In the world of freelancing, one of the biggest challenges we face is selling our services.
We don’t want to come across as sleezy car salesman, or we flat out don’t have a clue how to sell.
We’ll cover how to sell your services today without being a salesman and how you can start converting more freelance prospects into clients.
Step 1 – Focus on the client’s needs, not yours
The most important thing I can tell you when it comes to selling anything is to focus on the client’s needs.
Or as I learned from the amazing copywriter, Neville Medora:
“No one cares about you, they only care about themselves.”
The worse mistake you can make as a freelancer, and the one I see most, is talking about yourself.
Most freelance creatives, photographers and tech professionals start a conversation by saying how they offer X, Y, and Z services.
Instead of finding out what the client actually needs, they try to sell how good they are and all the features they have. Don’t do that.
If you want to sell more, start focusing on what the client needs.
This makes all the difference.
Step 2 – Ask Lots of Questions
In any sales conversation, there is always one person leading – let’s call that person The Alpha.
The fastest way to be The Alpha in a sales conversation is to ask questions.
By asking questions you lead the phone call or discussion.
Think about the last time you visited the doctor. When you visit the doctor he or she will ask you a ton of questions to find out what’s wrong.
Why do they do this? Because they can’t help you without knowing what’s wrong!
The same applies here. If you don’t know what your client needs how can you help them?
If you do the same thing with your potential client, they will immediately see that you are different from 99% of other people.
Most freelancers do this wrong, they instead let the client control the call or jump straight into what they do and how much it cost.
You can allow the client to ask questions at the end of your conversation once you have a good idea of what their needs are and if you can help them, but for now, be The Alpha and lead the conversation.
If they push to ask questions right away, or push you to give your pricing or features right up front, let them know you can’t really help unless you know how you can help them first. Most clients will understand that logic, and if they continue to be very pushy this is probably a client you wouldn’t enjoy working with anyways.
Step 3 – Repeat THEIR Needs and Make It Bigger Than Your Pricing
If you asked questions, you should have a good understanding of how you can help them by now. If you haven’t figured it out, keep asking deeper questions and dig into why they are really looking to hire someone.
Once you uncover their true pain or need, now you can discuss your pricing and how you can help them solve it.
The idea is to repeat what they told you back to them as what they are investing in with you.
We also use the word investment rather than fee or costs. This changes how they perceive what they are buying. Nobody likes fees or costs, but people love to invest.
Real World Example:
As an example, let’s say Sue is a wedding photographer.
After asking lots of questions, Sue’s potential client may eventually tell her, “I want to have amazing wedding photos because I never really felt confident about myself and I want to have something to remember this important day forever.”
At this point Sue can ask, “What is having the perfect photos worth to you?”
She may reply, “They would be priceless!”
Of course, priceless is not a number, but Sue has an idea that it’s really important for her right?
Sue can then simply say something like:
“I want to see you get the best photos also. You said you want to feel confident and have amazing wedding photos that every time you look back at them and will help you remember your big day forever. It’s your big day after all! Does this sound like an outcome you’d like to receive?”
Sue’s client will likely respond with a big fat YES (she told her that’s what she wanted).
Sue can then reply with….
“Great, here’s what we do…(now you Sue can talk a bit about what they get and what she does). I understand it’s a big decision for you to make sure these once in a lifetime photos are the best. If it makes sense, I would love to help you make that a reality. The investment for my services is $X,XXX.00. This will make sure you have the best outcome and the photos you want. Does that sound fair to you?”
Then Sue should just stay quiet and let them talk.
At this point they will either ask Sue more questions about the process, or flat out tell her no that it’s way out of their budget.
At this point Sue may specifically get some push back mostly on the pricing, especially if it’s high. If you do, Sue can respond with something such as:
“I understand my prices may be higher than most, but it’s because I am dedicated to making sure my client’s photos capture those special moments. Going with a cheap or mediocre photographer could risk you not capturing those perfect moments. I can work with you a payment plan if needed but we typically take payment upfront as this will ensure you are committed also to getting the best results.”
Again we are focusing on the clients need and that the price they are investing is not on WHAT you do, but the VALUE you will give them.
Review and Final Thoughts
So to review the 3 steps are:
- Focus on the client’s needs
- Ask lots of questions
- Make THEIR needs bigger than your price
If you follow these 3 simple steps you will sell much more services as a freelancer, and be able to charge a lot more too.
Trust me, you won’t get it right the first time. Maybe not the first 5 times.
Like anything else you will get better with practice.
Want to use our proven script? Download our Freelance Phone Selling Script that you can use as a guide during your calls.