Whenever I get enquiries for design projects, I start with asking the clients what exactly are their requirements and their expectations and I not only want to meet their expectations, but actually I always try to find how to exceed his expectations. That is the way to produce something wow and to become remarkable.

Another thing I focus on is, I want to build such a website that is strategically designed with the real customers of my client in my mind. My main goal always is to convert the website visitors into the buying customers.

I always look out for ways to impress my client right from the start. Most of the designers don’t want to spend any time for the client without getting the project agreement and advance payments, but it’s not easy to win the projects given the fact that every next building in Kathmandu has an IT company right now.

So how do I keep winning the design projects? Here are 2 quick tips (among many) that I follow:

1. Research on the client

Before sending the proposals or quotations I do a little research on the client. His website, his social profiles, his history, experiences, company profile, accomplishments, strength, weaknesses etc. I gather as much information I can find about the client. There are many benefits of doing so:

  • Telling them that I know something or a lots of things about them, their profile, history etc. give an impression to the client that I am interested, dedicated and know how to work.
  • I can find their strength and accomplishments and by mentioning it in a meeting, I can make them feel proud which will psychologically help them to start connecting with me positively.
  • I can find their weaknesses and use them to show how I can help them. I can emphasise their weaknesses, problems and make my sales pitch with focusing on solutions, and ultimately move closer to making the sales.

2. Provide some value

Most of us, we are following and learning design, entrepreneurship, project management, workflow from the internet. So it is obvious that we are trying to adapt the western culture, the western workflow. That’s where we’re failing. Because the context is different.

We do not think much that our customers are Nepali customers. Not all the methodology they use in west necessarily work here. That’s why there is this “Nepali clients” syndrome that is so famous among we designers. We almost categorise them as “clients from hell”.

But here is the thing, the internet marketing, branding, user centric design, etc. these are relatively very new to Nepal compared to west. And we must admit that there is rarely any chances for our Nepali clients to be educated about these stuff until someone teach them. And since we, designers consider ourselves very design-educated, branding-conscious and computer literate, then isn’t it our responsibility to try to educate our clients?

From my experiences, what I have found is Nepali clients are very nice clients.

They are just unaware and uneducated about the importance of design, branding. So if we became able to explain them in detail about all these stuff, they listen to us carefully. And if we can show them some ideas for their business or provide them some value beforehand, then they trust  easily.

How to do that? Am I saying we should work before doing the contract? No… but yes. I do not encourage doing something for free. But, we do not even do somethings that we can spend few hours to create and increase the chances to close the sales. We can work on making a short presentation, pitching our ideas, creating mindmaps, sitemaps, wireframes, we can audit their existing websites and show them what’s good and what’s bad, we can organise some of our past works in detail that is related to the particular client’s interest.

These are the things that we can (or, we should, in Nepali clients’ case) do during our early meetings with the client to increase the chance of winning the project.