I landed a new (big-ticket) client yesterday (hooray ) and once again, when I asked the client why I got the project, it was because of the following little things that, strangely enough, most "offline" marketers seem to ignore.
Thought it might help some of you guys - so here we go. (This is basically something for face-to-face interaction, so don't read on if you're shy to talk to people.)
1. Let THEM do the talking. One thing I saw a lot when I was working with other guys - many, many marketers like to brag about themselves, their company, their knowledge etc. etc. WRONG! A simple, simple rule in life is: EVERYBODY loves to talk about THEMSELVES. Nobody likes a smartass sitting next to him. Especially when this smartass wants to get paid.
So what *I* do this: I ask questions (postive ones)! What about their latest projects? What was exceptionally good? Oh, did YOU have the great idea about .... ?
Not only will this make the client feel good ("oh, we had such a nice talk today...." even if you almost didn't say a word), but also you'll have more knowledge about the other side. What are they good at, what are they missing, what else might you offer them that was not planned in the first place.
2. Praise them! Nono, don't put your head up their ... - what you should do is to do a little research up front and pick something they "shine" in (the more specific, the better) and then, when you're having a light chat, mention that. "Oh, now that we're talking about email marketing... that last campaign of yours really was cleverly set-up; I was on your list to get some more info on your company and I liked it because .... and ... and ".
Everybody likes to be praised for their hard work, and if they realise that YOU actually value THEIR work, you'll get a big sympathy bonus. This works especially well if you know the person(s) in front of you are responsible (like head of marketing or something).
Don't overdo this, it needs to be honest. Don't tell their homepage is beautiful when it looks like from 1996.
3. Be honest. Client: "Can you do this?" - You: "Of course, that's my specialty..." (huh, WHAT was he talking about?)...
WRONG. For some reason, when it's about bigger project, people like it if you don't tell them you can do anything. Not THE expert in ...? Tell them!
"So listen Mr. Client, I'll completely honest with you: I could sell you this as well and tell you I'm great at it, but I feel like you would not be getting the best value. What I can do, though, is to recommend you to Mr. Specialist, who I've been working with for the past 5 years, who will do this at a great price and I'll personally take care that everything is done as you wish".
Works wonder! You might be afraid to lose the whole project, but in fact to show them that you're interested in DELIVERING top quality-work, and not in GETTING their money, makes you look like a professional.
During the debriefing I once again was told that those three things were pretty much the reason why they chose me. We had a "wonderful conversation" (almost didn't say a word, just asked some good questions), I seem "very knowledgable" (because I did my research), and they "appreciate my honesty" (because I basically told them that their XXXX (can't tell that) part of their business is a mess, but I would NOT be the perfect match to improve them, but know who is.
Hope it helps! Questions welcome!