The key to freelancing is being a pro at multitasking. From being the business owner to being your own accountant, salesperson, advertiser, technician, etc. you have got to do it all by yourself. Amidst all this, being able to sell your services, achieving your full potential is the only way to grow your business. Your work may speak for itself, but getting it in front of your customers and selling the worth of it is in your hands. In a freelancing business, along with the quality of service provided, the clients want to know about how it’s like working with you. Once you know the sales strategies, going through the sales process is not as scary as it sounds.
Selecting a niche
As a freelancer, it is important to find the right clientele through your marketing plan. Before you start selling anything, make sure you select the right niche. Select a narrow and specific market. A market that has money, so that the niche can afford your services. Find a market for them, whether online or offline, maybe where people are actually working. Offer them something free in exchange for your services, for example, get them to your website and offer one day free trial of your business in exchange for their phone number. Hence, now you have their contact details to call them. Try seeking direct clients and diversifying revenue sources.
Leveraging your networks
An effective way to get better-paying freelancing work is through leveraging your existing networks. From your relatives, friends to your former coworkers, using their connections start introducing yourself to the companies to seek to work with.
Preparing a perfect pitch
Once you have found the client details, prepare, and send them a perfect pitch. A perfect pitch is well researched; know your customers and their company, focus on how your services and skills will solve their problem or aid their goals, demonstrate that you care for their success, and how your strategies will help them get their money’s worth. Keep it short and to the point, be specific on your offerings and timeframe.
Emails are not as effective as calls. Get people on the calls, start talking to them or learn about them by meeting them in person (this might not be feasible or time-consuming). Learn the art of getting to know people and talking to them over calls and selling your services. Know that implementing proper sales techniques is vital. For example:
- Keeping the right frame when you are confident and that you are leading the call.
- Asking them to write questions to see what their real problem is and why they are actually interested in buying your services.
- Don’t try to be overly nice to your clients, just be who you are.
Building a connection
Post pitching to your clients, build a connection with them through testimonials so that they can recognize the value of what they will achieve, maybe by putting stories on your website, or posting videos or comments from your previous customers.
Provide other things like FAQ, limited time offers a tailor-made unique package for the customer by understanding the client’s needs.
Upsell or offer them a test service for a cheap price, to see how you work together collectively. After free trial, reframe this to make them understand the quality of your services and start charging. Start with a small contract with them, this is your chance to meet them and to make sure that you overdeliver yourself, this will help the customers to associate themselves with you and achieve the feeling of satisfaction for the services received and the price paid. You want to do this especially if you are new in the market.
Fixing a price
Once this small deal is done, start selling your actual product or offering your main service with the best-sought price, as a good rapport with you is already established. Post the pitch and test service, the clients will start showing interest, that is where you have to set a projected rate. If it falls in the budget of the customers, there is not much to be discussed. Otherwise, this is the stage for negotiation. Make sure that for each project, before setting the price, you know the market rates and trends. Factor in the resources you will use (including your time and energy), the quality of your work, and the market demand of it into the price you set. Make sure you communicate to your clients that the value you receive matches the value you deliver.
Training to always say a YES
It all comes down to the entire process of getting a ‘yes’ from the customer. During the whole cycle, keep providing opportunities to your client to agree with you throughout the sales pitching on small details, to help you train them to say a yes. Through this, when the time comes to say yes to signing a contract with you, they won’t take much time to think, it will come naturally and easily to them. For example, ask short questions to get their opinion, like, Do you agree? Is this how it should be? Are we on the same page?
Converting Prospects into Clients
Seal the deal. Maintaining a healthy relationship with clients is very important. For that first, you need to call to action, get an agreement set and a contract signed. In other cases, if you do not receive any response from the clients within one week, follow them up with an email to show that you are interested in them. If they respond with a no, be thankful to them, ask for pitch, and test service feedback to keep the communication line open for the future.
Measuring your results
Measuring the stages of your sales cycle allows you to improve. Know the ratio of the number of prospect contacts needed to get a final client. Also measure the time spent in conversion to the final client. For measuring there are a number of CRM softwares available that you can use, or you can start by making a basic excel spreadsheet, make sure it is up-to-date and accurate to understand and measure success. Knowing the conversion rate helps you measure the success rate and tell you the scope of improvement for next time.
As a freelance, customers are your greatest assets, knowing sales conversion is of utmost importance. Being honest and communicative is key to higher sales. Take care of your existing clients to keep them in the long run while continuing to attract potential clients. It is about building a bridge and having mutual respect. Understand that by selling you are not taking, you are giving them what they are not capable of. Know your worth. Sales is about aligning two energies to solve problems.