After being rejected a few times, you start to wonder what you’re doing wrong. Well, maybe it’s nothing and you just haven’t gotten lucky yet. But most probably it’s because you’re doing it wrong. There so so many ways for a sale to die, that you need apply every trick in the book to keep it alive.
Follow up until you get a “No.”
Before I used to follow up, my conversion rate from initial contact to a closed deal was something like 1 in 30. Afterwards it was closer to 1 in 10. It made the biggest difference to my freelance sales by far.
Email is a horrible way to have a conversation and share ideas. Go through proposals on the phone or in person. A back and forth chat between 2 or more people is where the magic happens. You’ll find out more about your customer and their project in less time, and they’ll be more invested in you.
References and testimonials
People buy in herds. The more sales you have for a particular niche, the more sales you’ll get. Show this by asking customers to write short testimonials. Showing that you know how to achieve other people’s goals will give your potential customer a lot of confidence in you.
It’s really difficult to imagine how creative work will turn out before it’s been done. You need to help your customer with this by showing work samples and telling stories about what you’ve done that has worked in the past. If you don’t have the relevant experience or examples, you need to get some. You can do this for free with a non-profit organisation, or you can make up a fictional client and do the work for them.
Just because your hired to write copy or design a logo, doesn’t mean you can’t offer your advice in other areas of their business. Building a business is hard. You know that and your customers are experiencing it too. Help people out as much as you can and you’ll be amazed how much it comes back to you.
Word of mouth beats any sales channel, ever. Follow up with your customers after the work is complete to remind them to recommend you. Offer incentives even. Another term for this could be “Influencer marketing”, because anyone can be an influencer in the right situation. So turn your customers into your best marketing tool by teaching them how to recommend you to their friends and colleagues.
Give something away
Often the best way to remove risk for a customer, and get your foot in the door, is to give your time and expertise for free. To avoid being screwed over you can do things that benefit you in other ways. For example, a usability review of their website is a great way to show your insight, but can also be published to attract more potential customers.
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