10 simple steps to higher value work
These simple steps is all about you selling higher value projects for higher value work which will differentiate you from the other freelancers out there. If you just follow these 10 simple steps your clients will notice and appreciate that you work in a different way than most freelancers. And they will actually thank you for it, and you’ll thank yourself later on.
1. Do not sell a commodity.
This is about you stopping to try to beat your competition on price when you are selling the same service. As freelancers we do this all the time and we need to change our way of thinking ,what you do is of value. And you need to position yourself based on value with your customer.
2. Be forever curious to find true needs.
Your customers comes to you with some sort of pain or problem. By asking good questions (why, is an excellent question) and digging deep (ask why more than once) you’re more likely to get to the root of that pain or problem. Thus being able to execute a smashing solution!
3. Never shortcut discovery.
Do yourself this one favour and never ever try to race through your process and check you boxes with your customer. This will only lead to low value projects and scope creeping. You need to get to that root pain that you are going to solve, and this is the only way.
4. Never leave a meeting without a commitment to your next scheduled interaction.
We all hate to chase down the potential customer, sending emails that never get answered, leaving messages on their voicemail and so on. It drains your energy, so the next time you’re about to end an interaction with a potential customer, make sure you set a new appointment straight away.
5. Prepare for sales meetings for at least as long as the planned meeting time.
Do not make the mistake of showing up to a meeting unprepared. It will make huge difference if you put in a little effort to do some research on their online presence, market, competitors, etc. If you expect to be in a meeting for an hour, spend an hour researching and preparing.
6. Never just email a proposal.
Everybody does this. You gotten to the point where you finally put together a proposal, and you hit send in your email client and cross your fingers. What happens it that the proposal goes into a pile of other proposal, or doesn’t get read. And you end up chasing the customer… again. So make sure yo go over the proposal together, preferably in person, but at least by phone or skype. Then you get to tackle all of their question straight away and nail your proposal.
7. Never let urgency or momentum drive the sales process.
You can’t give a good proposal without going through your sales process. You need to learn more about the customer and find their true pains, and you can only do this with time on your side. No one benefits from rushing into a project, not you and not the customer. At best, it will hurt more later on. Take some time to find out what causes this urgency instead, is there an event or a milestone that’s driving this need for a quick deadline.
8. Sell solutions that solve needs, not interests.
Make sure that whatever you are proposing is going to solve a real need in their business. A real need is not that they feel they need to update their logo or that their website doesn’t look good. You have to identify a problem in their business, what is it costing them and how you can solve that problem.
9. Know that your clients can’t articulate their true need in a single meeting.
You think you can get every bit you need in one meeting, but you rarely do. You miss an opportunity to do proper research and the customer don’t get a chance to think about what you have brought to their attention. You can be sure that they probably forgot to tell you something in that one meeting and it could be a critical piece of information. Spread your meetings out to at least four meetings, you won’t regret it.
10. Know that your biggest competitor is most likely doing nothing.
You’ve probably lost more deals to clients that decided to not move forward with anybody, than you have to competitors. More often than not somebody in the business gets the assigned the task of going out and getting a few proposals for a website, and the problem is that business didn’t really have a true pain or problem. So how do you overcome losing to no decision? You have to spend time with your customer through multiple meetings, by building value for the services that you offer, by sharing with them data, information, and knowledge over an extended period of time in the sales process.
There you have it! These points will make your freelancing life less stressful. Love to hear your comments on this or if you have any other great advice you like to share.