Published on April 19, 2013
There was a great piece over on Speckyboy yesterday entitled, "Never Say WordPress When Selling a Web Design Project," which, for obvious reasons, attracted my attention; so, kudos on the linkbait title. The article itself highlights a critical mistake that most freelancers and agencies make in selling projects: focusing on the technology rather than customer problems and their respective solutions.
Web projects are about solving customer problems around content, brand or a process. Your prospective client wasn't saying to themselves one day, "Boy we really need XYZ CMS and our business will be rocking and rolling." They come to a realization that they have a problem, or in most cases, a set of problems or challenges that they have and are looking to solve them. This is what they seek from you.
I regularly speak to developers and designers and many complain that they can't sell MODX or have to work on platforms they hate because the client doesn't buy into the CMS because they are used to or have heard of someone using tool-x and think that must be the best. They're pitching that this tool will solve their problem because it works in a specific way and that requires selling the tool itself.
I'll echo the author's point: stop selling MODX and start selling solutions. You'll find by reframing the proposal, the client can clearly see how their problems will be solved rather than be introduced to technology that might be intimidating and make fear of the unknown, an objection. There are few problems MODX can't solve in the right hands. You can be confident about MODX solutions and amazing client experiences without the steep climb of selling tools.
What do you think about this idea? Are you selling solutions or technology to your prospects? How do you handle clients who do have tools in mind? How many even bring it up?