How To Make Proposals Your Customers Won't Turn Down? [Freelance Web Developer Guide]
Bad At Selling
It’s almost impossible to be a professional developer and great salesman at the same time. These professions require a different skill set and even different personalities. Working as developer or designer requires extensive technical knowledge and detail oriented attitude which are introvert skills. At the same time being good at selling requires abilities to be outgoing, persuasive & good in communication, which usually are the traits of an extrovert.
No surprising that many web developers find it difficult and ineffective to sale. But this guide will show you how to create proposals that should to most of the work for you.
Why Aren't Most Proposals Successful?
Getting a new website developed is a very stressful experience for customers. Surprisingly, it’s not because they are afraid the website won’t suit their needs, it’s because they are afraid of website development process itself. Exploring this pain and creating a compelling pitch focused on assuring them that you know how to organize the website development process is a key to building a great proposal.
Another common mistake is to focus on the advantages of your proposal. Customers usually get dozens of offers for a website and all of them are full of technical jargon most customers don’t understand, such as responsiveness, optimization, customization, etc. This way they don’t see the reason why they should choose one proposal over another and usually end up deciding based on price.
Most Freelancers focus on the most crowded space which is building new websites where they have to compete with millions of other developers and where it is extremely difficult to stand out. At the same time, there are over 1 billion websites that are already out there which require changes, updating, and maintenance. And there is hardly anyone there.
Creating An Offering That Will Sell On Its Own
Drive Towards The Need
It’s difficult for a customer to compare the quality of different web developers. But it’s much easier to compare the way they organize the project. Always try to learn what is their pain and drive towards their need. Let your proposal be a clear answer to their pain. The list of pains that I was testing with customers included:
- Delays in project
- Ditching the project by web developer
- Being left alone after the project
- Being asked questions that require technical knowledge that they don’t have
- Lack of vision / Not being able to explain my vision
As you can see most of those „pain digging questions” are not about the website itself but on the way the website project is organized.
Don’t sell advantages of the website. Sell benefits of working with you. For example, instead of promising „a responsive layout”, put it in a way that „a website will be easily accessible from a hand-held device. This way you underline the gain a customer gets from it and you a avoid technical jargon in the same. But the most important benefit is that a customer will be able to work with you and you will help him to transform the idea in his head into a fully operational website.
Focus On Less Crowded Space
This may sound surprising, but often the secret sauce is to offer a slightly different product. Focus on long term relationships. Instead of offering to build a website, offer development and management combined. Sometimes I even offer not to build any website at all but to refresh and maintain what they already have, which gave me a huge advantage over the others. Adding management part to your proposal not only increase revenue per customer but also assures your customer that you are not going anywhere and you will be there for them, which is another key pain they usually have.
Interested in learning more on how to create appealing proposals for your customers?