By Robert Guidry
Your fantastic business idea is coming to life! You worked really hard to put yourself out there and to develop that first impression that others have of your business. Someone likes what they see, and they book a sales call!
It’s a big deal when someone takes time out of their day to see if they want to pay you REAL money! The initial rush hits you, you think I did it! It is a magnificently good feeling when someone sees value in your work.
Eventually, the feeling wears off and you realize you must sell yourself, one-on-one, in a call with a real-life, breathing person. Perhaps you sweat, perhaps you put off preparation, perhaps you throw yourself at the problem too hard…
The emotional whirlwind can be exhausting.
Let’s get a process together to make your sales call more automatic. You don’t want to be left guessing and bumbling around (I have learned from experience and it’s not fun).
Here are 3 Ways to Nail your freelancing sales call!
1. Research your prospect before your freelancing sales call
Find out who your potential client serves and how you might fit in. Check their LinkedIn, webpage, social media groups, and other online presence that you might have. Let your curiosity reign as a freelancer and as a seller of services!
If you met them at a networking event in person or online, keep a notebook or digital record of what you discussed. Take the time to listen for problems that you might be able to solve!
Here are some questions you can ask:
- What needs can I identify and what solutions can I provide?
- What can I gather about the personality of the brand/business owner?
- What do I have in common with the person on the call with me?
- What sets the person/company apart from their competition and peers?
If you can go in with more information, you will feel confident that you can help them with the problems they are facing and quickly build rapport with your prospect!
Finally, keep your notes for later. This is not a university exam; you can bring your notes!
2. Create a cheat sheet
As I said, a freelancing sales call is not an exam you can cheat on with notes. Use this sheet to remind yourself how you want the call to go. Include specific details that you want to cover, questions to ask, and most importantly: reminders to shut up and listen!
You should also include a relevant case study or two that you can bring to the call to demonstrate yourself as the expert. Keep bullets on how you executed a task as a freelancer, why it solved the problem or achieved its intended purpose, and the end result.
Finally, create a short “Frequently Asked Questions” list. If you have not been asked a lot of questions, do some research, and identify common things people ask in your industry. Put the answers to those questions in your cheat sheet, so when they ask, you don’t have to fumble around for an answer.
3. Get permission to record your freelancing sales call
You probably won’t hit every sales call out of the park. Recording your sales call allows you to go back and review and refine the next one. You can keep what is working and discard what isn’t.
Look for questions you didn’t answer as well as you could have, misunderstandings of the scope of the assignment, or distracting behaviors. Also, look for things you did well. See what got a positive response from the other person, find out why they got on the sales call so that you can emphasize that in future interactions.
Don’t be too hard on yourself with sales calls. Few, if any, freelancers master sales naturally right away. It will take practice, so use these tools to prepare and refine your sales calls. You will find what works for you.
Sales is a conversation with the purpose of uniting the goals of two people. Focus on the prospect’s bottom line and carefully listen for it. Then demonstrate how you will solve their problem and how you have solved similar problems in the past.
In closing, do your homework. Know who you are dealing with and what needs they have. Create a cheat sheet to keep with you during the call; don’t leave yourself guessing or floundering for words. Record your freelancing sales calls so that you can get better Faster! Get out there and remember: selling isn’t a dirty word, it’s a tool to provide your much-needed services!