In today’s article, we’ll cover Part 3 of Marketing Basics. If you missed Part 1: Shameless Self-Promotion and Attracting Clients read it here. And you can find Part 2: Generating Leads and Following Up here.
Today we’ll cover the part of marketing that web writers often consider the scariest: Closing the Sale.
Closing The Sale
Let’s say you’ve done everything right. You promoted yourself and generated interest. You collected a lead and followed up until they said they want to talk to you. Now you have them on the phone and you’re terrified you’ll mess up and lose them — and all your work up to this point.
Here’s a simple (low-stress) plan you can follow to close a sale:
1. Take a deep breath and get your mindset straight.
It’s important to always be working new leads. That way, if you don’t get a job, you have plenty more that you could get. This eliminates pressure, helps you negotiate better, and makes you sound more relaxed when you’re on the phone with a potential client.
2. Keep in mind this potential client needs what you offer.
They need better copy and you’re well trained to provide that. You’re not trying to get their money or scam them. You’re offering them a real service they desperately need to keep their business running. They need you.
3. Realize that a sale is all about building a relationship.
Someone might not be ready to buy today, but they could come back tomorrow, next week, or next month. Even if they say “no” today, all is not lost.
Talk to them, give them suggestions, and help them as much as possible. This attitude will lead to a lot of work and referrals.
Now that you’re going into the conversation knowing they need you, but might not buy today, the question remains: What should you say?
4. Have a basic script.
In Book Yourself Solid by Michael Port, he shares a way to get immediate results that I’m very fond of. He calls it “The Super Simple Selling System Made Even Simpler.”
You could spend the next few days, weeks, months, or even years learning all you can about marketing and selling or you can use Port’s shortcut:
- Inquire: What is your goal?
- Show the benefits after they reach the goal.
- Offer: Would you like a partner to help you with that?
Let’s apply his example to web writing:
- Inquire: What is your goal?
They might say to make more sales. Remember this and repeat it back to them often by saying things like, “Because your goal is to make more sales … ”
- Show the benefits of working with you.
You might point out a few reasons why their current website copy isn’t working. Maybe there are too many options, no clear call-to-action, or maybe the benefits of buying aren’t clear. Explain that fixing these problem areas is your specialty. When they work with you, they will “make more sales from their website.”
You could also give them some stats like, “If we increase your conversion rate by just 1%, that’s $X,XXX more per month.” This way, they can see the value of hiring you.
- Then, offer your services to help them with their goal. You could say something like, “I’m the perfect person to help you reach your goal of making more sales on your website because … (fill in your experience, passion about their niche, etc.). When can we get started?”
They might say “now,” or “I’m not ready yet,” or “let me give you a call.” Whatever they say, don’t let them go without finding out when your next contact will be.
If they’re ready to get started now, great! Tell them the next steps. If they say they’re not ready yet, you could ask if you can follow up in a week. If they say they’ll give you a call or get back to you, you might say you’ll send them some additional information via email.
5. Know your policies up front.
One of the scariest things about getting on the phone with a potential client is the thought that they might ask you something you don’t know the answer to. You can solve this and put that worry to rest by knowing how you will respond.
Make policies when you can. Know your price ranges, how much you require down to get started, whether you need a contract or not, etc. Don’t make these decisions on the spot.
For everything else, practice saying; “Let me get back to you on that.” If anyone asks you something you don’t know the answer to, just say, “Let me get back to you on that” or some variation.
If they ask the price and you want time to think about the workload, research involved, company size, etc., say, “Let me get back to you on that.” You might also ask them if they have a budget in mind, so that you can put together a realistic proposal based on their needs.
If they ask about your experience in a certain area and you’re drawing a blank say, “I’ll send you an email detailing it.” Then, you have time to take whatever experience you have and turn it into benefits for them.
If they ask if you can write a type of copy that you’ve never heard of say, “Let me get back to you on that.”
It’s really okay not to know everything.
Asking for More
Let’s say you got the job or they asked you for more information or a quote. This is a great time to point out the other things they could do and increase your project fee.
For example, they want you to rewrite their home page copy. You could do that and only that. Let’s say you charge $1,000 for that service. Sounds great!
But, what if you could make more just by making a few suggestions?
One thing you could do is offer a free website critique. This puts you in a consultant role instead of a freelance writer role. Then, in the critique, you point out other problem areas and explain how much making certain changes would help them.
For example, you could suggest a bait piece to collect leads to follow up with, autoresponders to follow up with those leads, follow up emails to people who abandon their cart, copy for other frequently visited pages, etc.
For more information on this tactic, please read 7 Words That Can Instantly Add $1,000-Or More-To Your Copywriting Fees.
So, how’s your marketing going? Do you have any questions? Please post them in the comments below.
This article is part of the Marketing Basics series.
Series Table of Contents:
- Marketing Basics: Shameless Self-Promotion and Attracting Clients
- Marketing Basics: Generating Leads & Following Up
- Marketing Basics: Closing the Sale & Asking for More (This Article)
- Marketing Basics: Generating Repeat Business and Referrals