At the time of writing, I close about 53% of my web design enquiries. (For transparency I have excluded projects that collapsed before they started, and those who never responded to my proposal).
I’m quite proud of that number. To win over half of those who’ve shown an interest in my services is quite an achievement, but not every sale has come easily. Over the past few years I’ve been tracking the feedback from reluctant prospects – those who’ve needed a little extra work to win over – and it usually comes down to one thing: fear.
It makes sense, right? Web design can be a heavy investment of time and money, so if a prospect isn’t sure, all sort of doubt can creep in.
“And you’re sure there won’t be any additional costs?”, one prospect said to me after mulling over my proposal. “Absolutely”, I said (with the caveat that if they wanted anything outside of the scope of work, there may indeed be additional cost). This wasn’t a sales objection per se, but I did need to put the prospect’s mind at ease. And it worked – they signed the contract that day.
How to identify sales objections (before they happen!)
The best way to overcome sales resistance in web design projects is to pre-empt it. When writing your project proposal, you should be able to answer two questions before presenting it to your prospect:
- Have I responded to everything in the client’s brief?
- Are there any gaps for questions to arise from my proposal?
The first objective is relatively straightforward: you simply compare your proposal to the client brief and make sure you’ve addressed every aspect of it. The second, however, is a little trickier. Here are two things that I sometimes do to strengthen my proposal:
- Have a trusted acquaintance read it, and see if any questions arise
- Defer sending the proposal until I’ve re-read it with “fresh eyes” a day or two later.
Each of these methods have helped me pre-empt client questions time and again. They have averted the need for sales objection rebuttal scripts and cleared the path for a smooth on-boarding process.
But what about when it doesn’t go to plan?
How to overcome web design sales objections
The following sales objections are based on situations that I have faced when closing deals with web design clients. Each time I have listened to their concerns and asked follow up questions (the “interrogation”) and subsequently prepared a response. It hasn’t always worked, but it’s a lot better than saying “okay, thanks, bye!”. Sometimes, you’ve got to fight for the sale.
|Objection||“Your price is too high”|
|Interrogation||What price might have been expected? Is perception of value not high enough? Could more budget become available in the future?|
|Possible response||Try to avoid discounting your price. Instead, offer something else to increase the sense of value – hosting for a year or monthly web analytics reporting. If this doesn’t work and you really want to win the project, consider dropping your prices.|
|Objection||“I want to shop around”|
|Interrogation||Have they been given a more appealing proposal? Are they playing for time? Try to uncover the sticking point and then offer an appropriate response.|
|Possible response||Emphasise the benefits of your proposal and if they mention a competitor, attempt to match them on price or value. Literally state that you will do what it takes to work with them.|
|Objection||“We’ve decided to build the website ourselves”|
|Interrogation||Have they found in-house resource? Were all their quotes too highly priced? Do they want to build it themselves?|
|Possible response||Depending on the sales objection, the response should attempt to instil the importance of professional website design. Even DIY builders such as Wix will require an experienced eye to get the best out of it, and there is a reason why website proposals come with significantly higher price tags than DIY builders. Champion the profession of web design.|
|Objection||“We’ve decided to keep our current website”|
|Interrogation||Were all the quotes they received too high? Have they invested more resource into their current website to bring it up to standard? Is their current website working for them?|
|Possible response||Identify clear issues with their current website (not responsive, poor content, slow loading etc) and stress the importance of getting the basics right. If they already have a half-decent website, emphasise how you would improve it. Even if you don’t get the redesign job, you might still be able to add value.|
Overcoming sales obstacles is a skill. It requires confidence and assertiveness, and a real desire to help. Prospects can tell if you’re just trying to close the deal. In the B2B space there is a lot to be gained by helping people. If you can do that, and have some sale objection responses prepared, you’ll start winning much more web design work in the future.