The Definitive Guide to Onboarding New Clients - Part 2
If you are just joining me, be sure and check out Part 1 of the Definitive Guide to Onboarding New Clients.
So, last week I helped you prep for the initial contact with a possible client. You crafted some canned responses. You prepared a good proposal that you can update as needed.
This week, I want to guide you through the negotiation phase of onboarding a client. This is the time where you will follow up. The client may want to negotiate the terms or the price. And you will want to talk with the client on the phone. This is the time to have them begging for more!
Step 2: Follow Up & Phone Call
You will need:
- A good follow up message
- A list of things to discuss on the call
- An idea of your price barrier - the lowest point you would be willing to work.
It is ok to follow up with a potential client. I know so many freelancers who are afraid to seem pushy. So, they jump to the opposite extreme and never follow up! This is losing you money!
The best plan is to send a simple email asking if they received your initial contact. You aren’t trying to sell them anything. You simply want to make sure your email was received. You can use a canned email you can have pre-written.
In marketing, there is something called the Rule of 7. The Rule of 7 says a potential customer or client needs to see your content 7 times before they make the jump to buy. This holds true for getting clients as a freelancer. Set a reminder on your phone when you make first contact to email them the next day. This will make a big impression. Keep following up regularly until they give you a definite answer
I know some of you are probably cringing right now. You are thinking, “Why do I have to get on the phone? Isn’t email/messaging enough?”
No! The biggest way to wow a new client is to get them on the phone. That will give you a chance to really let your strengths and expertise shine. Here is a quote to ponder:
I personally want to create understanding and mutual value with my clients and team members. This is only possible through communication either in person or on the phone. Why? Because verbal only makes up 7% of our communication. The other comes from body language and tone of voice. So, do not be afraid of the phone!
To help you prepare for the call, jot down some pointers that you want to bring up. You can list your skills, your experience, and your pricing. You may want to include some details about how you got started. With this list in hand, if you get anxious, you won’t miss something important.
Extra Tip: Dealing with a Negotiator
While on the phone call, the client may want to negotiate. This is true when it comes to pricing. The important thing is to have a balance. You don’t want to be so rigid that you can’t ever negotiate. You also don’t want to cave at every offer a client gives.
So, have in mind that you are valuable. You are worth what you are asking. You are the expert. Most clients you would want to work with will respect that.
Inevitably, someone will ask for a lower price. The best bet is to have a price barrier. This is the lowest possible rate you would be willing to work. This can vary depending on how technical the work is. It will also go up as you gain experience. But have this price barrier in mind. If they ask for a price that is below that, you know you can move on.
Next week, I will guide you through the most exciting part of onboarding a client. You will learn about getting a contract signed and getting paid. If you want some more direct help with this, my membership community is now open! You will join other VA's and Freelancers in my Freedom Academy Training. You will get support. You can ask questions. It's a community just for you. Find out more here.