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Sales tips for borderline introvert

Discussion in 'BlackHat Lounge' started by array90, Dec 30, 2015.

  1. array90

    array90 Registered Member

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    Hey all,

    My website is booming, there is only one problem. Not enough customers. My business model is business-to-business and I can't just rely on getting new customers from Google or Adwords as the volume just isnt there. I am a programmer / seo, not a sales guy. The idea of cold calling people kinda frightens me. I wouldn't call me a complete introvert, but I am definitely not a sales person. I have some friends that are better at this shit and will do it for a commission, but any time I've ever brought people in on my business ideas I've been disappointed with the results. Which is why I do everything now: coding, designing, seo, financials etc... except sales so far. But I am leaving thousands of dollars a month on the table right now.

    Any tips for me?
     
  2. Ste Fishkin

    Ste Fishkin Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    I was literally just like you when I first started freelancing. I liked it, I lived at home at the time and I was earning as much as my friends did in a week in 2 days. This left me 5 days to do fun stuff while I probably should have been working on going back to uni, but shit happens.

    I tried like fuck to get people to come to me, SEO, adwords, emailing... It just does not work like that. You need to man up and get over your 'fear' of whatever you are fearing. I personally think you are just being lazy...

    These are people you are going to have to speak to anyway if they came to you, so what difference does it make if you speak to them first. Here are my tips:
    • Cold calling/cold emailing won't get you very far.
    • Join your local chamber of commerce and go and meet these people. They are nice people just like you, they are there to meet people just like you, they are people looking to work with businesses just like you. They will run breakfast meets or maybe even a conference. Look for other meet and greet events also, the idea will make your skin crawl but they are not what you think they are.
    • Get some business cards, walk into shops/stores off the street and introduce yourself to the manager/owner. Explain you have just set yourself up as a web designer and thought you would say hello, leave a card and tell them if they ever need anything to give you a call. It's so much more memorable than a spam email. Take a tablet and load it with images of your portfolio.
    • Hold an event, offer free website reviews, offer free SEO reports (semrush it, takes 2 mins of your time. They don't know that.) These are people looking to improve their business, they care about this shit generally.
    • Donate 1 day a month to working with a charity, they appreciate it and its great press.
    • Don't undervalue yourself, you will be amazed just how much turnover a small shop will be making. They would much rather pay $50 an hour and get great service than $20 and save a some cash.
    • And on that point, do not fuck up. These people network (you met them at a fucking networking event), if you fuck up they will tell people. Over deliver on every project, if you need to add an extra week to every deadline to make sure you don't miss any, do it. Just make sure they get exactly what they want, when they want it.
    • Do not do shit without a contract. It protects both sides and elevates you from a guy who knows web design to a professional web designer in their eyes.

    I'll leave a better reply if you need it, I'm just about to leave but seriously the key to all this freelancing nonsense is putting yourself out there and being known. They will google anything they like and you will just be another website in a sea of dozens, be the guy they met last month or whatever... I've had people call me 6 months after meeting them dozens of times. Less than 20% of my work came from people who found my website.
     
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  3. HoneyHelper

    HoneyHelper Supreme Member

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    If you walk alone; you will walk fast but not long!
    If you walk together; you will walk slow but long!

    You need to find some hard working guys!
    Make yourself a team! Every BIG man has a team!
    There are a lot of people out there that can do better than your friends for few bucks!
    find them and keep moving!
     
  4. Ste Fishkin

    Ste Fishkin Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    That's not sensible.

    Agencies cost £XXX an hour, small businesses just do not need that level of expertise.

    If you are a national brand or competing with national brands, absolutely you need an agency. If you are "Daves Carpet Shop" and you are competing with 2 other local carpet shops, a half decent freelancer will meet all your needs at 30% of the price and if they are an established business they will have the cash to splash without a problem.

    I see no reason why a good freelance web designer/developer cannot make £50,000 a year when they are going after the correct clients and they have a bit of a reputation behind them.
     
