Hello friend! How is your week so far? Good? Awesome. Let’s talk about business for a minute. Tactics that you can incorporate in your business in order to achieve greater levels of success (and we all love success). Ok, I’ll begin this with a simple question:
Some clients come to talk with us already with strong objections prepared, when we are about to talk about their project’s:
Your job, should you choose to accept it (no, it’s not Mission Impossible) is to REMOVE those objections in the client’s head and sell yourself hard making him believe that YOU are the ONLY GUY that can solve his problem! And in order to do that my friend…
You need to ask the right questions.
And that’s what we are going to talk about now, so separate for YOU just 6 minutes for this article and you’ll leave this awesome website (come on! it’s awesome and you know it! ) with these hands-on knowledge:
- You’ll understand the client’s perspective of the negotiation
- You’ll be more objective when dealing with your clients
- You’ll be able to create a more solid and precise scope for your projects
And with all this, comes a smart price and a smart deadline.
So let’s BEGIN!!!
#Q1: WHAT’S YOUR GOAL?
First of all, you have to understand that most clients DON’T HAVE A CLUE of what they want! They want results, but they aren’t even sure which results they need! Yeah I know, it’s stupid but those are the fellows that pay for your rent, food, internet connection, girlfriend’s monster shopping at the mall and PS4 games.
Sooooooooooo, you need give your client a starting point! That’s where it all begins and you have to be clever about it or you’ll put yourself in debt with your client because you failed to set the Scope and understand the client’s expectations.
So, start with this question:
Whatever are the client’s answers, you need to check if he provided you:
- 1. The definition of success in his own business view
- 2. His business hidden needs behind his definition of success
Seems confusing? Here I will explain better.
Your client tells you this:
Analyze this for 5 seconds.
What is his view of success? Becoming the number #1 store at his segment.
What he truly needs to be happy? Double his sales in the next semester.
Become goal-oriented. Become effective.
Now let’s continue and see what should be your NEXT QUESTION!
#Q2: WHAT ARE THE PROBLEMS THAT ARE KEEPING YOU FROM REACHING THOSE GOALS?
You are a freelance writer that is about to be hired either to work as a article writer, a sales letter writer or a marketing strategist in general. Ok, awesome.
But……….WHAT is the starting point for your client’s brand? If your client has a problem in making his business grow, because his brand mistreated his customers and therefore they are all angry or he suffered a few unjust lawsuits, then you have some double work my friend.
OF COURSE you won’t ask your client if his brand is messed up! Of course not!
But you will — and MUST — ask him this:
This will make the client think, and explain to you which are the points — again, in his view — that kept him from achieving his business needs. From there you’ll just have to break down his answers to check if what he is telling you, makes sense.
For instance, clients will usually say things like this to you:
1. “— I didn’t have enough money to boost my brand at the market”
2. “— Because I worked with the wrong professionals in the past, and that didn’t bring me any results” (DANGER!)
Point 1 is ok because he can be both wrong and right at the same time.
Yes yes, I know. Calm down, here watch this. But what I mean is that his goals may be TOO BIG for his time-window and therefore, he believes that the only ideal solution would be to invest hard on traditional advertising like banners, outdoors etc.
Ok, if his time-window is very narrow then he…..IS…..RIGHT!
The only way to boost your brand in 3 months or less is to invest money like there is no tomorrow! Surely this will bring results if you have a solid base for your business like a strong website, client’s e-mails etc.
BUT…………he can also be WRONG!
Clients usually forget about the POWER of inbound marketing nowadays. If you can create awesome content that engages every visitor, if you can write smart sales letters that use mental triggers and you can create a solid action plan with everything related to this new Marketing 2.0 world, you can transform his business with almost no money at all!
But…this takes TIME! And if the client doesn’t have a good time-window…
Then inbound marketing won’t be the ultimate solution for his business.
Ok, but this point 1 is easy to work with, what you’ll have to pay attention is POINT 2!
The point 2 answer to you is something that you’ll need to GO DEEP because you’ll have to know:
- What is the definition of a “wrong professional” for him?
- How many “wrong professionals” has he worked with in the past?
- What is the definition of results for him? (HA! We covered this on the #1 Question!)
The answers for these questions will tell you if who you are talking to is a bad client or if indeed he is telling you the truth. So enter Sherlock Holmes mode and GET THE ANSWERS!!!
Ok, now let’s continue.
#Q3: HOW ARE YOU GOING TO MEASURE THE RESULTS OF MY WORK?
After you know which are the results your client expect you’ll have to set a way to measure the success itself, otherwise you both will be lost in that continuous mental struggle mostly known as:
“Shit. Wait….where are we going?! Have we reached that point yet? Why not? Why yes?”
If you don’t DEFINE what are the metrics that will say to your client:
“HEY CLIENT!!! Here! SUCCESS!!! :)”
Then…………he will probably see your work as a failure and also, a waste of time. That’s bad for your personal brand and therefore, for your freelance writing business.
So your question for your client should be:
Let’s make it simple. Let’s continue with that e-commerce client for a moment.
If his answer to you is something like this:
“— If I have 10.000 new visitors to my online store that came from my blog, then you were successful and delivered me the results I expected.”
“— If I have a 30% raise at the clicking rate on my e-mail marketing campaigns, then your copywriting work was effective”
“— If I have 15% more sales of the product you are writing my sales letter, in 2 months, then you were successful.”
Then you are gold 🙂
Knowing HOW your client will measure your results is CRITICAL to:
- define the success of the project
- create a precise strategy to truly help the client’s business
- prove to other clients you were successful in several projects
Define what is the exact definition of success to the client through good metrics like the number of visitors, the number of sales etc.
#Q4: WHAT WOULD BE THE POSSIBLE REASONS FOR YOU TO NOT HIRE ME AGAIN?
This is a slap in the client’s face — in a good way — because he will see you as an honest professional that wants to keep an eye on his own flaws, which will sell you even more. If you start a negotiation with a client and you put yourself as:
- A professional writer that wants to understand his needs
- A professional writer that wants to fulfill his wishes
- A professional that CARES about self-improvement
Then……..AGAIN…….you are GOLD!!!!!!!
There are very few people who care about all those things because many professional writers are money-driven and forget about the social part that captivates the client’s heart (awwwwwn that’s so CUTE Peterson! )
So ask your client this:
PS: This small variation of the questions is on purpose to give you different ways of asking the same question.
By analyzing the answer the client will give you, you’ll be aware of very important things, like:
- what he considers obnoxious in doing business with a freelance writer
- what are the points you have to watch out while working with him
- what are his morals
That last point can truly HELP you when you are in a negotiation because if you are dealing with a client that doesn’t care about earning money like Donald Trump — and instead prefers to deliver high quality service and products — you will know that quality beats deadline, because his hidden business need is to deliver something that the client says “Thank you!”, instead of delivering something that will only make his bank account bigger.
See your freelance writing business as serious as possible and ALWAYS try to help your client by studying HIS PROBLEM first, to only then, provide real meaningful solutions which will make a solid difference in his business. When you help people — by the way, ANY kind of people — reach success, money will hit you in the face like a TRAIN just because you provided them VALUE and GOOD EMOTIONS. And that, is what sells.
Remember, clients desire that you take care of them.
They desire that you take the LEAD and remove their worries and insecurities.
They want to drop work at your hands and get only the awesome results, always.
And here is a huge secret:
They want to work with………friends. PROFESSIONAL friends.
They want to trust you, they want a good deal socially and professionally.
And in order to clients to trust you, you need to ask the right questions.
Become a friend. Become a pro. Become a business helper.
See you at the next article my friend.