Agencies: landing web projects using real-world comparisons (part 2 of 3).
Trust the process. Don't give away Discovery.
To land a website project, you must first secure the prospect's confidence. This is a complex process that must occur in a short period of time. The prospect must go from, "I know I need a new website." to "I understand what my next website should do." and finally to "This is the agency who can get me where I need to be." Moving from step one to step two is huge. If YOU are the one who helped the prospect reach step two, it's logical that they will choose you as their business expert for all things web.
The challenge for you is that you must prove to the prospect that you are capable of providing answers without providing actual answers - at least not until you land the project.
You are an experienced, professional business consultant. What you know has value. Helping a prospect work through their online business goals is not part of the sales process; it is part of the project. You can't make knowledgeable recommendations without spending time learning their company, and time is your product.
Here is an analogy to help your prospects understand what information is fair to expect prior to awarding the project to you and what information will be part of the billable project.
- Imagine you are going to build a custom home. You can't start construction without a complete set of plans. You could buy a book of stock plans, or you could hire an architect. Either way, you are going to pay someone for the plans. There is a process to follow. First, you hire an architect and give them a rough budget for the project. The architect develops a floor plan that gives you the space and features you need. Then they create color renderings of what the house will look like. After that, contractors give you quotes for what it will cost to build the house. Your rough budget at the start of the project becomes a tight estimate to take construction of your dream home to completion.
When you talk to prospects about your agency and the services you provide, the point you want to make is that you have the knowledge and experience to solve their problems. Once they choose to partner with you, the projects will follow.
An important part of the Dialogs Professional Services we provide to creative agencies is sales assistance. We help our agency partners explain the importance and the possibilities of today's internet to their customers and prospects.