Be An Active Listener – Graphic Design Tip #94
This post is an expansion of tip #94 in our post 101 Graphic Design Tips for Business Success.
Always Listen To Your Clients
If you really want to frustrate a customer – talk “at” them instead of with them. It can be hard to hold back at times, especially when you have knowledge of how things work. You have done this kind of design before and it should be pretty turnkey. Or is it? This may be the first time your client has done a project of this type before. Be considerate and get the whole story before jumping to design conclusions.
As an expert graphic designer, it can be easy to fall into the temptation of doing all the talking. The best way to make a client feel confident and comfortable with you is to become an active listener. Not all companies are the same, even if they are in the same industry and sell the exact same products. Listen and learn, then you can make the decisions and talk all you want, because then, and only then with new knowledge, you are the true expert.
Putting The Pieces Of The Puzzle Together
Take the time to give your client your full attention. Take notes and ask questions. Even if you don’t have the whole picture at first – you can study your notes later to focus on vital information and any hanging questions that you have. Investigate the project like pieces of a puzzle that will eventually fit together. If you don’t do this up front you might find yourself trying to force the wrong parts together. Let your client provide you with all of pieces first to save yourself a messy clean-up later.
The presentation of the design is your time on the floor. Save your perspective and insight for this stage of the project. If you have listened to the client at the beginning of the project, odds are your ideas will have a greater chance of being accepted during the final phases.