October '22

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G R A P H I C S - P R O. C O M O C T O B E R 2 0 2 2 • G R A P H I C S P R O 5 7 END DESIGN REVISIONS 3 STEPS TO AVOIDING THE REVISION ROLLER COASTER T he design revision is a time and profit killer. But you want to please your client, and you don't mind mak- ing the changes because deep down inside, you want to help this client out, and it's really just a couple of minor revisions, right? But by doing this, are you unknowingly telling your prospect, "Please, let me be your free designer. I am here to serve you over and over and over again until you are happy." e mindset of the client and how they perceive your services is key to how your working relationship will be. Ignoring this step of the process might/could/will land you smack dab in the middle of "design revision hell." Here are three steps you can take upfront to eliminate the customer's perception of what is and isn't going to happen during the design process. MAINTAIN CONTROL OF THE SALES MEETING It's tempting with some customers to just let them do all the talking, which is good to a point; however, if they are allowed to run the meeting, you may have significant issues trying to put the brakes on their requests to "see it in purple this time." I like to ask a couple of bombshell questions upfront: "Have you ever purchased a sign/display/wrap/wall graphic/etc. like this in the past?" If they say yes, ask them this question next: "Can you tell me about it and how was the experience for you? So, think about this for a minute. If the process went smoothly for the prospect, and they now need a new sign S I G N A G E & P R I N T I N G S I G N D E S I G N | M A T T C H A R B O N E A U 1 for their newest location, then why wouldn't they be work- ing with that company instead of trying to establish a whole new working relationship with a different company? What happened? Did the job not go smoothly? If they disliked the sign company or the experience, they might share that with you, or they may say something like, "We felt it was time to seek new resources for our ___ needs, and your company came highly recommended." With the "highly recommended" kicker on that, it's almost a shoo-in that you have a better-than-average chance of closing the sale. If they say, "We wanted to verify pricing of our last ven- dor," then that is a huge red flag to run like the wind. ey are basically asking for free design work disguised as an RFP. REMIND THEM THAT YOU ARE A PROFESSIONAL And tell them that you will be designing the prod- uct/service to be the most effective for their stated need and purpose. e design will be created to catch the eye, mood, and attention of the ideal customer. In the case of signage, a sign has a job to do — a role to play, and if it isn't doing that, then it's not a sign. It's just a pretty image. e sign must be designed to attract the right market share, or it will not be effective in the job it must perform. You have to get them to agree to this reality check so that when you present the designs, they already know you are going to tell them which option will work best for them. If they agree with you but don't happen to like a color or font choice, you can change it if it doesn't affect the sign's role negatively. Keep it limited, and don't give in. SHOW THEM WHAT WILL WORK BEST Have at least one illustration done up right, with superimposed images of your product either in place or in use, so they can get a better feel for the flow of your idea within its most likely viewing or use environment. For me, I've noticed that the more complete the presen- tation is, the less likely that any changes or revisions are requested. e more "like a sketch" it appears, the more the prospect feels compelled to help you out, so it's what they want to see. Keeping your prospect in their lane will make you come across like you are a professional at this. And this helps 2 3

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