There are 5 principles of selling that are the key to successful business growth and boosting revenues.
Ask any salesperson what is the definition of selling. Ask 10 of them, and you will get 10 different answers.
However, selling is something fundamental to every business, and these 5 principles form the core of selling, and they remain unchanged.
So If you are a freelancer looking to find new clients these principles work just for you as they are universal.
Before we delve into the 5 principles, I want to share an anecdote of two 3-year-old.
They demonstrated the 5 principles of selling and taught me sales lessons I will never forget.
It was the month of December, and we were visiting friends. It is hot any time of the year, especially if you are in that part of the country.
Last-minute purchases so, the two dads got down leaving behind 4 people in the car- 2 moms and two 3-year-old.
My son was irritated, feeling hot, and stuffy despite the A/C, and stripped down to his shorts.
To add to that, the other 3-year-old started to play his favourite song on the loop.
The heat did not affect him as he was used to the humid weather, but my son who was experiencing it for the first time was on his edge, and the song added fuel to the fire.
Negotiations began between them, and they delivered sales lessons I haven’t forgotten to date.
My son had a candy that the other kid wanted, and the other kid had control of the music system because it was his dad’s car.
My son first pleaded, requested, and finally threatened him with “I am not your friend”, but it made no difference to the other kid.
He was calm, composed, and ready to wait. He was in complete control.
My son was desperate and was ready to give him the candy in return for stopping the music.
Exactly what the other guy wanted, and he quickly struck the deal.
But the deal lasted as long as the candy was in his hand. The minute he popped it into his mouth, the music started, and my kid lost both the candy and the peace he wanted.
This entire episode taught me some sales lessons I still remember which I have listed below-
- Identify your customer pain points
- Be ready to address it with the right pitch
- Always offer value to the customer
- Do not ever leave the customer holding the wrong end of the stick after he trusts you.
- Deliver on your promises.
- Never strike a deal in desperation.
Trust is a necessary factor in a customer and sales relationship. (my son to date refuses to trust the other kid)
Customer trust helps bring in more sales through reviews and recommendations, and also the converse is true ( my son never hesitates to tell all their friends not to trust that kid)
The lessons I learned that day are true for every business.
Let us now look at the top 5 principles Freelancers should adhere to for a successful sale and long-lasting relationship with clients.
Listen more than talking-
Research shows every sale is around 40% talking and 60% listening.
Only the customer knows what he wants, his pain points and problems, and the solutions he is looking for.
Understanding and addressing them by listening is half the job done.
Rather than articulating what your product has to offer or how it can change his life-
You will be able to tell the customer how your product can add value, help him in his concern areas and address his needs.
It is what the customer wants, and showing him exactly how it will resolve his concerns makes them more open to listening to you and the solution you have to offer.
Now extrapolate the situation to the freelancing skills that you have to offer.
Understand what the client needs and which skill of yours can help him solve that problem.
You can only complete some sales by selling, but with trust-building, you form a relationship.
Hence one of the the most important principles of selling.
A happy customer will always come back to you for more and bring in more customers.
Continue the relationship after sales. Send them articles and related news to help their business even if you didn’t write it.
It lets the customer know you care for them and their business, and you are not just a salesperson.
Trust can go a long way in boosting sales, and the converse is also true.
Remember the frustrating times you faced trying to reach the salesperson after you bought something?
Have you recommended them to anyone?
In this world of digital marketing, remember trust is a key factor, and your reputation precedes you.
Similarly, as a freelancer trying to find clients always be prepared to address any edits the client may need.
Sometimes even after the payments are done it is a healthy practice to drop in a line.
Showing that you are always there should the client need some help because something has changed adds value.
Never sell something in desperation. It harms your reputation as a brand.
Every customer will expect the same deal from you, which may not work out for the company.
Customers may doubt the product’s credibility if the offer feels too good to be true.
Instead, see what value you can bring to the customer and pitch that.
Pricing coupled with the value-added through your product can help you close deals rather than desperation.
Exactly what you too should avoid as a freelancer.
It leaves you with an unpleasant feeling that you are left with the short end of the stick.
It may impact your deliverables which may not work out well in the long run. After all, it impacts the trust factor.
Keep your promises-
This comes from building trust. Nobody wants to feel cheated after they trust you and strike a deal.
Always deliver on your promises.
Customer trust and honesty in your dealings are major influencers to drive more customers to your business.
You can achieve this by delivering on the promise of providing solutions to the customers’ problems.
This is something that needs no explanation. Freelancer or not keeping up promises is a no compromise.
Be persistent but not an irritant-
Cold calls and emails are fine to prospects but only to a point.
If the customer expresses his wish not to be contacted, respect it.
Do not become the pesky salesperson everyone wants to avoid.
You harm the brand you work for because the words of mouth are –
Oh! That brand is a pain. Every day 10 different guys call me after I have told them I am not interested.
This feeling remains within, and that customer will never get back to you even in the future.
He will also influence others to avoid your brand because of that one bad sales call.
Persistence is the key but not always. Recognize when to step back.
These 5 principles of selling are worth following to strike a deal and close the deal for continued sales.
Customers are interested only in their business and not your product.
So remember it is not your product but the solution you bring to the customer that is the deciding factor of a successful sale.
As a freelancer, it is your skills, commitment, and trust you build that closes the deal and not jargon.