Articles from 03/2013
You might be surprised how much more successful your business will be and how much freer and healthier you'll feel if you start saying no.
No, I don't just need more clients. I need happy clients.
No, I don't do spec work. But I am happy to book a two-hour strategy session with you to create a plan for working together to achieve your goal.
No, I'm not available to help you with [insert boring project here]. However, I'll be happy to help you to find someone who can help.
No, I can't work on this project. You deserve to work with people who will be excited about this, and I need to stay focused on my other commitments.
No, I don't do that kind of work in-house. But I do know a contractor who is really, really good, and if I manage the project, then I can help you achieve the outcome you want.
I know some creative professionals who have a strong reaction against the idea of a sales management system.
If they start paying more attention to their prospects, meetings, proposals, and sales, then they will immediately morph into a greaseball in a plaid suit selling clunkers, right?
Rest assured, you can become good at sales without using extra pomade.
Last week, I wrote about creating a Trust Magnet--that is, an entry-level product that will generate cashflow and give new clients a chance to experience what it's like working with you.
A relatively inexpensive offering will help get people "through the door" and give you a way to regulate your cashflow.
An even easier way to make more money is by signing up to be an affiliate for products and services that you use. You can earn commissions when people whom you refer make a purchase.
For creative professionals, talking about a sales funnel is like farting in polite company. How gauche, right?
So let's not talk about sales funnels. Let's talk about making sure that you have a Trust Magnet: an entry-level product or service that poses minimal financial risk to clients. Notice that I didn't use the word "cheap." We're talking about creating a low, or inexpensive, barrier for entry and giving people a taste of what it's like to work with you.
Trust is the true currency of business. Even if a faithful client referred your new prospect, you still need to build trust by empathizing with his or her problems and improvising a solution.
Let me share one scenario with you. I have a friend who is a financial planner. If his firm manages your assets, they take a 1% commission each year. If you want them to architect a financial plan for you and find management elsewhere, they charge $250/hour. Both of these figures represent a significant investment from the outset, and thus a very high barrier for entry.