You may lose the chance to get hired if anything goes wrong during the discussion with a prospect/client. So it’s very important to learn what specific things your clients are looking for. Your job is to not only manage clients but also prove that you’re the right person for their project. So they can be even happy to increase the budget.
Freelancers are the most hard-working people around the globe (mostly). But lack of proper knowledge of convincing prospects can result in no sales.
Convincing people in society is totally different from the freelance industry or anywhere when it comes to making sales or getting hired. You know what I mean by that.
We the freelancers try our heart & soul to drive clients to our business. It’s true that we are also able to hear back from many of our targetted customers.
But when a prospect comes to us for discussing the project, we lose most of them. And even though we have the proper skills to complete the job but we generally fail to convince the prospect and prove our worth. And this is what this post is all about.
I will explain how you can convert most of your prospects into customers for your freelance business. So if a person comes to discuss his/her project, most of them will hire you. And even they will increase their budget.
But who I am anyway (to teach such a hard topic)?
I am a self-taught programmer and web developer who had been waiting to get a single response from clients in 2016. More about me →
However, I was able to revert the system after a couple of hard-working years. So the clients (prospects) have to wait until I give them a schedule.
It’s not pride, it’s all about managing & utilizing our time at the highest level. So I can ensure that I am not going to waste my valuable time with under-budget pessimists.
So you can think of this post as a guide and the process of converting quality buyers. Look at the following scenarios (steps) and make improvements to your work process when necessary.
#1 Target the right people for your freelance business
Most sales boil down to reaching out to the right people. If you don’t prioritize targeting the right customers, then you may end up with no sales.
No matter if you’re a freelance writer, graphic designer, programmer, or something else, you should think of their business category, interest, language, past recruitment history, financial solvency, geographical & even demographic information.
You have to be determined and make your own checklist of what you want to see in your future clients. This is your personal preference and you have to decide on your own.
Let me help you with sharing my checklist. I want to see the following things in my prospects and I only target those people for my freelance business:
- People who live in the US, UK, Canada, Australia, and some other western countries.
- Those who speak English.
- People who are owners of small businesses.
- Those who have a large budget.
- People who already have a business in place.
- Those who have an ugly website.
- People who are super serious about their business.
But how do I get that information?
Well, I created a checklist that may seem impressive to you. But how do I collect that information?
Firstly, I will not go through all the points because of two main reasons:
- This post will become longer and you will lose your focus.
- It’s not required at all because everyone’s checklist will be totally different according to their niche and personal preference.
Let’s see how I calculate if a person is serious about his/her business.
I send along with questionnaires to most prospects when they first reach out to me. It contains 26 questions. I request them to answer all the questions and send me back the document.
A person who spends time answering all the questions, I count as a serious businessman. Also, I understand that they are highly desired to work with me.
It also helps me to sort out some bad eggs. That means those who don’t come back with answers, I don’t even bother discussing further (if they don’t have valid reasons).
Not to mention, those questions also help me to gather the necessary information to complete their projects & write perfect proposals. So we both can be happy!
#2 Your approach to the buyer
The approach is an important aspect when you’re talking to a customer for the first time. Especially, the newbies become frustrated and puzzled.
Sometimes they started talking about unnecessary topics, thinking about what should call the client, sir, hiring manager, or name. Hesitate for everything.
But the client was looking to hire a strong person who can take over their headache. Both of them become burned out, right? But this should not happen.
If you’re controversial or feel shy when talking to an unknown person then you should recover yourself. You could practice in front of the mirror or in a dark room. Whatever you do, you have to overcome this kind of silly hesitations in order to succeed in freelancing.
How do I approach clients as a freelancer?
If you would ask about me, I never call any client sir or hiring manager. Also, I don’t call anyone by their name. In many cases, I don’t even understand their gender.
So I simply go with “Hi” or nothing. I start talking directly to the subject without any introduction. And I try to observe how they approach me. Finally, the time tells me what to call him/her or how to approach them. Until then, I am only focused on the project matter.
Honestly, this type of approach has given me the opportunity to build strong & long business relationships with many clients.
