How We Use This Simple 4 Step Selling Framework to Weed Out Bad Clients, Uncover Client’s True Needs & Win 80% of Our Proposals
Sunday, January 21st 2018
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How We Use This Simple 4 Step Selling Framework to Weed Out Bad Clients, Uncover Client’s Needs & Win 80% of Our Proposals
By Chris Swemba
I will take a complex selling problem and break it down into a very simple 4 step process that you can implement today to consistently close more higher paying projects.
This is the very process that we use to win 5 figure web design projects & multi-year marketing retainers. I want you to learn our process so you can serve your clients better & win this type of work for your business as well. Why am I doing this? Because selling our work can be hard and very complex at times, if we let it be.
I want to make it easier for you to sell more work, get paid what you’re worth, and work with the clients that you want to work with so you can have more profit, more freedom, and more fun in your web business. Winning more higher priced projects with great clients will definitely enable you to reach that goal a lot faster.
Most web professionals, whether you’re a freelancer or an agency, really don’t have a consistent system and process to sell more projects.
“If you don’t have a consistent sales system, then you won’t have consistent sales. “
I’m here to help you implement the selling system that’s worked for us, so you can put it to work in your business right now to gain bigger proposals with better clients in less time.
Let’s dig into it.
Step #1 You Must Qualify the Client to Protect Your Time
The first step of the process is to qualify the client. Let me give you an example of how this works. If a client would come into our office, call us, or fill out a contact form on our website, we first want to jump on the phone with them for 10 to 15 minutes so we can get to know the client, build rapport with them, understand their scope of work, their budget, what their goals are, timelines and to figure out if we can help them and if we want to work with them.
Why Qualifying the Client is So Important
The last thing we want to do is get deeper into the relationship only to discover they don’t have the proper budget or require solutions we don’t offer. Qualifying will save you a lot of time and stress by not working on the wrong project with the wrong client.
Towards the end of qualify call, you’ll want to ask yourself…”Is the client’s scope of work, budget and desired goals inline with the solutions we offer? Do we have rapport and can we work with the client? Should we move to the next step?” If we both got a sense that we’d like to explore the opportunity to work together, then we move them to step #2.
If they’re not a good fit, we just simply say….”Based on what you want to do, we don’t think it’s a good fit for our team, but thanks for your time today” Or you can refer them out to somebody that may be a better fit for what they want to do.
Step #2: Project Needs Assessment Form (PNAF)
The second step in the process is we have them fill out a project needs assessment form commonly known as a new client intake form. Our main objective of the form is to dive a little deeper to get their project why.
This form it enables us to ask more questions about what they want to achieve in the project, discover their budget and their income goals, find out what kind of money are they making now, what major problems they are looking to solve with the project, what does success look like, what scares them about the project?, etc.
The form also helps the client. They can complete the form with their team to flesh out more project details and their objectives in a more structured way. You can’t really get this deep discovery done on the quick qualification call, so having this form helps you both get on the same page about the project details.
You may be thinking…If I ask potential clients to fill out a form, will it turn them away?
The answer is NO! In most cases… clients thank us for providing the form because it enables them to centralize all the project details that are swirling around in their head!
Using the PNAF is Another Way to Further Qualify Clients
If they don’t take the time to fill out the form, then they probably didn’t want to move forward. No Problem! They’ve eliminated themselves which saves us time of moving forward with a client that may or may not be qualified to work with us. But, if we had a good qualifying call and the client did not complete the form, on rare occasions I might get in touch with them and ask them if they forgot to complete it.
When we get the client’s form back and we like what we see, we move them to Step #3. Again, if we don’t like what we see based on their stated project needs, budget, etc. in the form, then we refer them out or tell them we’re not a good fit and thank them for their time and move on to the next client.
