Business Advice: Developing Client Relationships

HOW editor Bryn Mooth led a panel discussion for AIGA/Orange County’s Ultimate Promo Show. The panel, including design industry veterans Peleg Top, Steven Morris, Petrula Vrontikis, John Travis and Michael Hodgson, shared their advice and expertise on promoting their design businesses.

Among the topics for discussion: How these successful design-firm principals develop meaningful, profitable and lasting relationships with their clients. As Hodgson notes, it all starts with the very first meeting with a prospective client. And several panelists talked about the importance of building trust so the client feels comfortable and confident in the work that emerges from the partnership.

Michael Hodgson: [A prospect] came in and met with me and couple of our designers, and we talked for 45 minutes about his business. I was really interested, and I told him a little about what we do. And I said to him, “Do you want to see work?” And he said, “I already know you guys are the right people, just because of the conversation we’ve had.” I asked him, “Are you talking with other studios?” And he said, “I’ve met three other studios, but they seemed more interested in showing me their work than hearing about what I was doing.”

Peleg Top: People will not remember what you said or did, but how you made them feel. So pay attention to that. It’s not about you, it’s all about them.

Video courtesy of AIGA/OC and the Ultimate Promo Show.

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