(1) Establish a Relationship.
The first step in a design contract is to not display the work you will do. You should first gain the trust of the person who will potentially hire you, and demonstrate within those first minutes, that you want to do business, and that you know how to do business. Let the other person know that you are the specialist, so that they have total trust in you to hire you for the project and get the contract.
Most clients, in those first meetings, are looking to know what you are thinking as a designer, so they can then go to another one with whom they have more trust so they can do a similar job to the one you presented. Many times, they end up doing poor work. That is why earning clients’ trust is the crucial element at the beginning, so that instead of them thinking that they will go with someone else who will offer the cheapest idea, they are convinced that your service is worth whatever it costs, and that you are the person who will, and they want to, solve their problems.
(2) Confront the Design.
All negotiations are different; therefore, a prefabricated presentation does not work for everyone. Do not repeat the same presentation that’s in your portfolio; turn that idea upside down and turn your presentation into one, not about you, but about them. First, study your client, with only one purpose – to know their design in order to confront it.
Show them that your only intention is to test the design their company represents. Not because you want to tell them that it doesn’t work, but because you want to demonstrate your ability to communicate their efforts visually (and others), and that this experience takes on an importance that is worth dollars and cents. Show your methods, and talk about trends that you use, which can be used internationally, and bring positive results, and beyond the bottom line of companies.
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