S02 E07 – How to close a deal as a freelancer

 

How to Close a Deal as a Freelancer

We are going back to basics in this episode. Let’s talk about your sales process and more specifically the conversation you are having with your leads. You are going to walk away with the exact process to meet potential clients where they are so that you can provide value and close more deals.

When a lead comes to you, they know what they know, but don’t know what they don’t know. You are the expert and having all the answers is really what that lead is looking for.

And today you will walk away with simple strategies to implement during your next sales call to meet your lead where they are so that you show them how you solve their problems and close more deals.

It’s your job to make sure that the specific thing, whether it’s something they are talking about you doing, or if it’s part of the solution you are providing, fits their business needs.

Let your lead talk about their project and their immediate needs. Answer any and all questions they have. Then think about and ask them the following questions. This is to put the context of the conversation back to their business goals (which to be honest, is to make money, right?):

  • Did you bring it back to basics or just talk about the immediate needs?
  • Did you find out what their business goals were for the next 3, 6, 12 months?
  • Did you ask them what feedback they’ve received from their customers over the past year?
  • Did you speak about facts rather than theory and opinion?
  • Did you ask them why they came to you in the first place?

And then away they went.

'So, how does this help your customer?'Click To Tweet

Anyone can write code, or design a website, or write blog posts.

Think about it, they are talking to you right now about those very things, not the person that did that work before, right?

If you are able to focus on what the customer has in their mind of what success looks like. Whether that’s more leads, people walking through their door, or revenue. They will continue to come back to you over and over again.

'If you are able to focus on what the customer has in their mind of what success looks like. They will continue to come back to you over and over again.'Click To Tweet

Episode Take Away

Hop onto your social platform of choice. You don’t even have to be on it very much, but take 30-minutes and search for questions that you have answers to.

If you’d like help with finding out how to meet your potential clients where they are in their journey, I encourage you to check out the Sales Kit. You learn exactly how to set up a system that brings you questions people ask about what struggles they are having.

There’s really no better place to start moving someone through their buyer’s journey than to answer their immediate questions and provide value right away.

Important Mentions in the Episode

Gina Horkey - Getting Clients - Episode 10

Chris Marr - Marketing for Freelancers - Episode 1

Ruben Gamez - Marketing for Freelancers - Episode 4

Brennan Dunn - Marketing for Freelancers - Episode 5

Sustainable Freelancer Group

Freelancer's Sales Kit

Transcript

Hasn’t this been an awesome season so far?

I realize that up until this episode …

But that’s really because these people are killing it and folks who I admire and have learned from myself.

2:40 Marketing is not easy and can be done wrong.

When it’s done right, it isn’t just marketing, but it’s your sales too. Sales and marketing, regardless if you are like me and don’t consider yourself a sales person, need to happen all the time to be a successful business.

You can’t just market yourself when you need work. That’s a fast track back to sitting at someone else’s desk.

So that’s why I wanted to bring on to the show folks who are living and breathing sales and marketing. And doing it in ways that maybe you haven’t thought about before and can use strategies and tactics that are tried and true.

So today we are bringing the conversation back a bit.

If you are binging on this season, your head is no doubt spinning with ideas.

Today I want to share with you something some simple strategies to [3:36]always be marketing as Gina Horkey said in Episode 10 of Season 1.

The conversations you have prior to that lead becoming a client needs to start at a very high level, until you can meet them where they are.

Your lead will come at you with very specific requests.

If you are a developer, they may even come to you with specific technology they want to use. Maybe they heard a friend using a particular piece of software that’s working for their business and want to use it for their own. Maybe they’ll ask you to use the “next big thing in…” that they heard about when they attended a conference.

It’s your job to make sure that the specific thing fits their business needs.

If you are a designer and a lead comes to you with a list of sites that they like the look of and then want a randomized instance where the user is brought to an upside down login page Yes, I’ve actually been requested this one before.

It’s your job to stop them and say “so how does this help your user?”

Everyone in life is at a different stage of their journey.

Everyone in business is at a different stage.

My wife and I are currently looking around for a pediatrician for TJ, our one year old son, because we moved and well quite honestly don’t want to take about 3 hours out of our day to drive back to his old one for an appointment that’s only 10 minutes. Call us lazy.

