The biggest struggle for new business owners and freelancers after getting inquires is closing the sale. We all hate being salesy. Here are my simple tips to getting that sale and dealing with negotiators.
First let’s take a moment to enjoy my silly snooty artist face lol.
OK now to business!
1. Know your worth. You have to do the math. Break down your time into hours for the service or product. Think of the development, expenses, advertising, all the details that goes into your business. For example if you are a photographer you need to calculate your time (editing included), advertising, website maintenance, workshops, travel, equipment costs and maintenance, schooling or education background to know how to do everything you do, insurance, your own health insurance, how much you want your salary to be, etc. EVERY LITTLE DETAIL! It’s not just a 2 hour shoot and digital files. Not even close! Give yourself some credit for all the hard work you do. Don’t allow yourself to work for minimum wage or below just like so many do. You will resent your clients and your profession. Know your worth and be firm on pricing.
2. Don’t be desperate. In the beginning when you are struggling with money and have no customers or clients it can get stressful. No matter what you are feeling internally, you must push that aside and NEVER ALLOW THAT TO SHOW THROUGH TO CLIENTS! They can smell it, they can hear it in your voice. And two things happen. They either lose faith in you and your abilities and go elsewhere or they get greedy. They try to get you to work for little or no money. They beat you into submission. They don’t have to know about your personal business struggles. Go in like the top in your field. Think like you have tons of people knocking on your door and act like it too. When you tell yourself you are the best, they will treat you like you are the best. Experience is not even a requirement of this. It’s all in YOU! That’s a huge tip. People don’t care about the other stuff you obsess about. They just want someone who they can trust to solve their problem. If you act like you know what you are doing and show off that confidence they will be set at ease. They are not there to solve your no money problem, you are their to solve THEIR problem. Show you are the one to do it. You know you can give them what they need, now act like it!
3. Do it on your home turf. Where you negotiate pricing (if done in person) is make or break! You NEVER EVER EVER want to meet on their own turf. Never let them choose the location, NEVER EVER EVER meet at their office, and certainly not in their home. Always your chosen spot (that you are familiar with), your office, or even your home (assuming there are not distractions and it looks professional). You put yourself in a low power position. They become the power player and you are begging for scraps. You need to bend the rules in your favor. Where you close the deal is just as important as how!
4. The first one to speak is the loser. Here is my negotiation power tip baby! Say your prices with confidence. No “but”, no nonsense. Say it like a fact that is not up for discussion. You know you are worth what you asked for and that’s the end of it. Enjoy the silence.
Sometimes when you say your prices people will not speak. If you freak out during the silence because you think they are going to run away because you are too expensive…you are going to lose. Negotiation is a game. There is a winner and a loser. It’s fun for those who enjoy negotiating. Know your power, say your price and hold your own. I don’t care if they take 5, 10, or 15 minutes to speak after you tell them your prices. Poker face, half smile, whatever you want. Show no fear and don’t speak first. Experienced negotiators all know that making you uncomfortable can get big discounts. They are counting on you to sweat and be desperate. Sometimes if they take extra long I start to pack up my materials with a smile. If it takes really long I thank them for their time and tell them to let me know when they are ready to move forward. I’ll walk them out with a big friendly smile and not sweat it. Guess what, once they see I’m not backing down, they HAVE to have me. Not only that, but they treat me differently once I’m hired. Not like a slave, but as an expert and professional they respect. This is a respect building technique just as much as a negotiating one.
5. Let them walk! There will be times that you are just not the right fit for someone. They don’t have the budget, whatever the reason, take it with stride. As long as you were professional and kept your power and their respect they will think of you if things change for them. If you had agreed to work for less, you would NEVER earn what you wanted. They will never think of you that way. If in the future their budget does increase they will hire the one that was originally out of their price range, not you. Never let them manipulate you into thinking they will refer clients to you or come back if their budget increases in the future. Once you agree to work for less, that’s your rate in their mind forever. Offering referrals and the possibility of future work is a negotiating tactic. It is not the truth. Don’t fall for it. It’s good business to let people walk away that are not able to afford you. You are not a good fit for everyone and that’s just fine. Keep hustling until the right clients come along. If you don’t give in or give up it will happen.
I hope you found these tips helpful. If you did please take the time to share with others who you feel would benefit. As always for more free advice on business and relationships jump on the list and get your business website to wow with your free ebook guide.
Get to the comments and let me know any tips you have to close the sale! Sharing is caring. ;)