There’s a dark secret among freelancers. Do you know what it is?
Designers, writers and developers all share it.
It’s a truth so many of us know, but few will admit.
Ok back to Raz…
While we’re busy getting to grips with writing blog content, tweaking and developing our blog so it perfectly represents our brand and creating products to sell, this secret looms over our heads like a dark cloud.
And the secret is this:
We’re petrified of selling
And I don’t mean writing a sales page, designing a website or creating an email marketing strategy.
I mean having a potential client reach out to hire you and actually want a conversation with you. On the phone. Just the two of you.
One of those conversations where they kinda have an idea of what they want, they think you may be the right fit for their project, but they’re just not sure.
And they want you to convince them it’s time to work together.
Many of us have bought into the idea that selling information products online is the smart way to sell.
And it is.
But what if you’re a designer, developer or writer who not only blogs and sells info products, but also offers their skills to clients in exchange for a fee?
And what if, after swapping a few emails with a potential client, you have a call with them that ends with complete uncertainty?
How many times have you heard this:
“Let me think about it”
“Thanks for the information. Can you send us a proposal in writing?”
“The price is way over our budget”
Calls that end like that not only feel like a waste of time, but they add nothing to your earnings for the month.
And as a freelancer or entrepreneur in control of your income, the last thing you want is for a sales call that ends with uncertainty.
Because then you start worrying about things like:
How do I follow up to see if they still want to work with me?
What could I have done differently on that call? Was it something I said?
I wish calls like that were easy!
The last one is something I can help you with.
As a freelance copywriter, although I sell products and training, my main source of income is working 1-1 with clients to write their copy.
One of the biggest hurdles I had to manoeuvre through when I first started my business was how to handle a sales call.
How do I figure out if the potential client’s worth my time? What price is perfect for them to buy my service? How do I handle objections from them?
Through trial and error, I formulated a process that I follow for each call.
And today, I’ll talk you through exactly what it is.
Sales Calls That Convert. A proven 5-step process to turn inquiry call into a paying client (without being nervous or pushy)
It’s a process you can follow for each inquiry call you have with a potential client that puts you in control.
It prepares you for the call so any nerves you had disappear.
And more importantly, it helps you lead the entire conversation with authority and poise.
So that’s what the 5-step process helps you achieve. Let’s outline what each of the steps are:
Step 1: Research
Before you have the call, you’re likely to have had an email conversation with the client to get a rough idea about what the call will cover.
In between arranging the call and actually having it, focus on researching as much as you can about the client.
- Their website
- Social media accounts
- Opt-in freebie (if they have one)
- Subscribe to their email list
- Sales pages (for products and services they sell) and product reviews
Your aim here isn’t just to familiarize yourself with their business. That’s what most people do.
You’re smarter than that!
What you’ll do is use this time to clarify how you can best help this client get some quick wins using your expertise.
- A designer can quickly look at a website and suggest design changes that make the brand more coherent
- A copywriter can edit headlines or opt-in form copy to increase conversions
- A developer can offer code to quickly fix visual problems on a landing page
When you open the call with the client, you can suggest these quick wins to them to not only instantly gain their trust, but have immediate credibility in their eyes.
Use this script to lead into this idea:
I do have a few suggestions for making things even better and can help you [what your change will help them achieve]. We can take a few moments to talk through them now.
There’s a specific process I follow for each piece of research that takes me 30 minutes before the call. I use the same process for each client and will talk about that shortly.
Step 2: Clarify Project
You may have swapped emails about the project, but so much can change by the time you get on a call.
Use this call to clarify exactly what the project involves.
Clarify things like:
- What’s the outcome they want (i.e more clients, sell X number of products, make X dollars)?
- Project timelines
- Who else is involved in the project
- Who the key decision makers are
It’s important for you to know this so you can price your services correctly and plan time into your calendar to fit with the deadlines the client is working to.
Start this part of the discussion off using this script:
We discussed the project briefly on email. I have some questions for you about the project that I’d like to run through. Let’s go through them now, OK?
Step 3: Clarify Delivery Plan
By now, you have all the information you need and it’s a case of repeating it back to them so you’re both clear on exactly what’s involved.
The basics you’ll need to reiterate are:
- The main deliverables (a website, sales page copy, social media images, or whatever you’re expected to deliver)
- Project delivery dates
- You’re main point of contact
- Who else you’ll be working with if a collaboration is involved
This not only clarifies the project for you, but also shows the client you’ve understood everything they’ve told you.
Use this script to lead into this section of the call:
So that we’re both clear on the project, I’ll go through what’s involved. Please correct me if I’m wrong.
Step 4: Process and pricing
The tricky part!
It doesn’t have to be (and it isn’t, once you have a solid process in place) but it scares most people!
Most potential clients haven’t worked with service providers like you so are likely to be clueless about what working with you will be like.
They’ll have lots of questions, and you’re showing yourself off as a professional by taking control of this before they dive into their own questions.
Use this script to lead into the conversation:
Now that we’re both clear on the deliverables of the project, I’ll talk you through the process of working with me and fees.
Here’s how to handle some tough scenarios on process and pricing:
What if the client asks about pricing at the start of the call?
The simplest way to handle this is to acknowledge the question and get control of the call. Use this script:
We’ll definitely come onto fees shortly. First, let me walk you through the process of working with me so you’re clear on what will happen after our call today.
What if they say I’m too expensive or my fee is higher than their budget?
In this scenario, most people will lower their fees to fit the needs of the client, or convince the client to increase their fees.
You definitely don’t need to do this!
Instead, figure out what can be delivered within their budget and they can come back to you for more once they have more money to invest in your service.
Use this script:
Given your budget, let’s talk about solving the biggest problems right now and leave the others for later.
Or this one:
OK so within that budget, the best course of action is … [what you can deliver within that budget]
Step 5: Close the Sale
Confidence is critical here!
At this point in the call, you’ll know if the client’s ready to work with you or not. Both of you will be clear on the project and fee.
So the next thing to do is close the conversation by moving onto the next stage – the contract and deposit!
Use this script to lead into this:
Do you have any questions before I send you the contract?
Or this one:
Here’s what we’ve agreed so far [talk through agreement]. To move the project forward, I suggest we …
So that’s the 5-step process to turn an inquiry call into a paying client!
And I’m sure you have more questions on what else is involved.
- If the client says they need to think about it, how do I follow up with them without being pushy?
- What if the client asks all the questions at the beginning? How do I get back control?
- How can I tell if the client’s even worth my time?
- Preparation for the call looks like a lot of work – is there a quick way to do this?
I’m holding a 90-minute workshop that answers all those questions, and more, on March 21st.
And if you can’t make it live, I’ll definitely miss you, but will send you a recording so you can watch it whenever you like.
Hey everyone, Marianne here. What did you think? I think these tips are super valuable and can be used for anything you’re trying to sell, not just client calls. Think about using these ideas on a webinar or even in your sales pages!
I also want you to know that I am an affiliate for this workshop and while I have obviously not yet attended, I am a past and current client of Razwana’s and think her skills are top notch!
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