Designers, Are You Selling Clients What They Want?


Imagine this: You’re in the process of building a new website, so you need to write copy for the new homepage. It needs to be compelling, and it also needs to connect with potential clients by speaking to their needs and desires.

You sit down at your computer and start writing. You’ve been designing for several years now, so you have a pretty good idea of what customers want. Most are looking for a good-looking website that gives their company a professional presentation online. They’re looking for an attractive online presence that positions them as a credible source for whatever it is they do.

So you write copy along these lines. It looks pretty good, and you’re satisfied; you give the green light to the developer to implement what you’ve written. But how do you know for sure you’re selling clients what they want?

The Challenge of Selling Clients What They Want

The challenge of selling clients what they want starts with the fact that every client is different. Some are looking for a beautiful and unique design.

Others are looking for something simple that’s less expensive but gets the job done. Still others are looking for something to be finished quickly because they’re on a short time schedule.

Unfortunately, it’s nearly impossible to write for all of these cases on your website, especially on the homepage. You can create different landing pages for each client, but there’s no guarantee that they’ll all find the right one. It’s also difficult to anticipate every possible client scenario.

Since every client is different, there’s almost no way to cover every need with your website copy, but there is something you can do.

The Solution

The best solution is to pay attention to your clients when you talk with them. As in really pay attention to what they’re saying.

Take notes about what they talk about. Write down the problems they mention, the goals they have, and the constraints they’re working under. You should even ask questions like the following:

  1. What are you trying to accomplish with this project?
  2. What are your goals?
  3. What are the top things you’re looking for in a designer?

By asking these questions, you’ll be able to find out what the prospective client is looking for in the project. Sometimes it’s speed, other times it’s a unique design, and yet other times it’s effectiveness.

In order to close the sale and best meet the client’s needs, you shouldn’t offer cookie-cutter solutions; you need to know what each individual customer is looking for.

Carrying This Out

Now that you’ve met with the client and identified their needs, objectives, and desires, you need need to know what to do with that information. Here’s what you can do:

Start by writing a proposal that includes the customer’s needs, objectives, and desires. Submitting a proposal helps you come off as more professional and more experienced than just sending an email. So submitting a proposal alone will put you ahead of the competition. And once you include the needs, objectives, and desires of the client, you’ll be even farther ahead.

Including the goals and desires of the prospect means you’ll be selling them exactly what it is they’re looking for. You’ll speak their exact language. If they’re looking to get a website in a short amount of time, you can mention how quickly you’ll finish the project.

If they’re looking for a unique design, you can show samples from your portfolio of the most unique work you’ve done.

This also enables you to charge more. By focusing on the clients needs and objectives, you know which solution they need the most. If it’s speed they’re looking for, you can mention that you’ll meet the deadline but it will cost slightly more since it’s an expedited project.

The client is less likely to balk if they’re under a time constraint, and they’ll be assured you understand how important timeliness is for their project. It also becomes a very effective reason to ask for a higher rate on each project.

The most convincing part of your proposal will be the fact that you repeat the clients needs back to them, and then show how you’ll meet those needs. Customers will feel like you’re reading their mind and know exactly what it is they’re looking for.


Without using your clients needs as selling points in your proposal, you’ll just mouth a pre-conceived list of things you say to every client. You’ll talk about how original and beautiful your designs are and how they stand out from the competition and win design awards. But is that really, really what this particular client wants? For some it will be; for others it won’t.

So the next time you’re in a client meeting, remember to ask questions that will identify the customer’s needs and objectives. You also want to make sure to pay attention and take notes.

Once you do have notes on what it is that they want, sit down and write a proposal that lists every need and desire mentioned with a corresponding solution. Knowing the customer’s needs better than your competition will give you the best chance to convert more leads into sales and ongoing client relationships.

What’s your experience with identifying customer needs? Have you had any luck finding out what clients want in order to close more sales? If yes, leave a comment so we can discuss!

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