SECTION TWENTY ONE of the ULTIMATE SEO FREELANCER GUIDE - THE REALITY!
Let’s get down to selling – The process
Over the years, I have spent hundreds if not thousands of hours writing proposal after proposal only to find it never turned into business as my proposal was either priced too high or too low. Yes, depending on your target client, some companies won’t even take you seriously unless you are charging at a certain level.
As a freelancer with limited time on your hands, you just cannot afford to waste time. Everything you do must be productive.
A massive turning point for me was when I decided never to write another proposal again unless I received a budget (investment level) from the prospect up front.
Sales tips - Selling face-to-face
If possible, I always like to arrange a face-to-face meeting where I hand-deliver the proposal and talk through it. That way you can answer any questions they have straight away. This will put them at ease.
In fact, if it is a high value client, I even create a nice slide of the proposal and present it to the key decision makers within the company. I enjoy talking as I’m a professional speaker, so presenting is no big deal for me. If you just don’t have the confidence or your nerves start to go crazy at the thought of presenting your pitch, just stick to going through the paper copy only.
One big advantage of pitching live is that there is nowhere to hide. The prospect cannot just turn around and say, “I’ll look at it next week” or “I’m busy right now”.
I even go to a sales pitch with the contract already drawn up ready for them to sign. Some people think I’m daft for doing this and that you should always walk away and give the prospect time to think the proposal over.
The way I see it is that you have presented a proposal that is a no-brainer and you have answered every question the prospect has asked. So, what’s there to think about? All you are doing is giving them time to change their mind. After all, it was them who gave you the investment level they were happy to work with.
If the proposal has been presented correctly, you won’t have to do any selling.
If distance is an issue with you presenting your pitch in person, you can always present over Zoom and the exact same applies.
Sales tips - Selling via email
For me this must be a last resort. Even low value prospects need to feel special, so investing the cost of postage to send a professional proposal by post (considering you will have a much higher conversion rate) is a no-brainer.
If for whatever reason you decide to email your proposal, make sure it looks very professional. Follow up by asking them if they received your proposal and if they have any questions.
Can you start to see why I don’t use email to sell?
It is very impersonal and cold, but many SEO freelancers still use email to send their proposals simply because they fear picking the phone up and speaking to a real person or jumping on Zoom to pitch. The fact is you are in business running your one-person agency to make money so you need to get over your fears (and fast) or you might as well go and get your 9-5 job back.
Hungry for more?
Re-visit a previous section:
Section 1: SEO freelancing stories
Section 4: Be realistic about your own SEO skillset
Section 5: Understanding who your clients are
Section 7: Be very mindful of – The promise trap
Section 9: The SEO freelancer payment terms
Section 10: Creating the perfect work / life balance
Section 11: Build a freelance support network around you
Section 12: What and how should an SEO freelancer charge?
Section 13: The isolation of being an SEO freelancer
Section 14: Get yourself a mentor or coach
Section 17: The perfect lead for an SEO freelancer
Section 19: Get a budget up-front