Whatever your line of business, chances are you’ll need to sell your product or services at some stage.
Without a knack for pitching and selling your work to new clients you’ll struggle to meet your profit forecasts. Therefore, having the confidence to sell and knowing what your expertise is worth is priceless.
The equation for determining the right rate is a combination of what you think you’re worth, what you think you can get, and what your competition charges. This is underpinned with the reality of how much you need to make to stay afloat.
While you should always be realistic, it’s better to over value your products and services than to sell yourself short.
Here are 13 things to remember when applying and pitching for new business:
- Approach the clients that you know pay the best, first.
- Prioritise jobs that stand to bring in the most money.
- Stick to your wheelhouse. Unless you’re starting out, stay with what you know best.
- Be aware of what your competitors are doing. What services are they providing, and at what price?
- Offer your services at 10% to 15% more than you’d accept, allowing yourself room to negotiate. This works in your favour if a client is driving a hard bargain or if you’re pitching to someone you’d really like to build a relationship with: you can offer them a 10% 15% discount on your initial quote.
- If you quote a job and work gets added, provide an updated quote.
- Be open to long hours and tight deadlines. Speed costs money, enabling you to charge more.
- Consider who the client is. What will they be happy with vs. what will you be happy with?
- Calculate the risk involved in any particular project against what you stand to gain. If the job offers great exposure consider working for a reduced fee.
- Always be on the lookout for new revenue streams.
- Offer bulk deals. If a client’s interested in hiring your services in a large quantity or for repeat business, cut them a deal. Whether you can afford to give a hefty discount, or can only make a gesture, it’ll be appreciated either way and could be what keeps them coming back in future.
- Increase your prices once a year.
- Always make time to check in with old clients and see if they have anything new in the pipeline.
Rachael Oku is a 27-year-old editorial consultant and writer living in London. She founded Creative-Bloc, a social enterprise for freelance writers, in 2012 and in 2013 published her first book Become a Freelance Writer.