When you’re freelancing, you need a steady flow of sales so that you don’t run out of money. That’s basically it. It’s as crude as that. No tricks, no fancy charts.You either keep selling your service or you die.
This puts most freelancers in a tricky position. They probably haven’t had any sales training. They don’t understand how hard it is to get a good, qualified lead, and then close that sale. In fact, most freelancers think that their work doesn’t (or shouldn’t) involve sales, at least not in the conventional sense. Selling is a dirty word. They’re an artist, and artists don’t sell.
Some artists don’t eat much, either.
If you’re freelancing, get some systems in place that allow you to sell on a regular basis. Only through consistent and purposeful selling will regular freelance income appear. Realise this, and get to work.
The following principles are important.
Stay consistent with the process
Set aside some time every day for prospecting and communicating with leads. Do this every day. If you don’t, then you are losing momentum. Anyone who has ever sold professionally will know that momentum is everything. It takes time to build sales, and this means that you won’t see results for a while. If you’ve been consistent all that time, things tend to just fall into place.
I know this works. And it usually takes about a week. A week of solid prospecting and pitching, and when that is done, everything else just falls into place.
When you talk more than you listen on a sales call, you’re making the prospect feel like they don’t count. Turn this on it’s head. Listen for at least 70% of the time. This way, the prospect feels better and more relaxed, and the pressure around the whole situation is reduced.
Work on yourself
Everyone around you knows that you are amazing. But the people you are going to be calling know nothing about you, and they really couldn’t care less.
Make them sit up and take notice with your tone. Your voice should be confident and clear, so that the prospect knows they have someone on the line who knows how to do business.
Keep practising your offer. And start believing that you are truly worth your prospect’s money. Being confident and believing in yourself will bring you more success.
Be confident on price
You have valued your services at a certain level. Stick to it. You’ve worked out how much you need in order to eat and have a roof over your head. And you’ve worked out how much you need to make a profit. And that’s how much you charge.
Unfortunately, some freelancers think they have to reduce their fee to get a sale. This is not the case. In fact, clients will respect you a whole lot more if you have done your homework, and you know what you are worth.
Once I was having coffee with a prospect and he asked me how much I charged for my content creation. He almost spluttered out his coffee when I told him how much and he said that ‘no one will pay that’.
Actually, many clients do, and they get great work in return. And as it happens, he went out of business a year later. His argument was that people would pay for lots of work if it was ‘cheap’.
I think he may have used that same argument in his business plan.
You’re not cheap. You’re a professional freelancer. Stick to your price.
Finally, if you want to get the most out of selling, and get better results, set some goals.
Even if the goal is as simple as ‘I need to pitch ten mid-level prospects this week’, it’s still a worthy goal. If you don’t pitch those ten prospects, you haven’t given yourself the chance to achieve anything.
Focus on what needs to be done to keep a strong pipeline of sales coming in, and make goals that fit that process. Believe me, if you don’t have goals, you just won’t get anything done.
Those are some of my tips that will help you increase sales as a freelancer.
I am also a big believer in using LinkedIn. If you’re at square one with finding leads on LinkedIn, you need something like Dux-Soup. Silly name, serious results.
I’m an affiliate, just so you know.