Friday, November 17, 2006

The art of convincing the (perspective) client

One of the things I enjoy most is doing web development. I enjoy designing websites and I love getting engrossed in the back end development as well.

Most of my experience as a web developer has been working for a friend's company as his senior web developer. All the clients that needed sites designed had already been convinced to go with us and were ready for development. Up until now, I have never been involved in the process of pitching to a client to convince them to purchase your services to design and build their website.

Well, I went last night and pitched to my first client, outside of my friends business (he is all for it as I work for him on a contract basis). The site I would like to design is for a restaurant that a bunch of people I know, frequent, and is popular in the local community. When I talked to the owner about whether he would be interested in a website to display his menu and draw in new business, he was very weary. He didn't know much about the Internet and hadn't really experienced it before.

Yes, this has/had me worried. I didn't know if I could even get him interested in this venture. Well, I did have him agree to let me do a 1-2 page mock up to see what I could do for him. To me, that is a step in the right direction considering how difficult it may be to get this sale.

I talked to my friend (yes, the one I work for) and he actually gave me very useful insight on how I can convince him to purchase the site.

You see, with someone like this, someone that isn't really computer or for that fact, Internet, savvy, you may need to do a little work with the hard copy world as well as soft copy. It is suggested to me that I do the mock up and the do color print outs of the site to hand to him. I will also explain to the client that granted, they do a fair amount of business and have a lot of very loyal customers, but wouldn't it be nice to draw in more of a crowd/business by putting his menu and directions online for everyone else to see.

So, I am going to be working on the mock up of the site and then, going to pitch it to him in a sit-down meeting. Hopefully, with any luck, I can convince him to go with this project.

Wish me luck!

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