Sales is something that you learn. It’s a constant learning to be honest with you.

Sales today isn’t what it was in the 80s, 50s or 30s.

How you improve your sales is more about you and the relationship with your client than it is about sales tactics and tips.

The question today has a bit of a “I want a silver bullet” feel to it. I hate to disappoint you but there isn’t.

However I will share with you, 3 things that you can do to affect your sales cycle and get those leads to close and sign that proposal.

Step 1: Educate clients more and better!

First thing to work on is the top of the funnel, the awareness stage, basically the client education part of your business.

The more informed a lead or prospect is:

  • About their problem
  • About the possible solutions to their problem
  • About the options that provide the solutions

The more they are likely to understand what it is they are buying from you when you present it.

70% of the buying decision is made way before someone reaches out to you.

If someone reaches out to you, they’ve already weeded out a good number of other options. You only have to align your business with the remaining 30%.

That 30% should only be questions that are custom to that specific client or situation.

Step 2: Tell the lead the next steps.

Secondly, tell your prospect what to do with your proposal.

How many proposals do you hand out? Plenty. It’s a part of what we do as a business.

We understand what a proposal is, what it represents, how it falls into the grand scheme of things, and what to do with it.

Most clients don’t. Especially small businesses and non-profits who are looking for help with their website that they never touch.

At the end of your proposals, are you telling the lead what to do next and what to expect next?

Tell them that they need to sign the proposal by a certain date, get you the initial deposit and once that’s complete that you’ll schedule with them a kickoff meeting.

If you don’t, then they may know that the need to sign it, but then what. Maybe they like you, want to go with you, but since you didn’t tell them what to do, they slightly confused about what’s next, maybe waiting around for you to followup, and while that happens someone else comes along and tells them what to do and they go with them.

All the while you are wondering why the prospect hasn’t returned your email about the proposal.

Step 3: Pay attention.

This is simple. Just pay attention to what sticking points a prospect has.

Learn what they struggle with as you communicate via email, through Skype and on the phone.

As you pay attention and learn what prospects have issues with and ask you time and time again, put that learned materials back into Step 1.

Educate them earlier on in the process to anticipate their questions rather than be responsive.

The less time, work, and thinking you have your prospect do, the more likely they’ll see the value in your service and sign on that dotted line.

See how sales is always a learning and iterative process? Start with step 1 through 3 and then repeat again.

As you get better and better with listening, communicating and education, your sales cycle will decrease.

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Running your freelance business

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