I do not at all consider myself to be an excellent salesman. In fact, I always sucked at it. I got fired from a telemarketing job during my first week on the job, and before I ever made one sale.
I definitely don’t like doing any high-pressured kind of sales. I don’t like hard closing or repeatedly asking them to buy. It’s not my personality.
I have one main strategy when I talk to a potential client. It’s the same on I used to get the job as Vice President of Marketing at the software company.
At 27 years old, I had just become a full time employee of that company. Before that I was an intern. One day, my boss, the VP of Marketing, left the company with zero notice. On his desk was a note saying “I quit” and the keys to the house and car that the company paid for.
The CEO was devastated.
He interviewed a few people for the VP position, but no one that he thought would do a good job. I mentioned in passing that I could do it. He said, “Nick, you’re very smart and a great guy, but not now. Maybe in 10 years.” And that was that.
But I felt like this was for me. Even though I had already been turned down for the job, I just acted like the job was mine. I began to develop a strategy for what we should do and how we could get it done. And I began to act like I already had the job.
Two weeks and 10 interviews later, the CEO came to me. He told me that he hasn’t found anyone that he thought could do the job better than I was already doing it. He then offered me the job, which I graciously accepted.
I have applied the same strategy when talking to any potential client. I seek to understand their business, as though I was ALREADY running it. Once I have a good understanding, I can then make my own recommendations for what should be done. I also stress the steps for implementing this strategy and improving their business.
This same strategy can be used for any freelancer. Just pretend like you already have the job. Don’t try to be an awesome salesperson. That will scare off the vast majority of prospects. Instead, provide value to them and serve them like they were paying you already. After an hour, they will ask you if you would please consider working for them.
Many freelancers are afraid to follow this advice. They believe that if they tell the business owner what they need to do, they will hire someone cheaper to do it for them. So by offering no value they expect to get the client. That’s not the way it works.
You’ll get more clients by proving that you can help them. You’ll also get paid more since they see your knowledge and expertise demonstrated. Finally, you’ll feel much better about yourself without having to hard sell.
Besides that, you don’t need many clients to get to $100,000 as a freelancer. I do almost twice that number with only two clients, and I haven’t taken on a new client in over 3 years!
You can do this too. The journey begins with a single step. You’re a lot closer than you think.