I want to talk to you about what I do to prep for a phone call after I send a cold pitch and a potential client wants to set up a call.
I’ve noticed that there’s a lot of anxiety with many of you where you’re basically like, “Great! I got them on the call! NOW what the hell do I say?” A lot of people get on a call and they’re not present. A lot of freelancers are worried that the topic of price will come up and that they’ll have to sell on that phone call.
The Phone Call Is Not To Sell
The first thing I want to get out of the way for everybody is that this phone call is NOT to sell. I know that sounds counterintuitive, but at each stage, your goal is to move the conversation one more inch down the pipeline.
Your pitch is not to sell. Your pitch is to get the prospective client on the phone.
Your phone call is not to sell. It’s to get a proposal on the table.
THEN your proposal is to sell.
Knowing this takes the pressure off of you so you can actually be present. One of the reasons freelancers have such a hard time staying in the moment is because their mental preparation is all around, “OMG, what if they ask me how much this is going to cost and I don’t know?
I’ve been at this a long time and I never talk about money on that call. Early on, I felt like I had to – like there was this pressure to HAVE to tell people what the price is going to be. It really distracted me from what it is I wanted to say and how to show my value. It also distracted me from bringing really good ideas to the table.
Now, I spend maybe 10-15 minutes prepping before a call. I don’t spend a ton of time, but I DO make sure I’m armed with something that’s going to blow the CEO’s mind.
Convey Your Value
So how do you prepare for a phone call that gets the proposal on the table?
First, understand that your GOAL is the proposal and NOT the sale. Then you can chill out and focus on how to show your value to that company.
Always think about what the best angle is to convey your value. This is KEY.
Just like when you’re pitching, make sure you understand your offerings first and pick your top three superpowers. Look for gaps in their current marketing and plug in what you do.
CEOs love in-the-moment examples that they can see themselves in or industry stats that specifically relate to them.
Once you confirm that what you can do best is NOT being done, pick two or three examples of what they can do to move the needle to start getting more customers.
What I DON’T do is wonder how the hell I can help them or spend too much time asking how THEY think I can help them. I WILL have one really killer nucleus idea that is already what I sell but is related to what THEY do.
YOU Run The Call
We HAVE to be the ones running these calls. One of the biggest mistakes I see freelancers make is getting on a call with a client and expecting the client to act like an employer and tell them how the conversation will go.
I want you to work on being RELAXED on calls.
You’re not selling! You’re giving great ideas that highlight your value as it relates to their bottom line – whether to consumers, money, visibility as it relates to sales, etc.
Have a couple really good ideas that makes them say, “Oh shit, I don’t know how to execute that, but I really want to try it!”
Before you even address what you pitched when you’re on the call, just say, “I’m really excited to talk about X, but before we do, I’d LOVE to hear about what projects you’re working on! What are your initiatives? Tell me how your week’s going and what you’ve been up to!”
See? SUPER casual.
Then you can ask what they’re currently doing related to what you pitched them and effortlessly bridge it with, “You know, I was thinking about this call and what you can do and I had some ideas when I looked at your site that look like X.” Then you tie that into the goal that they mentioned!
It’s a really natural conversation and you’re already armed with a killer nucleus of an idea that shows your value and what you can do.
ALWAYS End The Call With Your Own Call To Action
When you’re at the end of your call, all you have to say to bridge to the proposal is, “It’s been a pleasure talking with you! I’ve got some really great ideas for how this could look working together. Why don’t I put a few down on paper, send it over to you by X, and we can go from there?”
Nobody EVER says no to that!
And that’s why you have to LISTEN to nuances on the call because you have to know where a potential client is at. This is exactly why you have to be present and not in your head trying to figure out a good idea on the fly or trying to avoid the topic of pricing.
Listening is one of THE most important things you can do on a call. Listen and ask questions. You’ll need these answers for when you’re crafting a proposal that makes your potential client automatically want to shout, “YES!”
Have The Call, Send The Proposal, and MOVE ON
On a final note, one of the best things you can do to save your sanity is to stop assuming you know what’s going to happen one way or the other. There are going to be times when you think it’s not going to work out and it’ll work out just fine. There will also be times when you’ll think it’s a shoe-in (THIS IS DANGEROUS!) and you’re not going to hear from them for 6 months.
So it’s really important that you take the call and move on, take the call and move on, take the call and move on.
I feel very strongly about this because I see freelancers slow down when they have a positive response, a positive phone call, or a proposal on the table. They’re like, “Well, that’ll go through and then I won’t need anything.” That’s some dangerous shit right there.
You do not stop the hustle until that check and signed contract is in your hand. Micro-focusing on one call, one proposal, one company will slow you down.
Just remember that you cannot permanently fuck this up. The faster you get these phone calls, relax on them, and get proposals on the table, the faster this process is going to go for you. Be armed with ideas, not prices. Be armed with what you do best and how you can help them. Genuinely want to learn about THEM instead of making it about you, you, you.
A lot of people come into this business already financially tapped.They’re like, “I JUST HAVE TO MAKE THIS WORK,” and they end up not taking the time to nail these pitches, calls, and proposals. Take the time to get good at the shit you need to get good at to make the process move faster.
My biggest advice is to LEAN BACK. Nobody wants to hire somebody who’s like, “Are you ready for me yet? Are you ready for me yet? Are you ready for me yet?” That energy is palpable. People feel that.
You run a small business. Businesses take time to grow. And preparing for a phone call with a potential client means thinking about THEM, your value as it relates to them, AND how it relates to their bottom line.
Relieved? You should be! Come hang out with us over in The Academy to catch even more of that laid back, in control, cool-as-a-popsicle-on-a-hot-summer-day vibe. Becoming a six-figure freelancer is NOT a mystery and is TOTALLY doable. It’s also a hell of a lot more fun with friends. See you there!