I know what you’re thinking — Sales tips? Are you kidding – I’m a translator and I hate selling!
Believe it or not, I hear statements similar to this from my translator friends on a regular basis.
I used to feel that way, too.
After all, most people chose this career path because they love translation and language, not because they feel comfortable selling something.
I’m sorry to say this, but whichever industry you are in, as soon as you decide to become a service provider, you are selling something – your skills and/or your services!
Clients need your service, but if you don’t demonstrate that you have the product for them, and are eager to do the job, they’ll go somewhere else.
You have to take marketing and sales seriously if you want your business to succeed. That includes learning marketing, sales and cold calling tips etc. The truth is, when you make good money, you feel good about serving your clients and about your work, too. And subsequently your clients will be happier. Use the following 5 sales tips to boost your freelance income.
1- Prospect before sell
Prospecting is to find out if someone has interest in buy your service. Sales tips only work when you sell to the right people. But if you don’t have enough of a network, you have very limited resources to prospect.
That’s why it is extremely important for freelancers to get out there and establish contacts through daytime jobs, social networking clubs and volunteering. The more people you contact, the more prospects you will find and the more you can sell to.
2- Ask open ended questions
Selling is much about meeting needs. Ask your prospects many open ended questions to gather information about their needs and concerns. When you know their problems, you are more likely to provide a valuable solution.
So, instead of just asking someone “Do you use translators often?”, which may get you a simple yes or no answer, ask “What kind of work do you use a translator for?” Not everyone has a primary concern for price, so asking the right questions also helps you find the right type of clients.
3- Know your competitors well
What are the features and prices your competitors offer? What makes your service different from theirs? What are the benefits your clients get to justify the price they pay?
One of the most important sales tips is to avoid getting into a low pricing war with your competitors by stating the advantages your clients get if they hire you. Remember, your competitors can be your allies, too. Stay connected with your translator friends as you may exchange overflow work to each other when you get more than you can handle.
Selling is not an occasional task you only take when hungry for clients. You have to consistently market and promote your service. It is often too late to dig a well when you are thirsty.
So think about selling consistently so your freelance business won’t suffer from feast or famine syndrome. The secret to have a consistent and continuous flow of job requests is to stay on your potential clients’ radar on a regular basis.
5- Stay connected
Create a database of your clients. That list is a valuable asset to your freelance business. Track such things as who is the main contact, when, why and how do they use your service, etc. Stay connected with them as much as you can. Send a card or make a phone call to refresh your connection with them. Offer genuine suggestions or provide them with relevant information whenever you can.