Thursday, November 13, 2008

Follow Through

A friend of the family died last week. Not only was he a friend but also one of my first basketball coaches. One of the things he taught me was how to shoot a basketball properly. You line up your toes, knee, elbow and hand to the basket and shoot the ball. But the most important part of the shot is the follow through. As you release the ball you let your shooting hand finish the motion - your wrist is bent and your pointer finger ends up pointing at the hoop. If you stop the short with the shot you greatly reduce your chances of making the basket.

The same goes for design. You may have everything in line and on target but unless you follow through to the end and complete the project you will end up missing the target. Following up includes getting feedback from the client and making sure you are meeting their needs. Making sure they can look over the finals before they are printed. It also means once the job is complete you call the client to make sure everything has come out like they wanted.

Follow through is also important when quoting on jobs. After sending the client a quote be sure to follow it up with a “thank you for the opportunity” a couple days later. Whether you win the job or not, thank them again and ask what made the difference for the person who won. Some clients may not tell you but if they do it can help you make your next proposal better and following up might help you win a different job from the same client.

In basketball follow through is the difference between a good shot and a brick. In design, it can be the difference between a new client or not.