When building an app for a local client or trying to sell an app to a local client, it’s important that you don’t just turn up and babble about the (admittedly amazing) services you can offer. We recommend that your pitch is on point, and laser precise. Here are some of our tips for selling mobile apps to businesses and making sure you impress and seal the deal.
Analyze Their Business Thoroughly
We always recommend you analyze the business in question and look at its current assets. By assets we mean: does it have a website; does it have a fan page; does it have a twitter account? What content is on their website? What do they list on their website ads?
When you do a thorough analysis you can get a more complete picture of the business and it also gives you a great starting point for building your draft app for that company and preparing your sales pitch.
Translate Their Business Needs To App Features
The next question you have to ask yourself is: What services can I add into the mobile app that will be good for this client’s business?
Do they sell products that are suitable for some kind of loyalty program – like a coffee shop? For most businesses, you can create a loyalty card program and it’s a great selling point when approaching a local client.
Could the business make use of coupons? Coupons can be used in virtually every business model so again it’s another great selling point.
What about a client that doesn’t have a bricks and mortar business? Maybe they have an online e-commerce store? You can also build an app for that now because you can use their catalog on their store and turn it into a mobile app for them.
Push Notifications Are A Major Feature
Then you need to think of a rough idea of how push notifications could be utilized for the business in question. Once you have an idea you will be able to explain to your client about push notifications and what exactly they can do for them.
The basic thrust of this part of your pitch will be that with push notifications they will have instant communication with anyone who’s installed the client’s app on their phone. You will enable your client, via a white label push notifications area, to log in and to send notices to their customers. Maybe they are running a special offer on a Thursday? Maybe they want to let the customer about a new product or service that they’ve added?
With push notifications the client can update customers instantly with quite literally a push of a button. The client can send them a notification and when the customer clicks on the notification they are navigated to wherever the client wants their attention to be drawn to. It’s a fantastic way to communicate with customers.
Arrive With A Draft App
The best part about analyzing a local business is that you will find that you have nearly all the information required to build them an app already. You just need to convert their business model into potential services that you think will be useful to the client in app form and then build a draft alpha/beta app using Zapable.
So when you you’re trying to pitch your app to your local business, get on the phone, email them and even send some snail mail to them (when people deal with a small local business – a real bricks and mortar business – they still deal in snail mail a lot) and say, “Listen, I’ll make you a draft app very quickly and you can tell what you want adjusted. If you’re happy then, we can talk about a payment and I’ll launch it on the app store”.
It’s a powerful approach that will get them looking at what you’ve made. Chances are good they’ll finalise the deal and agree a payment.
General Functionality (Showcase) Apps
It can be time consuming to build a draft app for every business you pitch to. So we recommend a general functionality app already published (alpha or beta) on Google play. Something you can use to show people how their app could look. So if you are pitching to a restaurant owner, you’d have a general purpose restaurant app already published as an alpha/beta app on the Google play store. Then you take your Android device to the meeting and showcase the functionality the client could make use of.
Show some of the features that you can offer and look at some of the content and the different ways they can display it on the app. Show that it works.
Business Models As Templates
So in this vein, when trying to land clients, it is very important that you look into their specific business model and find out what it is, exactly, that they do. You can pitch much more professionally.
An additional benefit to this analysis is that business models are templates. All businesses work from these templates (with a few deviations). So when you build an app for one coffee shop, you have a tablet there to shorten the work required to build an app for another coffee shop.
If you get your templates right, you can simply use the clone feature within Zapable. You will always have a basic template to start from and save a lot of work.
When a client wants to work with you, now is the time to start talking about costs. Don’t sell your services too cheap (especially recurring services).
Part of your service can include handling the submission of their app to the app stores for them: the Google play store, the Amazon app store, the Apple app store. The submission process can appear complex, even impossible, to those not aware of how it works and therefore you have real leverage here to supply value, “As part of our deal I’ll get your app on multiple stores – even a single store can be very difficult – all included with my fee”.
When negotiating payment you can also agree a recurring fee that includes services like:
Drafting and sending push notifications or a white label push notification area that they can use to draft and send their own (two different costs);
Handling future updates or changes to the app. You could offer 30 days free and then a recurring fee for months after that.
App Cost Versus Other Costs
Once you have focused on the benefits of an app, loyalty cards and coupons driving new or returning business and what have you, you absolutely should focus on costs saved.
An app is the answer to multiple business needs. With an app your client has no need to worry about getting loyalty cards or coupons designed and printed; push notifications to customers who install your app letting them know about new offers means there’s no need to run a printed promotion campaign; by the same token your client does not need to sit at their computer in their spare time and prepare and send emails or leaflets advertising their services.
As a business owner when they see that your app can save them time and money they can save, they’ll be very interested.
Invest In Professionalism
From the point where you seal the deal, what you could do is to agree 40% payment upfront – with some of that invested into the app itself. You can then assign a portion of that money into assets design maybe custom icons for them, custom backgrounds, custom header graphics.
Build An App Portfolio
Another important thing to consider (once you’ve successfully pitched an app or two) is building a portfolio from existing clients. Once you sell even one app, ask for your clients permission to use their app as a sample of work you have done and even ask for a little testimonial from the client that you can use to show future clients your previous results and professionalism.
When you sell more apps these samples and testimonials begin to build up to the point where you can show new clients a lot of top quality results for previous (or current) business owners that bought your services.
Closing The Deal
A pretty good closing line is: “Having an App is as essential as having a website”. But more than this, apps offer much more functionality and ways of interacting with a user base than a website can.
It took a lot of companies a long time to start getting websites and building an online presence. Those who did it first ended up making the most money. It’s the exact same with apps and local businesses. A few years down the line nearly all small businesses will have mobile apps.