After getting a sales job with web design agency, an old friend reached out to ask if I had any tips or advice on how to sell web design services. If you know me, then you know I’m always eager to help with SaaS or digital marketing questions. And I must say, very few people know more about web design sales than I.
Ya, I’m tooting my own horn, but I think I deserve to. I started a web design company from my two bedroom apartment in Chicago, and grew it to a boutique digital marketing agency with 30 employees on Michigan avenue. In fact, The Ocean Agency was so successful, that it was successfully acquired by Logical Media Group in 2014.
So how did I do it? How did I sell millions in web design services, and win massive clients like Walgreens, CareerBuilder, Toyota and BlackBerry?
Here’s my answer, broken down into 23 short and simple little secrets.
How to sell web design services:
- Be transparent by adding photos and videos of you and your team all over the about page. I studied our analytics for years, and I promise you the number two most visited web page on a web design agency’s website is the about page, because people buy from people.
- Always scheduled face-to-face appointments. Again people by from people. The moment you shake hands and sit down with a potential customer, your odds of landing the deal go from 5% to 50% (My honest estimate).
- Grow your email subscriber list by creating well researched and visual content. Don’t write lazy blog articles just to get content on the web. Take your time, create a list of ideas first, then create long and very visual content, with lot’s stats and citations. Use super simple email capture and subscription forms like listladder.com, to grow your email subscriber list full of future potential clients.
- Work super fast. Quickly respond, schedule sale appointments and get them a contract. Time is money, and if you take your time, your competitor will take your money.
- Listen to the customer and never assume anything. I knew my first job was to ask questions in those initial sales meetings. Never assume you know anything about the clients and their goals, but do come prepared.
- Thoroughly review their entire website before the sale meeting, so you know as much as possible, but remember never assume anything. Just ask questions and listen.
- Always ask for a budget, and if they don’t give you one, ask for a range. I would say something like, “Some clients spend 5-10 thousand with us, some spend 20 thousand, and some spend over 100 thousand…where do you fall?” That will get a response, and get you one step closer to the business.
- Ask to see websites they love, so you know what they’re thinking.
- Ask the goal of the website. Most people say it’s to generate leads, but not all. Some just want a solid and professional online presence to impress their current client base.
- Always ask when they will make a decision so you know when to follow up.
- Ask technical questions, like where they host, and of they have access to everything to update the site.
- Ask who the contact will be on their team, so you can start building a relationship with that person. I’d give them my email and number to call with any questions.
- Never criticized their old site, because you never know who built it. They could be sitting in that sales meeting with you.
- Ask about the last web design team, and what they liked or disliked about them.
- Dress to impress. How you look directly reflects your company. People are consciously and subconsciously observant. Dress trendy and sharp, not professional and stuffy.
- Bring examples of your portfolio every time. This should be a no brainer. People like to see what you’ve done in the past.
- Explain your step-by-step web design process to be as transparent as possible. People like to know what to expect if they hire you.
- Show examples of your sitemaps and wireframes to potential clients, so they can see a more in-depth look into your process. I even printed ours out on giant paper, then unrolled them like an architect unrolls blue prints. This was super impressive.
- Ask about their digital marketing plans after the website launch, like SEO, social media, and PPC. This will help you up-sell them now or later. Plus, clients love one-stop-shops.
- Shorten up your web design contract. I shortened ours from 20 pages to three pages, and sales sky rocketed. I guess 20 pages of BS made it more difficult to make a decision.
- Give discounts for buying by a certain day, like Friday or the end of the month. I’d usually explain that we had an opening for a new project that may close soon, especially if they didn’t buy by a certain date.
- Bring and offer references. I worked on building a great relationship with old clients. Then I gave discounted work for people who would be a reference for us. Keep in mind, you can’t pay for a good reference, so just ask for a reference, not a good one. You know who loves you.
- ALWAYS stay a student by subscribing to every major web design and digital marketing blog. I put aside time each week to read news about the industry. Web design and development is forever changing, and product knowledge is sales 101.
Rarely comes the time when I can truly and effectively multitask by killing two birds with one stone. With this post, I got to help out a friend, and write a new blog post. So, if you found this post helpful, don’t only thank me, thank Sean too.
Thanks for reading, and good luck to everyone with their web design sales!