If you want to make a decent living as a freelancer and build a successful freelance business, it’s time to develop a solid sales strategy.
This article will provide you with information on how to build a freelance sales strategy that works for you and tips on how you can shorten your sales cycles.
Read on if you want to make the most of your talents and take your freelancing business to the next level.
The Importance of Great Sales Strategy in Freelance Work
Most freelancers have experienced what is known as the “feast & famine” cycle. This means, that some months you will have lots of work (feast), while other months you will struggle to find jobs (famine).
While it seems like a natural part of the freelance world, our goal is to help you develop a sales strategy that allows you to get work and paychecks far more consistently.
The key to earning more in freelancing is control. You must be able to control the number of clients you get every month and be in a position where you can name the price for your services.
Additionally, the frustration and money worry that stem from uncertain employment opportunities is too heavy a burden to bear. You have to reclaim your agency and establish yourself as a valuable service provider worthy of the top dollar.
How to Build a Sales Strategy That Gets You More Clients
1. Create a portfolio or website
A website is like a business card these days. Set up your own page where you display what you offer, who you are, and what you have worked on in the past. Having your own domain name looks professional, helps you stand out, tap some contractor SEO services where you can get more traffic with SEO. You can get more traffic with SEO, and even run some PPC ads to your page. And, you make it easier for your satisfied clients to share it in their network.
Check out the 15 most important elements of a website portfolio.
2. Be clear with your market
Be highly specific about what you can do for your potential client. Say you want to help eCommerce stores sell their candles. You must know their challenges in achieving their goals and you must be prepared with how you can solve them. If they struggle with low sales due to competition, your solution could be to help them by creating social media advertisements that will catch people’s attention and convert them from prospects to buyers.
3. Use outbound sales techniques
Find out where your target demographic “hangs out” and meet them there. Nowadays, this mostly refers to online spaces where people in the same industry get information and network. There are plenty of options: freelancing sites and platforms that connect freelancers with their potential clients, also try to look for your target market on Facebook Groups, Quora, or Reddit. You can use keywords on these sites to find groups and begin networking.
Check out how to get more clients with inbound marketing.
4. Be visible
Once you’ve established any sort of connection, your next goal is to make yourself visible and be noticed. Comment on people’s posts, establish yourself as a professional, and answer questions when the opportunity arises. Be generally friendly and authentic to anyone you interact with.
Check out the important networking tips for freelancers.
5. Harness the power of testimonials
One of the best ways you can sell yourself is by having social proof. Any time you work with a brand or person, ask them to write a testimonial and display your positive reviews proudly.
Check out the 5 ways to collect client feedback.
6. Let results speak
Let the numbers do the talking for you. If you improved sales by 50% for a client, advertise that! Keep records of your successes and compile them together to present to prospects.
7. Be prepared for rejection
It is only in the nature of sales that you will hear ‘no’ often, sometimes you will hear no more than you hear yes. Be prepared to face the most common sales objections. Sometimes, your replies will be able to change their mind, but other times you will just not make the sale. That’s okay! Accept it with grace, and know that you can always try another day. Keep in mind that pestering prospects too much is unprofessional, it can ruin your reputation, and you could even get blacklisted.
The sales cycle consists of a series of actions you can perform to transition a prospect into a recurring and loyal customer.
There are many moving parts of the cycle and sometimes the entire process can feel a bit lengthy and drawn out.
That’s why we are here to share tips on how you, as a freelancer, can speed up your sales cycle.
5 Tips to Shorten Your Sales Cycles
1. Automate Repetitive Tasks
Almost every business can benefit from automating tasks when possible. Your freelance business is no different.
By investing in automation software you can reduce your time spent on repetitive tasks like data entry and expense tracking. With automation, you can devote more of your time to closing leads instead of plugging information into excel spreadsheets.
When you automate certain processes, the entire process speeds up both for your customer and for yourself. Thus making you money faster, and proving to your client that you run a quick and efficient business.
For example, you can leverage Instagram automation for more effective social media management and more efficient sales efforts across this social media platform.
2. Transparent Pricing
Always be clear and upfront about your pricing from the beginning of the sales process. Prospects will appreciate this transparency because nobody likes unexpected (and unpleasant) surprises.
As tempting as it may be to lure clients in with promises of low costs, if you are unable to deliver those prices, you will leave your client feeling betrayed. This could hurt your reputation and you risk losing the client after all that time investment or even getting reported.
If you want to make sure your prospects understand the reason behind your higher prices, break it down for them as much as possible.
3. Identify Pain Points
By analyzing your past sales cycles, you should be able to locate bottlenecks in the process that commonly face longer conversion times. Locating the stages of the sales cycle that face challenges help you find ways to speed up individual processes.
If, for example, the introduction stage of the cycle seems to take longer in each of your deals, you could be dealing with client commitment issues. One way to remedy this kind of recurring problem could be setting reminders for follow-up calls or emails to build a better relationship.
It is a good idea to record phone calls in order to keep track of the conversation you have with your potential clients. It’s a great technique to ensure that any commitments made over the phone are kept.
The establishment of trust in the introduction phase is a key factor in gaining loyal and committed clients. Increased personalization could be another tool to implement if the introduction phase is a pain point for your sales cycles.
4. Lower Lead Response Time
Aim to be as fast as possible when responding to leads.
Most leads will simply choose to take their business to the company or person who responds to them first. As they say, time is money.
By staying on top of new leads and replying as fast as possible, you will undoubtedly speed up your sales cycle. Especially because leads who reach out to you require much less of a “sell”, they want to do business with you so don’t make them wait.
5. Prioritize Sure-Thing Leads
Stop wasting time on unqualified leads that can’t actually be converted into paying customers.
The more unqualified leads you pursue, the more clogged your sales cycle will become and the larger your bottlenecks and pain points will be. More leads do not equate to more sales in this case. Quality should be prioritized over quantity.
Be direct and ask your leads how quickly they intend on closing on a particular deal. With that information, prioritize deals and clients who want to move forward rather than leads who seem to be perpetually unsure.
Running a freelance business can be tough and a solid sales strategy partnered with speedy sales cycles is a great way to take your business to the next level in efficiency. In freelancing, you are your own largest advocate so don’t wait to be selected. By following the tips you’ve learned here you will be able to make clients and leads chase after you, not the other way around.
P.S. We are sure these strategies will work for you, and when they do, you might want a Sales CRM Software to manage all the sales pouring in! Our comprehensive guide to Top 10 Sales CRM will help you choose just the best among the sea of many software.