So if you hesitate too much, it will take you to an uncertain level that you’re not in the real world or naturally.
#3 Ask important questions to the clients
You should always ask the necessary questions to the clients. Never hesitate to ask questions if anything is unclear to you.
Back in 2016, I was hesitating too much about asking questions to clients. I was thinking what if they underestimate me for this silly question?
But this is not the case in the real world. When I hardly completed a couple of projects at the beginning, I came to understand that I must have asked questions and even they don’t like it.
And you have to do the same.
Asking necessary questions also indicates that you understood the project and you have sufficient knowledge of the subject matter.
It also helps you to gather the necessary information to complete the project in one go. By collecting all the required assets and info, you don’t have to bother the clients during the process.
Also, the buyer may not available when you’re. So it will save lots of time and avoid miscommunication.
Some buyers may not ask about your past work samples especially if you’re on an expert level. However, if you worked on similar projects in the past, then show them. Even though you were not asked for it.
A similar work sample creates a huge impact on your buyer’s mind and it forces the buyer to hire you. So why not utilize this feature if you have any?
If you do not have any practical experience working with clients then you may not have samples. But you can still create sample works to show your expertise. Because this is an important requirement to get hired, so you have to become proactive.
Keep in mind that your buyer wants to see or imagine a visual output before they put their money in your hand. Because they also have earned that money the hard way and they are also spending time with the project. So take it positively.
If you can prove that you helped other people in similar jobs and you have the competence to help them, they will luckily increase their budget if they had a low price in mind.
#5 Create an online portfolio
In this digital world, every type of freelancer should have an online portfolio. The buyers can share your portfolio with their colleagues and existing team members before making their final decision.
Your portfolio also indicates that you’re serious about your profession.
If you already have it, then make sure it clearly reflects your skills and expertise. Also, a portfolio should focus on only one category or niche.
For example, if you’re a freelance writer then your portfolio should focus on only your writings. But if you worked as a virtual assistant in the past, don’t mix it with your writing portfolio. You got the idea!
But if you don’t have a portfolio yet, you can build this at the earliest time possible. Let me help you one step further.
I have created a portfolio template that works for everyone. All you have to do is replace the demo content, logo, picture, etc.
It’s totally FREE!
The button below will take you to another post and from there, you can see the demo portfolio, the setup guideline & you’ll be able to download the template. How cool is that!Take me there »
#7 Prove your worth
A buyer generally communicates with multiple freelancers for the same task until they hire someone. So you have to prove your worth.
There are many other freelancers who may try to get the job in various ways. And some of them may offer the cheapest price possible. A few of them may have strong portfolios and track records. And you have to compete with them.
But don’t be afraid. Everyone has a unique strength and you have to utilize yours. However, many people don’t even know their top strengths. As a result, they generally fail to come up with different angles. It’s your job to find your unique strength and use it. Do you know what is your main strength?
If you ask me a counter-question and ask about my strength, here is the answer…
My top strength for convincing clients
I am a self-taught programmer & web developer. And I don’t have any engineering or computer science degree. Even though I came from a business administration field, therefore I was able to bit bigger guys.
But what’s the power that works behind the scene?
My past work history, track record of helping clients, and word of mouth are the topmost strengths I have.
I try to make them understand the benefits of hiring me and what is the final output they are going to receive in exchange for their money.
Also, I give them the freedom & security of their hard-earned money (for large projects). They have the option to put their money in escrow. And they can ask for refunds if they don’t like my work.
So the clients can sleep well even though they have put their money in a completely new stranger’s hand.
Here I want to remind you of one thing that I discussed in section #1.
It’s targeting the right people. If you follow all the steps except for targeting the right audience, then the whole strategy will fail.
Managing and convincing clients are the most challenging part of freelancing.
We promote our freelance service and create different funnels but many of the freelancers get stuck at the last step which is discussing with clients.
After a lot of hard work and effort when a prospect finally comes to a freelancer to discuss the project, most of the freelancers are not able to make the conversion. And this is what the post is all about that shows the steps to getting hired as a freelancer.
However, don’t take it as a blueprint and expect to see the outcome overnight. There is no substitute for actual hard work.