted to know that we could automate tasks to take things off their plate, knowing that they wanted me or knowing they wanted to do that helped me to talk about the various things that I could build into their site that would automatically do the tasks they've been doing manually. Did I mention a couple of the plug ins that I would use for this? Sure. But only in the context that the plug in was going to help them and take a burden off their plate and that it was a plug in I used in all of my sites. So it was trustworthy. And this part goes out to the developers and the pro coders specifically to not get lost in dev speak. I get it sometimes hard to not talk about code. DNS custom functions, domains, redirects and other things that we use every time we do our jobs well. But your customer probably has zero clue how that all works, nor do they care. They want to know that you're going to take care of everything they need related to their website, but they don't need the nitty gritty focus on the benefits of the work you'll be doing for them. Less on how you'll be doing the work and you'll take yourself right out of the dev speak. Now, our number three and last sales tactic, terror about their business success. Now this one requires a bit of a mindset shift. If you got into development and building websites because you thought it would be a lucrative career, it can be even harder to shift. But you have to not only care about your clients, businesses and their successes, but show that you care. Now, when you care about them truly care, they immediately become more comfortable with you. Many of the reviews and testimonials that my clients provide me after they've worked with me note that they can tell how much I care about their business and that matters to them. Think about it if I'm the person building their website and their foundation to all of their marketing cares about the success of that website and their business. All right, I'm going to do a better job. That, at least, is what they're thinking as I talk to them. So how do I show how much I care about their business? It's all in the sales meeting. Now, first, I ask them where they want to grow to. We're going to see their business in the next year in the next five shoot. What's one thing that they want to incorporate that is years away? Not only does asking about their future growth goals. Help me to build their website better because I'm planning for that growth, but it shows them that I actually care about them more than this simple transaction. Next, you got to get to know your client a bit, treating them like a human and asking a few probing questions without being evasive. Not only helps you to understand their business better and how you can market that business, but it also helps you to find common ground to connect on. Now, one of the best things I talk about my clients. With during the initial sales meeting is what drives them. Why did I start this business? What do they love about it? What don't they like? What would they like to do differently? Not only do these questions open up sales and add on opportunities for me, but they also reinforce that I care because I'm trying to get to the bottom of big things with their business. Their business is their baby. Understanding how they got there helps me to know their whys and connect with them on that. And again, maybe you can find some common ground that we can connect on and build up that know, like and trust factor. Now, for many of our clients who their customers are might be really important to them, especially if there are any kind of a mission driven business asking questions about why they work with who they work will help show that you care about them and their customer base. You don't need to ask too many probing questions. Just ask who they work with and then ask them why. Why do they pick that as their target market? What about their customer base helps to drive their business forward? Now, those simple questions can get some you can get you some incredible answers, not only to help you later once you've landed the project, but to understand their business and show that you've connected to it. Now this brings me to kind of my last point, if you utilize these three sales tactics in your process, you'll be amazed at how much better and how much smoother those meanings start to go. But it's not all about the meaning after you've talked. You have to follow that up in your proposal. You need to reinforce that you were listening, understanding and even connecting to what was important to your prospect throughout that entire discovery call. Now, the best way that I do this, I take extensive notes throughout my meetings and even try to capture exact quotes or less when possible. Then I put those exact quotes right into the language of my proposal. It doesn't just showcase that I was listening. It is reinforcing what my potential client said. They may not even remember that. That's what they said. In fact, a lot of times they don't. But it sure sounds like them. It helps them to see that I have listen, I understood and I provided a plan to implement what they need now the most important takeaway I can give you with all of this. You need to focus on the relationships you're building throughout the entire sales process and less on the sale itself. Yes, you want to sail. You need the revenue. But if you're a 100% money driven, they're going to sense that and it will erode some of the trust. But if you're focused on helping them first, getting to know them and truly understanding their needs and helping them with those needs, that sail becomes so much easier. They'll not only trust you, they'll know that you understand what they need. And they'll be willing to pay the price of having you. Versus a competitor who just spouts off a lot of tech, speak out, then bring the humanity back into your sales and watch your closure rate increase. Now, thank you all for tuning in this week. Come back next week for another episode of Digital Masters.