  5. array90

    array90 Registered Member

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    Thanks, but my business model sells to companies across the country. No way I can go in there in person as that would entail tons of travel. This is a side gig as well as I have a full-time job, but can make calls during the day and support the business. But you are right, emails don't work, I've tried. Social media doesn't work very well, I've tried. I am trying facebook and adwords now, but I don't have high hopes.

    I'm just going to have to dig in and do cold calls, probably will start hitting local networking and lean startup meetup type things as well to learn from folks. There are organizations in this industry I can join, but its pricey and while I planned on doing that, I rather wait until income makes paying those prices feasible.

    Open to more advice though.
     
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2015
  6. apex1

    apex1 Junior Member

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    What you think about hiring salesmen to sell for you on a 100% commission basis?
     
  7. Bane Bentley

    Bane Bentley Junior Member

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    How about you try taking some SSRIs or other anxiety-related medication? You might just have social anxiety and not be a full-on introvert.

    I think I'm right since you are running your business, which does take some amount of, hmmm, lets call it "courage" and foresight. If you don't want to go with medication at first, try some meditation or get real with yourself.
     
  8. Trade Developer

    Trade Developer Newbie

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    I hate talking to people over the phone with a passion and I also hate trying to push or sell something to someone, that type of interaction is just not me but sometimes I have to do it in rare occasions when I can't avoid it. I find the best thing to do is to be completely honest, the main point is to know your product inside out and that way when people have questions and you can answer them straight away clearly and concisely then people respect you for that. It's easy to talk about the product rather than to try some big sales speech.
    At the end of the day you need to look at the first lot of calls as training for yourself, don't expect any sales just get practice talking. You're bound to stuff up a few calls but just go into knowing that it's probably going to go bad at first and that way your confidence won't be diminished if it does. After you have some experience and confidence you can go for real.

    It's like picking up, if you walk into a bar with the intention to talk up 20 girls each with an imaginative pick up line and expect to get shot down by all of them then if you walk out with a phone number it's a bonus. Just don't wear a nice suit as you may get the odd drink in your face.
     
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  9. Ste Fishkin

    Ste Fishkin Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    I freelanced for 5 years, did ok. If you want my advice its yours, if you ignore it that's down to you.

     
  10. array90

    array90 Registered Member

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    You know what, I do have massive anxiety and depression so that probably plays a part in this. Makes sense that this could play a role in that.
     
  11. array90

    array90 Registered Member

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    Thanks, but I have friends who have agreed to sell for a 20% commission, which is my fallback plan.
     
  12. gutterleech

    gutterleech Regular Member

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    I am an extreme introvert with anxiety problems too. I get clients from Google, as well as other methods like contact form marketing and email marketing to the existing one and subscribers. In my emails and other methods I give out my skype. I keep it to chat, and don't do voice chat, even though I can speak pretty well in English. At times when the client really want to talk, then I call him on skype, and I feel like crying the first 15-20 seconds of the talk due to anxiety. I've talked with so many clients yet it still happens, I feel hot in my head and my eyes get teary and my cheek flushed. So, I talk to myself, once that phase is gone, I get comfortable and I can easily continue the conversion. It's 15-20 seconds for me in many other scenarios too, like in stage when I was in school, job interviews, meeting new people etc. Once that is passed and I have kept my composure I start to take control. Surprisingly there hasn't been one instance where I lost control.

    So, my suggestion, don't run from it. I talk to myself a lot, especially during those first few moments. If you want to cold call, then create scripts for your sales pitch, and end in questions that would result in client replying yes or no in the beginning and once you are comfortable and in control let them ask you the more questions. This would avoid you losing composure at the beginning and you will be able to pass on the important information about your business to the client.

    Use newsletter marketing and explain stuff about your service in the emails properly so the client have less questions when they contact you.

    Further, you can try guided meditation techniques to control your thoughts. If you are not into the spiritual and other new age superstitions, you can try guided meditation by Sam harris. Search in Google.
     
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    Last edited: Jan 1, 2016
  13. charliebrooker

    charliebrooker Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    Great thread. It can sometimes be tough to just chat, but once you get through the first ten seconds, you usually relax.