Myrna King has more than 25 years of experience selling services in finance, computer technology, and marketing. Myrna is a business and personal coach and co-founder of Austin Coaching Coalition and the Small Business Festival. She loves providing results to happy clients and discovering new ways to win together. As co-organizer of a local TEDx women’s conference, Myrna appreciates the unique value each person brings to a project.
Business coach Myrna King knows that simple steps, executed day by day, yield consistent results.
She also knows that building a business and finding clients is a lot like dating. You can try to sell yourself as someone you’re not – in the hopes of attracting a wide range of people – or you can be yourself and attract the right client.
But first things first…
Are you a hunter or a farmer?
Old sales models encouraged a “shoot-to-kill” model of client building. After selling ice to the proverbial eskimo, the salesperson moved on – never really caring if the eskimo even wanted ice in the first place.
This hunting mentality doesn’t work in today’s world.
Consumers – and your potential clients – are looking for farmers. They want a carefully cultivated relationship where they can trust that you have their best interests at heart. They don’t want ice they don’t need. And they certainly don’t want really expensive ice they don’t need.
Farming to build client trust
In this relationship-based sales model, customization and good listening skills are your greatest allies. Begin a sales conversation by taking into account who you are, who the client is, and what matters most to each of you.
As a salesperson, your responsibility is to:
- Be kind, curious, and open-minded – and give a damn about your client!
- State your crystal-clear “ask” (goal) up front
- Understand your client’s budget and what they define as project success
- Know your product or service completely, and be transparent about your skills
- Offer help or support in return, with or without a sale
- “Close” by outlining next steps in the process – should they decide to move forward
But does it work???
With this method of client conversation, you’ll soon find that – like dating – you’re more likely to attract clients who are a good fit. You’ll set yourself up for project success and win-win outcomes that earn you raving fans AND referrals (the holy grail of freelancers).
And best of all, you’ll begin to build a really great clientele that you truly enjoy. Huzzah!