Behind the Corporate Curtain: A Buyer’s Perspective

Creative Freelancer Business ConferenceHere’s a post highlighting what 30-year corporate veteran Dana Manciagli will be speaking about at HOW Live/CFBC next month. You won’t want to miss this! Details and registration here.

Creative professionals, don’t you wish you could get into the heads of your large corporate buyers? Wouldn’t it be cool to know exactly what they want, how they will make decisions, and how you can become their business partner for the long term?

Maybe you wish you had a “Men in Black” neuralizer and could erase everything from their brains so they could start fresh with you?

Well, sorry to say that neither option is possible right now.

But, since I’ve flipped from being one of those corporate buyers for 30 years to being a creative freelancer, here are just a few insights I’ve uncovered that might help you out.

I’ll be sharing lots more in the upcoming HOW Creative Freelancer Business Conference (CFBC) in Boston on May 15.

There are five stages you need to pass through when doing business with large corporations:

  1. The Inquiry Stage:  The quickest way to be considered for a job is when the decision-maker gets a recommendation from a co-worker or they see your work and ask about it.  Be prepared for these main discussion topics – resources, budget, timelines, how you track projects and what makes you special. They’re watching your personality and style to determine if there is a fit.
  2. The Quote Stage:  It is your responsibility, creative professionals, to root out the answers you need to do a great quote. And great quote is not necessarily the lowest! Learn the client’s RFP process and know how to build in contingency plans. In Boston I’ll show you how to avoid some common bloopers!
  3. The Client Intake Stage:  The kick-off meeting is yours to manage, not the client’s. It’s your chance to see if anything has changed since The Quote Stage. The Statement of Work (SOW) is something you’ll generate from this meeting and it needs to be robust to protect you and the client. Key topics include Timing, Decision-Makers, Internal Systems, and more!
  4. The Design Stage: Don’t just lob in design concepts!  If there are multiple versions, you need to be able to give commentary for each. Don’t assume all clients want the same type and level of communication! Ask them! Your communication skills during the design stage can mean a win or a loss. There are too many bloopers to share here so I’ll do them live.
  5. Closure:  There are so many great ways to close out a project and set yourself up for more business.  Don’t just hand off your designs and leave! We’ll talk about those in Boston.

Prepare for an action-packed event and join me for Behind the Corporate Curtain: A Buyer’s Perspective. Hope to see you there!

And if you miss it, the session will be recorded and available after the conference.