Cover art for podcast The Freelance Podclass

The Freelance Podclass

85 EpisodesProduced by Craig CanningsWebsite

The Freelance Podclass is not your ordinary podcast! It features a series of actionable lessons designed to help you solve the biggest challenges you are facing in launching and growing a profitable Freelance Business. Join the founder of Freelance University, Craig Cannings, and an amazing faculty … read more

24:04

The Closing the Sale Class

In this class we talk about the art of closing the sale. Some of you may struggle with closing the sale as it can be a difficult process and you don’t want to disrupt the relationship you have already established with a prospect. But there are good ways to respectfully call potential clients to action and lead them to purchase your services. In this Podclass, I guide you through 12 steps that you can take to effectively close a sale with a prospective client.

 

Podcast Outline:

0:00 - Opening thoughts

0:58 - Introduction to the topic of “Closing the Sale with a Client”

2:21 - Challenges to closing the sale:

  • Your greatest strengths often are your greatest weaknesses.

 

3:25 - Two guiding principles to think about as you’re entering the final stage of turning people potentially from a prospect over to a client:

  • 1) Closing the sale is not a one-time thing but an ongoing process.
    • If you feel like you didn’t get it right in that first call, don’t beat yourself up.
    • It sometimes takes multiple touchpoints.
  • 2) First impressions are almost everything.
    • You’re already starting the process of closing the sale in that very first introduction with someone at a networking meeting or discovery call.
    • People like to work with people they know, like, and trust.

 

5:55 - 12 Steps to Closing the Sale with a Client:

 

  • 6:19 - 1) Be prepared.
    • Before a discovery call, research the website and the social media channels of the person that you’re meeting.
    • Assess how you may be able to help them.
    • Practice your elevator pitch (communicating your Unique Value Proposition).

 

  • 8:45 - 2) Get on a video call ideally.
    • Body language is important to establishing connection with somebody.

 

  • 9:53 - 3) Ask great open-ended questions on the call.
    • “What issues are you trying to solve in your business right now?” 
    • “What are the challenges that you’re facing?” 
    • “What are some skill or time gaps that you need to fill right now?” 
      • Skill gaps = some areas that they are maybe doing work in their business that they’re not really good at
      • Time gaps = spending too much time on managing their social media or administrative tasks that they are missing out on some of the core business tasks that they should be doing
    • “How has your business changed in the last six months that may be impacting your current needs?” (“As your business has grown and evolved, how is that impacting what you need right now?”)
    • Use preference scoring - E.g. “On a scale of one to five, with five being the most important, how would you rank the following priorities that you’ve just laid out?” (“What’s most important that you need to attend to in your business right now?”)

 

  • 11:25 - 4) Offer advice and resources where appropriate.
    • Position yourself as a credible advisor who builds confidence.
    • Give some tips.
    • Suggest a cool tool, plugin, or app.

 

  • 12:36 - 5) Leverage urgency and scarcity where appropriate.
    • Be honest and clear.
    • If you have one client spot left, let them know.
    • E.g. “It sounds like you need somebody quickly to start this project.” “Hey, this looks like a gap that you might need to fill right away, and I do have a spot available to help you right now.”

 

  • 13:58 - 6) Customize your service packages where appropriate.
    • Tailor packages and services to meet their specific needs.

 

  • 14:48 - 7) Highlight client success stories or your success in specific areas where appropriate.
    • Social proof is another powerful psychological trigger that might turn a “maybe” into a “yes.”

 

  • 16:02 - 8) Add value with additional bonuses where appropriate.
    • E.g. special training library, checklists, resources, courses, another service as part of an existing package, or a one-hour consult

 

  • 17:07 - 9) Get client prospects to agree with you through the sales process.
    • “Does that make sense to you?”
    • “Do you know what I mean there?”
    • “Are we on the same page?”
    • “Is this clear for you?”
    • “Is this right?”
    • If your offer is confusing, that can be a deterrent to them working with you. Prompting to make sure they understand what you’re saying is an important part of closing the sale.

 

  • 18:14 - 10) Don’t be afraid to tactfully ask for the sale.
    • This is the power of the ask.
    • You may use non-aggressive tactics or questions or statements like “So why don’t we give this a try? Let’s start with a small project or a time trial and go from there. How does that sound?”
    • “I have time to start working on your project now. How do you want to proceed? Are you ready to move forward? I could send along a proposal by tomorrow.”
    • “What happens next? Where do you want to go next?”
    • “Tell your thoughts. Share your thoughts on what I’ve proposed to you.”
    • “Unless you have any other questions or concerns, are you ready to move forward? Are you ready to get started?”
    • “I think you have a great company, and I believe we could do a great job for you here. How do we get started together? How do we begin working together?”

 

  • 19:51 - 11) Offer value in every followup.
    • Once you’ve done that discovery call or had that meeting, send them an email almost immediately, thanking them for their time and then recapping what you spoke about.
    • Provide resources with links to tools.
    • Address objections.
    • Lay out any next steps.
    • Attach a branded proposal.

 

  • 21:06 - 12) Consider pricing plans where appropriate.
    • Don’t put yourself at any risk.
    • Get something up front.
    • Negotiating a little bit allows you to turn this person into a client.

 

23:10 - Summary and encouragement

23:24 - Where to access the handout on the 12 steps and sample questions

23:46 - Final thoughts

 

Resources and tools discussed in this episode:

 

Zoom: https://zoom.us/ 

Skype: https://www.skype.com/en/ 

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/ 

WordPress: https://wordpress.org/ 

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