How To Sell Strategy Without Design or Visuals– Role Play ep. 10

How do you talk strategy on the first call? How do you get paid for thinking? How do you close the lead?

In this episode, Chris gives Melinda advice on how to explain strategy to potential clients and how to close the lead without using visuals to explain what you do. You can demonstrate the value of thinking by talking and listening.

02:11 Qualify the client: Can they afford me? Are our goals aligned? Do you vibe? Is their request realistic?

5:53 So essentially what we do is we do discovery, and in the discovery we try to learn about not so much you and your company brand, but more importantly, who your customers and users are.

8:10 Okay. So, what I can do is I can send you a deck that will outline our process so that you have something more concrete (I don’t know if this is something that you need to share with your team.

8:53 Yeah, I’m taking notes because I want to say that we’re essentially not doing exactly the same thing, but you’re right how you took the two meetings and you’re putting them into one. When I said “case studies,” I did mean “process.”

9:41 Now most of the time, it never goes that smoothly where I just say that and they’re like, “Great! Here’s all the money in the world!”

10:24 It never happens. I’m sorry. Let me restate: It almost never happens. It has happened to use before. Where I’m literally driving in from home to work, and I’m closing a hundred-thousand dollar job in my car because I wasn’t even thinking it was a real job: “And yes, this sounds great. We’ll start the schedule Fri–I’ll coordinate with the executive team to come out to Los Angeles to come and work with you.”

12:05 Well, if necessary, I would send no proposal. If you want me to roleplay that, I could do that, but I’m just saying: All these things are, uh, in a way, crutches.

14:10 Now I’m getting all this work and a lot of leads, and now it is developing a structure to my business and systems and the process and like a very solid framework so that I can even see how much I can take on and when I need to hire people and when there’s a bottleneck, I’m in that growing pains place where I have a lot of work, but I need to know how, how can I not grow so fast that I can’t support all that work and hit the timelines and take on multiple things?

14:53 Okay, time to get help. I told you before: Do not hire anybody, but I think it’s time to hire somebody.

17:21 Yeah. “Strategy before” was me gathering all of the questions, um, in a questionnaire, that I needed…that I personally needed to design a logo, so that was asking a lot of similar questions to what I do now, but in a completely different way.

18:15 In the questionnaire, it was “the question.” And I might follow-up with their answer, depending on what their answer was if I didn’t understand…um, in the workshop, I can dig deeper into things (I’m trying to find golden nuggets).

22:34 In one way, I’m just listening & just writing down what she wants. In another way, I’m really trying to surface what she really wants.

23:28 Here’s the difference, really: 1st, I could’ve just gotten you something with mozzarella and you would be fine. And you just wanted to be full, so I could’ve gotten you lots of different meals, but then I got us to the perfect meal, the one that matters the most to you. And it takes time to figure that out.

24:14 In the world of design, there’s lots of logos that I could’ve given her, ones that she could’ve ordered. But once I enter into dialogue, I found that there is a preference.

25:32 When you do this correctly, you should have almost no competition. [No other vendor] will go as deep [in the discovery stage] as we just did.

Marks and Makers

This is the Futur of Education— Disrupting the design education paradigm.

Want a deeper dive? Typography, Lettering, Sales & Marketing, Social Media and The Business of Design courses available here:

Love the content? Become a sustaining member for $5/mo today.


Kits & Proposals:

Visit our website:

FREE resources:

Mandarin (Chinese) Subtitles on UiiUii

Creative Market:

Futur Podcast on iTunes: 🎙

Executive Producer– Chris Do
Host– Chris Do, Melinda Livsey
Director– Erica Pead
Cinematography– Aaron Szekely, Mark Contreras
Editor– Stewart Schuster, Erica Pead
Futur Theme Music – Adam Sanborne
Annotations– Alexandru Vasile Burlui
Typefaces: Futura, Din, Helvetica Neue
Futur theme song— Adam Sanborne



Send this to a friend