Don’t Just Design It – Sell It!
Salesmanship… ”The technique of selling a product. Adeptness at creating interest in new ideas, products, methods, etc.” (Dictionary.com)
Salesmanship is of huge importance in our world today. Our antiquated view of salesmen are the people who come knocking on our door selling vacuum cleaners, brushes, and other household items. A modern view includes those annoying telemarketers who insist on calling during a relaxing evening at home. Salesman may not have the best reputation among professions, but their “skill” – salesmanship – is not something to be taken lightly.
Among all the different jobs existing today, good salesmanship is a trait that needs to be possessed or at least acknowledged by everyone; not just working professionals. Your ability to sell can make a big difference. Whether you’re seeking to get hired from a job interview, proposing a new plan to your boss, or merely trying to convince someone to switch from Tide to Cheer, these all take some salesmanship skills. The previous definition of salesmanship – “adeptness at creating new interest” – really strikes the nail on the head. It’s not just new interest in a product, but new interest in ideas and methods as well.
Salesmanship And Design
I’ve recognized the importance of salesmanship in our world for a while, but it wasn’t until the last year that I’ve started practicing it. In designing web sites and logos there are alot of decisions made in terms of color, fonts, size, placement, etc. There are guidelines taught in design school that influence a person’s decisions during the design process. When I show my clients their web sites or logos the first time, usually there are a few things the client is on the fence about. They like it, but then they’re not sure about it. Depending on what it is, I have to sell to the client. If it’s something like a link or subject matter I usually ask them what they were looking for and act accordingly. They are typically the expert on the content and message of their web site. I am the expert on the design and communicating their intended message through design. So, if it is a design element they are on the fence with, I usually just give them my reasoning for doing it that way. It’s a form of selling. They might not understand why I used a 46 point, sans serif font in the logo accompanied by a 18 point cursive font. Or more importantly, why I didn’t center all the web site content and set it in a crazy red 18 point font. BAD BAD BAD! I have to ”create an interest” in the new, or new-to-them, idea. Nine times out of ten, the client comes back and agrees with me. It’s important to stand up for your design, even if only just once. It may educate your client and save you from chasing the squirrel around the tree. More importantly, it could save you from going over-budget.
Salesmanship In Design
Now that you’ve seen how important salesmanship can be in working with other people, here is a blip on how salesmanship is also important in the actual design concept. Design… what’s it for? An amateur may say to make things look pretty. Yeah, true, but that’s only about 5% of it. The remaining 95% is to SELL! Some people may say design informs, communicates, portrays, creates interest, etc. However, the underlying theme in all of those is selling. A poster may inform you of a concert, but the purpose of informing is to persuade you to buy a ticket. It is very important for designers to be in touch with the products or services that are behind their design and think about how to sell them in their design, as well as make them look good.
Thanks for reading and Stay tuned, I may have more posts related to this topic coming soon.
- Jessea Rhames