Sales calls can be tricky, especially when you first start your freelancing business.
If you are new to the skill set you are selling, sales calls can be even trickier because you might not have the confidence in your own ability to deliver to the results.
Ironically, the people who lack the most confidence tend to be the ones that do better in their role since they pay more attention and want to deliver the best result. However, when it comes to sales, lack of confidence is not a good thing.
It is also quite tricky to balance between lack of confidence and over confidence. It is really important to set expectations with clients. They need to know what you can deliver them in the price range you agree on.
The easiest and most sustainable way to make a full time income freelancing is to focus on long term projects and on-going relationships with clients.
In order to keep the relationship going and keep a happy customer, you should be delivering at least what you told the client you said you would. But, ideally you should be delivering above and beyond what you said you would.
To give more clarity on this topic we are going to drill down into some specific tips and strategies you can use during sales calls to handle the “can you guarantee success” conversation with your prospective clients.
Dealing with “are you perfect” and “can you guarantee success”
Make it clear that teamwork is vital for success
It is really important the client understands that you require co-operation to be successful in your role. What kind of co-operaton is needed will depend on your working style and the role you have, but you will need it.
For me, it’s been able to set the strategy and lead on the campaigns, I need a certain amount of freedom because with outreach which is what I do, you need to be quite flexible and adaptive in order to reach success.
I also may need the client to be co-operative in terms of assisting the partnership I am negotiating, for example, I might offer the blogger a link from the clients blog, or a guest post in return for a similar agreement on their end.
If my client is completely not co-operative then I don’t have any leverage for negotiation and the results won’t be there. If the results aren’t there, guess whose fault it is, mine!
They hired me to get the job done and the job hasn’t been done. So, I take it as my duty to make sure they know in the sales call that we must work has a team and have mutual responsibility to make sure the campaign is a success.
Set clear expectations about what you’re delivering
You have to ensure the client knows exactly what you are going to provide them. “Link building”, does not drill down into any detail. 4 – 6 links per month drills down a little better. But ideally you need to drill down into the process & break down your service.
Not only does this give the client a very clear breakdown so they feel comfortable in your expertise, it also shows the client what they are getting for the amount of money you are asking for.
Most clients you speak with don’t really know how much work goes into what you do. If you lay it all out there then they will have more difficulty in negotiating down the price since you have shown clearly the reasons your service is priced at x point.
This is when having a detailed product page is very important. Make sure that you have the price of your service, what is included, and the steps it takes you to complete the service displayed on your website.
This helps you to stay on track with your pricing and not suddenly offer a much lower price on a sales call during the negotiation. And is a reference point for clients to find out how much your service costs.
Accept imposter syndrome (if you have it) but don’t let it make your decisions
Imposter syndrome is when a person feels that they will be revealed as a fraud and doubts their accomplishments to date.
I believe most people on some level have a certain amount of this, especially if you are self employed, because society dictated a certain path for you and you’ve gone against the grain and created your own path.
I know for me I often look at my business and can’t believe my figures, I still can’t get over making 10K in one month!! But it did happen and I made it happen. Imposter syndrome is common amongst freelancers.
When asked, “can you guarantee success”, you may get a flair up of imposter syndrome.
Half the time (in my experience) you do go about wondering, how the heck did I actually manage to achieve that! But achieve it you did, you must not let it influence your decisions when negotiating with clients. They will want to hear about your success stories since they want to feel confident you can do a good job for them.
I will be honest that I do struggle with this, out of this list it’s probably the area I struggle with the most. But I try my best to give examples of clients I’ve worked with in the past and share the results I’ve achieved for them.
Always be honest and open
When starting any kind of relationship you just have to be yourself. You can try to be smart at the beginning and mould yourself to whatever it is they want to see, but in the end that will become tiring.
So, just be yourself when speaking with prospective clients even when answering difficult questions like; “can you guarantee success” & “are you perfect”.
The topic of this post actually came from a sales call I had where I was asked this question and I answered in my own personality, I laughed and said “perfect, well no-one is perfect, I do my best for every client based on what I have available to me but it’s really important we work together on this”.
Don’t be afraid of rejections, in fact, rejection can actually be good because it helps you get to the right person more quickly. If you aren’t sorting and sifting through clients to get to the best ones, then you are just taking every single client on and very quickly you end up with a mess and a stressful time dealing with people that work in different ways.
On this point, it is important to be honest about your experience and set the clients expectations.
If you are new to a particular service make sure the client knows this, don’t say you are an expert if you aren’t. Many people assume that clients only want to work with experts, however, this may not be the case.
They may be happy to work with you for a reduced rate because you are learning on the job and willing to be trained up & guided by them.
In summary, be yourself & be honest on your sales calls. People buy from people, it’s just a conversation and the point of it is for you to both work out if this is a good fit. If you follow this rule then it will be a lot easier to answer challenging questions like “can you guarantee success”.