Step #3: Project Discovery: Dive Deep to Discover the Client’s “Project Why” & Their True Project Needs & Goals
After we get their form, we book a call with the client to go over the form in fine detail. We go deep with the client to really figure out exactly what it is they need. What are their problems? We figure it out together what solutions are going to help them solve their problems and reach their goals. Within the client discovery process many times we’ve had clients say we need SEO or we need a website or we need Facebook marketing, etc. But many times in the discovery process we find that what they actually thought they needed initially was not really what they truly needed to accomplish their goals.
The Discovery Process I Believe is the Most Critical Step to Sell More Premium Projects
Unfortunately, most web professionals do not do detailed project discovery. They don’t qualify the client or do this critical deep project discovery. They order take and don’t take a consultative selling approach which the discovery process enables them to do. When you’re able to go deep and have multiple interactions with the client to really dig into their problems, this is where most projects are won or lost.
Spend as much time as needed in the discovery process to accurately discover what clients need. Doing this work will help you close more projects than you’ve ever imagined. A lot of people think it’s the proposal that wins the project, but in actuality, the discovery process is where the project is won in most cases.
The last thing I’ll say about this is that if you do discovery right then you’re going to provide a lot of value to the client. If you feel you need to charge for discovery because the client got a lot of value from it then don’t be afraid to charge for the discovery process.
If you do discovery right, they should be able to take your conversations and pre-plan to another firm to have the plan executed. However, I promise you that if you do discovery right and build rapport and trust with the client, in most cases the client will hire you for the project. Spend a lot of time in this area with the client because this is where deals are won
Step #4: Write the Proposal: Have Clients Close Themselves by Asking You to Write-Up a Proposal to Get the Project Started.
This last step after you’ve done all the work in the discovery process whereas the project needs and goals are both known to you and the client, the next step is that we ask the client if they want us to write up a proposal to get the project started. We ask..
“Do you feel that we have developed together a good scope of work that will solve your problems effectively for this project… if so….do you want us to create a proposal / contract so we can officially get started on the project for you?”
The reason why we want to ask them outright if they want us to write up a proposal is because if they say YES to this, they are in a way psychologically saying yes to the project. Since the proposal is just the written summary of all of the problems and the solutions we’ve discovered with the client already in the discovery process, all that is needed is to state these items in a proposal, review it with them and have them sign it to start the project.
Let’s Recap the 4 Step Client Winning Framework So You Can Implement it Into Your Business
Step #1: Client Qualify Call
The client contacts you and you jump on a quick call. You figure out you whether you want to work on the client’s project. If so, move them to step 2, if not, you can decline the project or refer them elsewhere.
Step #2: Client Completes the PNAF
Have the client complete the PNFA so they can tell you in written form more detail on what they want to achieve. If you like what you see on the form, move them to Step #3. If not you can decline the project or refer them elsewhere.
Step #3: Client Does In-depth Project Discovery
Take the information in the PNFA and start diving deeper with the client on their project goals. Find the clients true project goals by asking a lot of questions. Build the project scope with the client. If you need to charge for the discovery process do it. Meet with them as many times as it takes to get to the point where you and the client know it’s time to write up the proposal,
Step #4: Clients Asks You to Write The Proposal
You want the client to say yes, for you to write up the proposal to get started. When they do this, they’re in many ways saying YES to the project itself. Write up the proposal and present it to them to show how the project is managed and delivered and have them sign it!
That’s the Simple 4 Step Selling Framework We Use to Weed Out Bad Clients, Uncover Client’s Needs & Win 80% of Our Proposals. If you follow this framework, you’ll close more deals at higher fees in less time with less stress. Now take action and implement this simple framework into your sales process. I promise you, it will work.
Quick Win Action Steps
I want you to take 3 action steps.
Action Step 1: Download the checklist to implement the 3 wants into your client winning process.
Action Step 2: When you have successfully implemented this strategy, share the details of your results on how it worked for you with others in the community Facebook Group so we can see how you did and we can all learn from your success.
Action Step 3: To get more client winning strategies, frameworks, blueprints, trainings & content so you can win bigger proposals with better clients… subscribe to our VIP members email list and start winning more clients. www.freelanceproposalhelp.com/vip