Cold calling is surely one of the most polarizing topics in the freelance-o-sphere. Those who love it can be downright fanatical about its strength as a tool for finding new clients and freelance jobs. Those who hate it are equally passionate about it making us no better than telemarketers.
Count me among the former. If business is slow, I can’t think of a better way of uncovering a company that might be in need of freelance writing, editing, graphic design or web services. With that in mind, I wanted to offer some cold calling tips for freelancers:
- You need to focus on the potential customer’s needs, not run down a script on how wonderful you are.
- Your goal is to engage in a comfortable conversation rather than a full-speed-ahead sales pitch.
- If things don’t work out, that’s OK. Overcoming objections is fine if you’re emulating Glengarry Glen Ross, but we’re in a relationship business, not pushing shady land deals.
- Be truthful, human, genuine.
- Done right, cold calling can even be—yes!—enjoyable as well as profitable.
Bonus lesson…think outside the freelance echo chamber: Many of the freelancing blogs out there may be helpful, but it behooves us all to do a better job of learning about sales from expert sources outside our immediate industry.