business development services for the creative industry

How to be different

“Give me a good idea of what your company can do for me in 15 minutes. Any more than that and you are wasting my time” – A design buyer

One point that repeatedly enters into any new business conversation, proposal or pitch is ‘value added’ so we have devised five tips to communicate true value to your clients:

1. start with needs – why do clients want to buy design? It is not because they WANT services such as branding or websites. It is because they NEED to keep their shareholders happy; they need to recruit intelligent graduates who will ultimately increase sales; they NEED to relax knowing that their website is being taken care of.

Think in terms of what client needs you can fill, not what services you can offer. Prospective clients may not always understand what your services are exactly, but they certainly will understand how relieving their stress or reaching their desired goal will help.

2. ask your clients – ask them why they decided to appoint you in the first place. Find out what distinguished you from the competition in their minds and what effect have you had on their business?

Listen out for core phrases that are repeated across your client base. By understanding what your clients already respect about your level of service or creativity, you will discover the real value you give them.

3. don’t use marketing speak – avoid speaking an industry language that clients don’t understand. Use words your clients use, find phrases and needs that resonate with them. Instead of ‘we work with our clients to help them achieve high performance’, try we help our clients increase customer satisfaction which in turn leads to higher loyalty rates and profits.’

4. create your value proposition – incorporate the best points from the above into a value proposition or USP, a statement about your agency and test it out on your colleagues and friends. Ask for feedback and fine-tune it until it becomes natural to describe your agency in this way.

5. Test your value – now test this with your prospective clients, either at networking events or during the next new business phone call and see what piques a prospect’s interest. It will be more rewarding than you think and don’t be afraid of changing it to suit differing clients needs.

By putting tangible value that speaks to your clients in their language in your value proposition, you will definitely stand out from the crowd.