5 Signs that You’ve Secured the Client
What to look out for to know if your pitch was successful
Life’s a pitch
For freelancers, pitching to a potential client is an essential part of the process. Becoming an expert at selling yourself to businesses is vital if you’re aiming to land attractive propositions. Maintaining good practices with your approach to marketing is core to becoming a successful pitcher, but how do you know when you’ve got it right?
Reading a situation one way, but receiving a different result can be frustrating. The best way to prevent this is to control as many variables as possible. Once you’ve become well acquainted with an established approach, getting a good read on your client can help you predict the outcomes. Here’s a few telltale signs that things have gone well.
1. They’re asking about your availability
If a client clearly states that they’d like to know more about your immediate availability for work, chances are they’ve been impressed by your pitch. A client asking for pricing, turnaround time, or past work is very common, and is likely just part of their vetting process. However, if they’re more granular with the details, and are speaking about work with some immediacy – they might already be visualising your commission.
When communicating about your availability, keep in mind that it never hurts to ‘struggle’ a bit. Even if your week is open, if you can phrase your response to make it appear that you’re making room for the prospective client, they’ll appreciate the effort. Everyone likes to feel special!
2. The phrase, ‘something exactly like this’
This one is in reference to your portfolio of work. If you’ve got a strong backlog of previous work, it’s always constructive to present some of this to your prospect. There are a number of ways that a potential client might share their positive impression of your portfolio, but this phrase is a particularly encouraging sign.
If the client shares with you that the project they’re recruiting for requires ‘something exactly like’ the work in your portfolio, it’s nailed on that you’ve got the skills they’re looking for. Hearing words to this effect suggests that the only thing between you and your next job is agreeing on a price, time scale, and delivery method. For projects that already let you know the budget and timeline, be sure to check out Revolancer’s project requests!
3. Things are getting detailed
Naturally, part of the process of meeting with a potential client is chatting about the task at hand. You need to know enough about the work to properly pitch your skills, so as to not waste anybody’s time. It’s normal for a meeting to branch beyond the detail given in a written job spec, but when things get really granular – you could be in.
When a client starts speaking about individual members of their team, details about their remit, or big picture pieces about the company, this suggests that they trust you. Building a foundation of trust begins with your first encounter, so this is key in establishing a working relationship. If they’re already sharing unnecessary details about themselves or the company, it could be because they already see you as being an insider.
4. Following up leads to following through
You’ve had your meeting. They’ve seen your work. You’ve had a productive conversation. The signs are looking good. Well, the next stage in knowing whether you’ve landed them is very much about the aftermath. Did they email you shortly afterwards to thank you for the chat? Are they coming to you with more clarifying questions or seeking extra details? Have they asked you for links to the work you shared in the meeting?
All of these kinds of follow up activities are good signs for your pitch. Typically, businesses that are hiring freelancers find themselves short on time. Part of the convenience of working with freelancers is the ability to outsource time consuming work, so you won’t often find clients wasting additional time with freelancers they’re not interested in. Don’t be afraid to follow up yourself, either. Being on hand to provide a summary of your meeting, or links to your work via email can suggest to the client that you’re organised, communicative, and reliable.
5. Ready to commit
The most transparent sign of all is a client that’s ready to commission the work there and then. This might seem like stating the obvious, but there’s value in recognising how you’ve reached this point in the conversation. It’s not bad etiquette to try and close your deal there and then, so you should feel comfortable trying to get a commitment.
Just know that it’s better to get a firm answer either way. A ‘maybe’ or ‘I’ll think about it’ might as well be taken as a ‘no’. The issue is, this leaves you in limbo. The best practice is to seek clarity from your potential client as soon as you can, but make it clear that they’ve got the freedom to change their mind. This can allay any concerns they might have about making a commitment.
Secure the bag
Now that you hopefully have a clearer picture of what signs to look out for during a pitch meeting, go out there and sell your services! Start for free on Revolancer. Remember, we can’t win every client, so don’t be disheartened if you miss out. The next commission is always just round the corner.
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Before you go
Freelance marketplace: Revolancer