Selling is fun. I could never actually understand why so many freelancers resent it so much. It allows you to see your business growing. It helps you to be busy. It brings cash to your bank (and who doesn’t like that?). Let’s face it, not matter what you might think, it is also the most important part of running a business. Without selling your freelance career will end with a bang louder than 4th of July fireworks.
But here is the thing, selling is also difficult. It involves learning new things, leaving your comfort zone quite often and, well, working really hard (that’s a novelty, eh?). However, selling is not magic. It’s not a mystery art that only a handful (your competition?) have mastered and you are forever left behind. You can learn how to sell, quite easily in fact. And, to begin, practice those three traits of a successful salesman:
1. You Need to Learn to Listen to Others … a Lot!
Clients are interesting. And, so are their stories. Sure, you might not be particularly keen on listening about their latest investments or plans to build a Facebook killer but face it, all this info will help you to service them better.
In selling, listening is one of the keys to your success. Fail to listen and you stand a strong chance of boring your prospect to death. Let them talk though and the sale is (almost) yours.
2. You Need to Be Bold to Ask People About Whatever You Want.
OK, maybe not exactly but you can ask questions, a lot of questions. In fact, this is what you should be doing all the time when selling.
Here’s the thing though, don’t ask them about stuff like politics, religion or fantasy football, at least not if you want to walk out with their signature on the dotted line.
3. You Must be Available to Them … Often!
Oh that’s a bit of my pet peeve but also something absolutely crucial if you want to win new work for your business. In sales you have to be available for your prospects, often outside work hours (within reason of course). They will ring or email you to ask questions, verify some information or even just to talk to you to reassure themselves that they really want to buy from you. Needless to say, your availability and attitude may make or break the sale for you. But wait, isn’t that a part and parcel of a freelance lifestyle anyway?
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