I’ve recently been in search of a few new clients to ramp up my work a little to see if I can match the new work load by becoming more efficient and productive. after all, life is about challenging yourself, right? Well, after brushing up on my pitching skills, I went in search of these new shining prospects, and let me tell you, I was just struck with the memories of when I first started freelancing and how difficult it was to “get your foot through the door”.
You would call up countless prospective clients, only to be rejected time and time again, and it becomes very disheartening to say the least – so I decided to scrap the mass cold calling and emailing strategy that wasn’t working for me, and decided to go with a new more targeted strategy where I would focus on pitching to a very, very small pool of prospective clients. But how would I get through to them without seeming too much like a typical salesman? Well, the best way, and the only real effective way is through your contacts.
Your contacts are perhaps your most important asset in any business. Who you know is half the battle. Well, I decided to get some help from a friend of mine who has been in business for over 25 years in his own niche, and see if I could get them to help me make a few visits to prospective clients who have done business with him in the past. Let me tell you, the strategy worked like a charm.
Because of the strong rapport between my friend and his business contacts (as he’s done business with them over a period of years) there was an instant sense of appreciation and acceptance by the prospective clients, and because I was being recommended by a good friend/business contact of theirs, they looked way deeper into the proposals I had to offer.
I could say that having the contacts (and only that) is not enough. I did approach each individual prospective client with a very strong case and proposal, and really pointed out exactly how I could help their business expand online – the message really resonated with them, because of pitching solely from the perspective of the client, and how what I offered was going to help him and his business.
Those who are new to freelancing tend to get caught up in their own excitement and think they can just call a bunch of businesses and instantly get some work. That may work for some, but I find it extremely time consuming and ineffective. I would urge those of you who have not tried this type of referral method of gaining clients to definitely give it a go, and see how it does for them.
How do you pitch to new potential clients, or first approach them?
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