Most web designers struggle to sell their services consistently. It might be hard for those of you who are starting out, but it’s a problem of seasoned web designers as well (if they don’t get it right from the very beginning). And it’s not about the money.
They reach out to business owners hoping to seal a deal. They get rejected or ignored again and again, so they try to contact more and more business owners, thinking it’s a numbers game. But whatever they do, they can’t seem to sell anything.
Why do some designers seem to sell easily while others struggle to just get going?
A lot of them think the reason is money. It’s easy to think clients don’t buy because of the price. You put the blame on the client being too cheap. A result of this flawed thinking is getting desperate or frustrated with the rejection, lowering your rates, hoping that this will attract more people and make you stand out from the competition.
The truth is, business owners love to invest in their businesses. They’re happy to spend the money on their facilities, staff, equipment, offices.
While some of them are indeed cheap, the reason why they don’t want a website is not about the money itself. Oftentimes you’ll get rejected even if you offer your work for free.
The real reason you struggle to make consistent sales is a lack of trust.
Most business owners love to spend money on things they trust that will benefit their companies in some particular way. They’re happy to spend money to improve sales, get more customers, find the right employees or generally speed things up.
But they won’t buy if they don’t trust the solution will work.
When there is no trust, there is no sale.
Before you can sell, you must build trust first.
But why wouldn’t they trust a website? Websites are proven to work!
That’s a great question. The truth is, it’s not a website they don’t trust. It’s you (and your business).
Most of the businesses out there have a lot of the inbuilt trust.
- They have a physical location you can see and visit.
Think about the last time you went to watch a movie and thought to yourself, “Is this a real cinema, or some scammer pretending to be a cinema?”. Probably never – it’s easy to see it’s a real place.
- They have qualified and trained staff.
Customers trust degrees, qualifications and certifications. They feel secure when dealing with experts and businesses that are proven. The very fact that a business has employees besides the owner is often enough to build trust.
- They have previous happy customers.
Customers like to hear stories of how the business helped others. Established businesses have lots of testimonials and reviews that they’ve built over time.
- They offer a proven product or a service.
People feel safer when buying a service or a product that is well known and recognised. They like seeing a record of performance and specific benefits of the purchase.
Most business owners considering investing in a website don’t know what to look for and what to trust. They don’t have a clue about the industry and how it works.
As a starting web designer, you don’t build a lot of trust.
- You work online.
There is no established office or location a client can visit. Most new web designers work from home or a co-working space. You would not trust a doctor who wants to see you in his living room.
- You are self-trained.
Business owners are not going to trust “qualifications” when it comes to web design. They simply don’t understand them (and don’t want to understand them anyway).
- You’ve just started.
As a person just starting out, you don’t have many reviews or testimonials to share or any happy, past clients to reach out to. It doesn’t make you a person worthy of trust.
- You often want to get paid first.
Most web designers want clients to pay them upfront. While this might be comfortable (and decrease the risk for you), it increases the risk in the mind of the buyer.
In this situation, all the business owner sees is a risk.
- What if they damage the business reputation?
- What if they just grab the money and run?
- What if they scam me or my customers?
- What if they waste my time and don’t deliver what they’ve promised?
- What if…
That’s the very same reason why someone would rather hire an untrained relative than an experienced specialist. They already trust the relative.
They are stuck!
A typical business owner you meet is nervous, sceptical, and risk-averse. At least when it comes to investing in web design. They simply don’t know what to trust and this stops them from making any decision.
And this is where many of you hit a wall and can’t make progress. You need to help the business owners get unstuck first.
The #1 way to build trust as a web designer.
The best way to build a lot of trust, and get the business owner interested in your services, is to show them the past results. (If you don’t have any, hold on for a second; We’ll get back to that.)
Past results are projects you’ve already done for other businesses. The websites you built that helped real people. The impact that you brought to their businesses. The benefits they received as a result of working with you.
In the web design industry, past results are the most effective way to build trust, interest and desire.
Past results clearly show you can be trusted. The more past results and the bigger and better they are, the more trust you can quickly build.
In fact, that’s what the other business owners are buying from you. Not your websites, but your results. And that’s how you stand out from the crowd of other designers.
Only when you have past results, you can actually start learning to sell. Without them, it doesn’t really matter how good you are at sales – you won’t be trusted at all. Without trust, few people will even consider buying from you.
Trust is not a destination, it’s a process.
Which means there is a whole scale of trust, not just “I trust you”, and “I don’t trust you”.
Instead, there are levels of trust:
- I don’t trust you at all.
- I trust you a little.
- I can trust you an okay amount.
- I trust you a lot.
- I fully trust and believe you.
The more people trust us, the easier it is for us to sell websites. A business who trusts you a lot is going to buy a lot faster, and at a higher price.
More trust = quicker and bigger sales.
Little trust = lots of issues trying to make a sale.
But how to build trust WITHOUT having past results?
This is what we’re going to cover next in this challenge – how to build amazing levels of trust in a short amount of time.
I will show you exactly how to build amazing levels of trust, so it’s no longer an issue when learning to sell.
- With high levels of trust, clients will actually start paying attention and listen to what you have to say.
- With high levels of trust, clients will be willing to talk, and you can start selling them projects.
- With high levels of trust, you can start charging real money and make a profit.
Keep an eye on this challenge, and very soon I’ll show you everything you need to know to build all the trust you will need.
Key trust principles to remember.
- Business owners are happy to spend money to invest in their businesses.
- They often see web design as a high risk they want to avoid.
- Most web designers have a trust problem, not a sales problem.
- Trust is the #1 key factor in sales. Without it, all the effort you put into sales will be 99% less effective.
- Once you have trust, everything becomes a lot easier.
Read other articles in the 1K Challenge series now:
- How a website can help a business?
- Core skills a web designer needs to know now.
- How to improve your web design sales 1000% by earning trust.
- How to find the perfect web design client.
- A simple 6-step process to land portfolio clients.
- When should I work for free as a web designer
- Confused people don’t buy – how to control a sale in 3 steps.
- How to prepare for a sales meeting? (With a template and my notes.)