How to Master Sales and follow up for Freelancing
September 1, 2015
September 1, 2015
Freelancers have a role – among many others – in sales (for themselves), much like sales people work everyday to build a pipeline, manage their sales process, and bring in the cash.
Your sales management prowess puts the food on the table. It’s the only way to make sure you get clients. It’s exactly what keeps the lights, pays the bills, and helps you survive.
Being that important, it’s surprising that most freelancers don’t it as often as they should. If they do, they don’t bring themselves to do it right.
Here’s how to bring in a semblance of a system to your sales and follow up for freelancing business:
Here’s how a typical freelancer does sales: call up, email, or meet prospects. Close deals. Get busy with the mountain-loads of work that you’d now need to do to meet deadlines.
As a result, your sales activity will now see a slow death while you’d spend the entire day on actual work.
The trouble comes when any of your clients leave (for any reason). When that happens, you are back to square one. You’d have to start looking for work again.
That’s why it’s critical to keep the sales engine going, whether or not you have clients.
Use a CRM
The CRM market is crowded, and that’s good news for us freelancers. You have a ton of options to choose from and you’d not need anything fancy at all.
A CRM system allows you to track every piece of communication, phone call, and actual in-person meetings so that you’d never lose sight of every interaction you have.
CRM tools also allow you to make special notes on every client, set up to-do tasks related to that lead, and mark the sales call as “hot”, “warm”, “cold”, “converted”, “deal”, etc.
Using a CRM helps you keep a tight control on your lead data. It allows you to follow up thoroughly, and ensures that you have a system in place.
Follow up until you get a response
As Steli Efti of Close.io puts it, most people who have anything to do with sales and follow-ups give up after the initial calls and a few random follow-ups.
The key is to follow-up until you get a response – no matter what that response is. If it’s a yes, you are in business. If it’s a no, try to find out why (even if you don’t get business, you’ll get insights, referrals, or maybe just a friend you can chat with).
Keep In touch
All of us are busy, and have work to do. Life also comes in between. Your prospects can forget your pitch, end up doing something else that’s high priority for them, and time can pass through a vacuum. It’s important to keep in touch without being pushy or salesy about it.
Use social media if that’s what you are comfortable with. Or maybe email marketing?
Which of these freelancing sales mistakes are you guilty of?