The first time we interviewed Dr.’s my wife was pregnant, so there were specific questions that we had, most of them concerning once the baby is here, what is next? Who do we talk with and go to the few days after he was born to make sure everything is ok?

Makes sense right?

The one we finally choose was someone who brought it back to a higher level. She talked about how she has children, the views she has on vaccines and treatments, what her office policies were, and even how things are handled when we need her and she isn’t there.

She allowed us to finish asking our immediate questions, but knew that once we got past that in our journey, that we’d have a long list of other things that would be important to us.

She brought it back to the basics and addresses things that she knows from her experience are important and helpful to us.

So as we are looking around again, I’m noticing that our questions are still very much related towards the now, rather than the future. And that’s ok, because it’s what we are immediately concerned with.

I’m sure that the new doctors will very much address our immediate questions as well as get us the helpful information we’ll need to move forward as TJ grows.

6:35 – In the context of your sales process, I would encourage you to spend the first 5 or 10 minutes answering any and all questions your lead has.

Then bring the conversation back away from the technology, from the event, from what their friends are doing in their businesses and simply ask then “How would this help your customers?”

“Where does this meet them in their journey with you?”

Bringing things back to basics isn’t sexy. I’ll give you that.

But it keeps the eye on the prize.

In Episode 1 of this season, Chris Marr talked about the Buyer’s Journey. The buyer’s journey is a framework that acknowledges a buyer’s progression through awareness, consideration and decision stages with you.

In the episode he gave us so much value that when you distill it down, he suggests that every piece of sales and marketing content you put out should meet a customer within one of those 3 stages.

In episode 4, Ruben Gamez shared with you what pieces of content he puts out to validate an idea on new product or service. This addresses customers in the awareness phase.

He knows that if he can get enough traffic to content on the edges (as he puts it) then it’s a valid idea to move forward with in building out.

He’s meeting customers where they are in their journey.

Brennan Dunn in episode 5 talks about meeting leads and clients where they are in the messaging and conversations he’s had throughout his career.

He says that high-touch sales works so well because you are speaking in the same language as potential customer. When you do that, you are more likely to close that sale.

This is the consideration stage of the buyer’s journey. That with the careful language and messaging of your solution to their problem, you are more likely to be successful in closing that deal.

By meeting a lead where they are in their business, you are more likely to be able to cater them through every step of their journey with you and close the deal.

9:12 – If you are struggling to close deals lately, I encourage you to think about your past 5 sales calls.

Did you bring it back to basics or just talk about the immediate needs?

Did you find out what their business goals were for the next 3, 6, 12 months?

Did you ask them what feedback they’ve received from their customers over the past year?

Did you speak about facts rather than theory and opinion?

Did you ask them why they came to you in first place?

These are all acceptable and necessary components of a good sales call.

You can’t get a clear picture of where someone’s business is through a 30 minute call without them. You can’t know if you can really solve their problem with these sorts of answers.

These questions elevate the conversation from tasks they came to you with to a business strategy session that even if that’s something you don’t do, will give you a much clearer picture as to what the success could be if you close that deal.

Remember, anyone can write code, or design a website, or write blog posts. Think about it, they are talking to you right now about those very things, not the person that did them before, right?

If you are able to focus on what the customer has in their mind of what success looks like. Whether that’s more leads, people walking through their door, or revenue. They will continue to come back to you over and over again.

Meeting your leads where they are with whatever interaction they have with you, whether that’s a blog post, sales call, or even at an event will put you and your business in a better spot to land that client.

The takeaway for this show is for you is to hop onto your social platform of choice. You don’t even have to be on it very much, but take 30-minutes and search for questions that you have answers to.

This could be in a Facebook Group where you ask questions of other people about business.

It could be in a comment on busy LinkedIn thread that someone shared about a new tactic they employed.

Search on Quora by finding a question in a particular topic that you just answered for a lead by way of email.

Moving forward in your content marketing whether it is a blog post, social media share, anything that you do, before you press that button ask yourself, does this help someone in the awareness, consideration, or decision stage of their journey.

If you’d like help with finding out how to meet your potential clients where they are in their journey, I encourage you to check out the Sales Kit. You learn exactly how to set up a system that brings you questions people ask about what struggles they are having to your inbox. There’s really no better place to start moving someone through their buyer’s journey than to answer their immediate questions and provide value right away.