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Monday, 10 October 2016

Freelancers: How to Show Up Prepared to Close a Deal

Freelancing has become a way of life for many workers. About 53 million Americans, representing 34 percent of the national labor force, qualify as freelancers, according to a 2014 Freelancers Union report. This figures includes independent contractors, temporary employees, and moonlighters, and it represents an increase from 31 percent reported by the U.S. General Accountability Office in 2006. This number likely includes a significant number of students, judging by an Elance survey that found 87 percent of undergraduates see freelancing as an attractive career option. In many areas of freelancing, being successful requires having an effective method of closing sales during meetings with prospective clients. Here are some things you should bring with you to help you be prepared for a successful prospect meeting.
Customer Relationship Management Notes
By the time you’ve scheduled a meeting with a prospective client, you’ve usually
had a few prior contacts with them where you’ve gotten to know some basic things about them and discussed your potential project in general terms. Having this information handy as you’re preparing for a meeting can be invaluable. One of the best ways to make sure you have this information readily available is using a mobile customer relationship management tool. CRM tools, like SalesForce, Zoho CRM, SugarCRM, Insightly and Nimble, let you digitally store prospect and client contact information along with key pieces of information that can assist you with making a sale, such as how many times you’ve previously made contact with the prospect, what you discussed during each conversation, and how far along they are in your sales cycle.
Presentation Notes and Visual Aids
One of the most important steps you can take to ensure the success of a prospect meeting is preparing and rehearsing the main talking points of your sales presentation. Bringing notes to your presentation can help you jog your memory. A mobile note-taking tool such as Evernote can help make your notes more accessible. In some cases, your presentation may also be enhanced by bringing a visual aid such as a slideshow. IT professional Andrew Kunesh provides a guide to some of today’s most popular mobile slideshow presentation tools include Microsoft PowerPoint, Apple Keynote, Google Slides and Zoho Show.
Answers to Common Objections
Often, the difference between whether your sales presentation is a success or a failure depends on how well you come prepared to answer anticipated objections to your offer. In fact, legendary sales trainer Tom Hopkins says answering prospective buyer concerns effectively is one of the key marks of a true sales professional. One helpful way to preparefor anticipated sales objections is to make a list of possible objections and prepare multiple answers for each one. This will both boost your confidence and make you better prepared to respond should an objection come up. You can bring mobile notes on possible sales objections with you using Evernote or a similar tool such as OneNote.
Contract Forms

Ultimately, your goal in arranging a prospect meeting is to come away with a contract, or at least to lay a foundation for a formal contract bid. Your best chance of getting a contract signed is by getting your prospect to put his or her name on the dotted line on the spot while he or she is in a buying mood. Elance provides some sample contract forms you can customize and use to help prepare a digital contract you can bring with you. To make it easier to let prospects sign digital contracts, you might consider investing in a mobile device with a stylus such as the GalaxyNote 7, which comes with the water and dust resistant S Pen.