5 Tips For Selling Yourself To Clients

by Jason

Do you remember the old 7up commercials, ‘Image is Everything.’  I never quite understood them in that context.  So the actor is drinking 7up.  And so some of my friends like 7up.

Who cares?

In business, image IS everything.

So much so that companies are willing to spend millions of dollars every year on branding alone.

When you’re a small shop or a freelancer, you don’t have the ability to spend huge cash on your image or your brand.  It doesn’t work like that.  What you can do is sell yourself!

Here are 5 Tips to Selling Yourself whether your in front of a bunch of prospects or an old client:

  • Count on your experiences

    The reason you are in front of the client in the first place is because you know something they don’t.  Make sure that they feel that in how you sound and how you act. 

    Don’t be cocky.  Just be sure of yourself.

  • Dress the part

    Make sure you are dressing for the person you are meeting with.  Have an idea of their dress code or what they will most likely be wearing.  Some million dollar firms are jeans and T-shirt sorts of companies.  Others are shirt and tie.  Don’t be caught underdressed but don’t get too carried away in a suit and tie.

  • Follow up after the meeting

    Make sure you get a business card or find someway to contact them.  Within 24 hours, send them a quick ‘Hi, it was nice meeting you today.  I would love to help you out with X.’

    99% of people don’t do this.

  • Speak in terms they will understand

    Don’t get jargon’y on them.  Use clear and concise language.  Show them you know your stuff, but don’t confuse them.  Most of the time they are looking for an end result, not the process.

  • Come prepared

    Put something down on paper about what your meeting concerns.  Oftentimes, this might just be an outline of what you are proposing to them.  It doesn’t have to be anything concrete; but more like ‘talking points.’

    If you can get the other party talking about you taking the project, it will most likely happen.  It’s a bit like a salesperson letting you test drive a car.  If you get behind the wheel, chances are you’ll be driving it home!

Most importantly, make an impression.  Give them enough information that they’ll want to work with you – but don’t let them see all the answers.  Sometimes that’s easier said than done, but practice makes perfect!

Do you have anything to add to the list?  What has worked for you?

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Chris Brooks

Hey Jason, great post I especially like the part about dressing the part and keeping the jargon to a minimum. Another piece of advice would be to listen twice as much as you talk. We have to ears and only one mouth for a reason. Listening and thoughtfully thinking about what your client is saying will show you are invested in him or her and their business as opposed to just there money.

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karthik

Wonderful… I really liked your 4th point ” Speak in terms they will understand”. What you said is right. We have to be very clear in our words that we speack which doesn’t confuse our clients. Great Info. Thankyou.

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Tim

Liked the part about getting behind the wheel – valuable. You are right about dressing to match your client but do you have any clues how to find out. I turned up in tie to meet with a guy in jeans and polo shirt. Not a big deal but you feel out of tune!

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Jason

@Chris – Listening is important, and I completely left it out of this little post! Good catch!

@Karthik – I have confused clients in the past talking about this process or that technology. Now, if I am venturing into those waters, I will at least warn them!

@Tim – I have sent my girlfriend in to scout for me before. It doesn’t always work – but sometimes. If it’s a Starbucks type meetup, I usually stick to business casual!

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Tim

Is your girlfriend available to do this often? (But I do know what you mean).

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jasondrohn

LOL – here and there! Actually, you can sometimes tell a decent amount from a companies website too. You can kind of tell of it's a stuffy corporate environment or a more laid back company..

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