1. Believe in yourself and your abilities. Stay confident.
You can sell only if you are confident and convinced. This is the most important aspect of selling. Sales people often face rejection. The confident ones know how to handle rejection. Confidence comes from knowledge and experience. As you meet more clients and as you get your share of success and rejection, you will be able to handle these situations better. The key here is a positive mind-set and attitude.
2. Be presentable at client meetings.
Always remember, a client makes his first impression of you in the first 30 seconds. A good and lasting impression comes from the way you present yourself. A smart, confident, well dressed professional will always have an advantage over an unkempt, casual, unprepared individual. And yes, always remember to be punctual for client meetings.
3. Listen and understand client’s needs first.
A client has a requirement that only he knows best. Don’t jump the gun. It makes a lot of sense to first understand exactly what the client wants. Ask clear and direct questions to get proper clarity on what the client expects. That would help you pitch better.
4. Be committed to quality.
One of the best ways to grow your business is to source repeat and referral business. This is easier said than done. Repeat and referral business comes from credibility and credibility is built on quality of work. Do not take up projects that you aren’t capable of handling. It might earn you some business in the short-term but will seriously damage your credibility in the long-term. Once you take up a project be committed to and passionate about quality. Ensure your client is completely satisfied with work. Ideally, ask your client for a testimonial post completion of the project.
5. Do not compete on price alone.
Clients buy your services for the quality of work you do. Price is an important but secondary criterion. If you are good at your work and have worked on building a credible reputation, you don’t need to be competing on price alone. And more often than not, clients co-relate a low cost to poor quality. While pitching for a project keep the emphasis on the kind of work you have done. Share case studies, images and testimonials of your work. Exhibit passion and excitement.
6. Do not over commit.
Only commit what you are capable of and what you can deliver. It is fine to over-deliver but never a good practice to over-commit. Sometimes, it does mean letting go some business but then it is always worthwhile to forego that business than getting a bad reputation.
7. Learn to say NO.
Negotiation is a very tricky task. Clients are bound to negotiate with you and it is always prudent to offer some discounts or freebies to clients. But this does not mean saying yes to every demand a client makes. A good sales person knows when to say a firm no. At times a client might ask you to cut corners to save money. If you believe that it’s going to affect quality, try convincing the client and say no. No is not always a negative word.
8. Close a pitch effectively–ask for the sale.
Once you are done with the pitch, you need to perfect the art of moving in and closing the deal. Do not leave the deal ambiguous. Ask for the sale, a firm commitment from the client. Ideally insist on a contract with all the terms in writing.
9. Use digital platforms and social media for networking.
As you craft your independent career, you will need to network aggressively. Social media and digital platforms are ideal places for freelancers to connect and communicate with like-minded people from the community. It is also a good place to get new client leads and grow your business.
FlexiPort (www.theflexiport.com) is one such digital platform that helps independent professionals craft a successful career.
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