How do I do sales without sounding like a salesman?

Here’s all my thoughts on sales at random.

It’s a big topic. I hope you get value from this.


The key to sales is…
Never really sell

Talk about prices early, but not too early.

Throw in some ranges or ballparks
Don’t talk about prices too early.
Have a conversation not a sales pitch.
Give them lots of advice freely.
Even tell them the best way to shop about for a web designer
This allows you to warn them subtly about all the other cheap digital cowboys or horror stories you’ve heard.
Tell them the kind of things they’ll want to look out for in a web designer (do they pick up the phone, do they stay on the phone more than 20 mins, do they know what they’re talking about etc.)
By the end of the call they will start treating you more like an advisor than a web designer selling them a website.
At that point they will be looking to you to tell them how much they should be spending, instead of the other way around.


They must have these to buy

  • Pain
  • Doubt
  • Cost
  • Desire
  • Money
  • Support
  • Trust



  • Flip the dynamic- Make them pitch to you
  • Qualify
  • Get a small commitment
  • Offer
  • little decisions lead to big decisions
  • Pricing
  • Close
  • Feel out their price
  • Finish


Ask good questions

the one who gets the job is not the one who can solve the problem best,

it’s the one who can define the problem the best

when they say they need a logo, they don’t, they actually need to stand out from their competition,

so they can make more money,

or so their ego can be inflated by success.

get to the CORE pain point,

and present your offer as the solution,

that’s how you set yourself apart from your competition,

and stop competing on price


Sales call formula

  • Greetings
  • set the agenda
  • ask about the business
  • ask why they got in touch with you / biggest problem they are having.
  • ie what’s stopped them from doing this in the past, why now, etc
  • take mental note of their pain points
  • you pitch your offer as the solution
  • examples of results you’ve had
  • is that what you’re looking for?
  • feel out the budget to avoid wasting each others time,
    • minimum investment
    • or ask for figures of their current sitatuation
  • preaddress objections
    • we’re not the cheapest,
    • we won’t be a good fit if price is the priority,
    • etc
  • pitch offer and price
  • set follow up date specific date and time



they must believe they have a problem


they must believe they can’t fix this problem on their own or it will be time heavy to do so


doing nothing is more painful than time/ money to fix the problem


must believe solving the problem will allow their business to grow


must have resources and willingness to solve the problem


must believe that we will support them to fix the problem


do they believe our methods will work and see our solution as superior and unique to what they’ve tried in the past


Qualifying questions you can use

“I’m going to ask you a series of questions that I ask all my enquries”

What do you do?

Who is the target customer?

What sets your brand apart?

Who are your competitors?

how much do they make?

to find this out ask how much each customer is worth.

ask how many leads they get a month

how many leads do they convert

What is the customer lifecycle?

*start dropping in figures to get them comfortable with a larger spend


Get a small commitment

I can definitely help you, but I’d need to know what stage your at, are you serious about make this reality?

“So what stage are you at, if we can tick all the boxes for you, are you ready to commit to growing your business today?”

We’re not like other web designers, we work long term with our clients.

I believe firmly in plain speaking and brutal honesty.

Other Web designers and Graphic designers will tell you whatever you want to hear because they are like car salesmen; they only care about selling a single product, like a website etc.

We don’t do that because we’re interested in the results.

We don’t do the hard sell.

IF you want to achieve a certain result like business growth,

we’ll tell you the best way to do it, and how much it’ll cost you to get that result.

we only offer a service if we think you’re going to make money out of it.


little decisions lead to big decisions

Get them to start designing or planning parts of the website or brand.

“From what we’ve talked about…

Based on previous section, you now know all their problems and pain points.

Make up their package, if they don’t understand their own brand we need to address that first.



set date to follow up

“we’ve talked about a lot of stuff on the phone so I’ll drop you a proposal which as all the terms set out in writing, everything you need to know.

we only have a few slots in work calendar left, which could fill at any moment.

would really need a commitment before next week.

If you want to go ahead just reply to let me know you accept the proposal.

I’ll then send a link for you to set up your bank details and make your first payment which will secure your place in the work queue.

Examples of sounding out Qs


  • What do you want to achieve here?
  • Do you have a brand?
  • Target customer and market?
  • x3 Competitors?
  • What sets you apart from your competitors?
  • Most profitable products or services?
  • What marketing have you tried?
  • Cost per lead?
  • Quality of leads?
  • Customer Value?
  • Repeat business?
  • Will you supply photography / content?
  • Where did you hear about Design Hero?
  • Is there anything else in your business that is causing issues right now?
  • break down the value: if a new customer is worth Y, and costs you X then my services don’t seem so expensive now do they?



Emphasize the Solution

rephrase and summarize all the problems they mentioned back to them.

present your service as the solution

but emphasize the RESULT and BENEFIT not the service


❌ “I’ll build you an amazing looking website”

✅”I’ll build you a website which will reflect the quality of your business online”

❌ “my booking websites are really powerful and good”

✅ “I’ll build you a powerful booking website which automates your admin, saves you hours every day”

❌ “I’m a good web designer”

✅ “A stress free service and we’ll guide you through it one step at a time.”


Show Results

make sure to give examples of projects you’ve done where the client got the results you’ve just sold to the client.

make sure to emphasize the great ROI they got.

don’t make it up, it’s all about real results.

if on a video call, (you should always try get them on video) SHOW them the sites you’ve done. show them the back end, show them analytics or whatever to prove it.


Offer / Pitch

Ask “what level of budget do you have to invest in this project?”

the phrasing of that is key

you’ll often be blown away at what they thought they were going to pay.

adjust your prices on the fly accordingly.

IF they won’t give you their budget give them a range.

say “well the budget can vary depending on your needs and scope, I’ve done projects like this before anywhere between X and Y, where do you fall in that range?”

Gauge their reaction to see how much they are expecting to pay,

adjust your prices on the fly accordingly.


Finally present your service as a product which fills all the needs they already told you about at a price that they will accept and still feel is valuable for the result that they will get. Say something like

“based on what we’ve talked about, If i can build an amazing booking website which reduces your admin time and takes seamless bookings online, would you be happy to proceed based on a budget of £X…”

When you tell them your price then go silent and wait for them to accept


they ramble and hesitate to proceed, ask them openly “what are your concerns at this point?”

answer those concerns, you might need to draw the concerns out of the client at this point.

once answered any concerns you can basically repeat your closing line.

Once closed make it as simple and easy as possible for them to proceed.

If you send an email proposal make sure there is a link or button which lets them make their first payment to commit.

You don’t want any friction at this point.

Picture of Nicholas Robb

Nicholas Robb

Founder, Design Hero
Author of Life by Design

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