- Starting simple: your first sales process
- The four key parts of a sales process: connect, diagnose, prescribe, collect
- What clients want vs. what they actually need to get from point A to point B
- Asking for money on the call to eliminate objections
- The most common objections
- Is it a disqualifier or an objection?
- Educating your clients to close the sale
- Why I no longer recommend proposals
- Next steps after listening to this episode
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[00:00:00] Brian: Hello and welcome to the Six Figure Creative Podcast. I'm your host, Brian Hood. If this is your first time ever listening to the show, first of all, hi, hey, hello, welcome. So glad to have you here. This podcast is for you are a creative who offers freelance services and you want to make more money from your creative skills without selling yourself, that sounds like you, you're in the right spot right now.
[00:00:17] Brian: For my returning listeners, we are continuing our sales series where last week we talked through. What this year's is going to be about, we started this whole journey of discussing the entire sales process from the very first inquiry you get from somebody all the way to the close money collected.
[00:00:32] Brian: And we've got a lot more topics to cover today. We're going to probably just hone in on one area of this entire sales process. And this is one of the biggest ones. I think the entire sales process hinges on this one big thing. And that is. The discovery call. Now you can call this whatever you want.
[00:00:46] Brian: We can just call it a sales call because hey, we're all adults here. We can use the S word sales. We can call it what it is. but we can name this whatever you want. Discovery call, clarity call. Curiosity call, whatever you want to call it. But at the end of the day, we know it's a sales call.
[00:00:58] Brian: And as long as we're on the same page [00:01:00] here, we're going to have a good time today.
[00:01:01] Brian: Now, if you missed last week's episode, because maybe this is your first episode, go back and listen to last week's episode before you get into this. It's not like this won't make sense if you don't do that. But it just when I do series like this, this is part two in the series. they're built to just flow into one another.
[00:01:13] Brian: So I prefer you just start at the beginning of the series from last week.
[00:01:15] Brian: But let's start with kind of a philosophy I have about sales and sales calls or discovery calls or how you do them in general. I believe in an ever evolving process when it comes to sales calls or discovery calls, whatever you want to call these. And that means you just start dead simple and I have a whole framework you can use to actually run your calls, but start simple and evolve over time.
[00:01:34] Brian: What I started with on my version one of my sales outline
[00:01:38] Brian: is totally different. Now we're on like version eight after hundreds of calls, that thing has evolved. And like grown into its own thing. So what I'm teaching here today isn't even really what we're doing now. However, what I'm doing now isn't going to really work for you if this is your first iteration of trying to come up with like a sales process for your own business.
[00:01:53] Brian: So again, start small, start simple and evolve over time. So I have a simple four part process we're going to talk through on this episode. I have [00:02:00] a whole companion course. It's free, 100 percent free. I'm not trying to sell you a course here. That'll go into the more specifics. It gives you a whole Google doc that you can fill out for your own to actually use on the calls with a nice checklist and everything.
[00:02:10] Brian: But this is your V1. If you don't have any process you're running on discovery calls, which is most freelancers I talk to, they're just like, this is a mistake you make, you just talk about the project. you do like parts one and three here, and you skip like all the other parts that are necessary. And I think most freelancers, especially as we get deeper into this episode, where we talk about what you do at the end of a sales call, that's the part most freelancers absolutely butcher. So let's talk through the four parts. I'm just going to quickly talk about these. Big picture that we'll dive into the specifics. And then I have a whole companion course on this.
[00:02:36] Brian: If you want the like uber specifics that you want to map this out for yourself. Part one is connect. Part two is diagnose. Part three is prescribe. Part four is collect.
[00:02:44] Brian: And the number one goal, surprisingly, which may sound counterintuitive, because we're here to make more money from our creative skills. thing that we're trying to do here is not actually just get a client if you just get a sale for Sales sake that's selling your soul for money.
[00:02:56] Brian: That's what not what we do here The goal with a discovery call a well run [00:03:00] process is what we call find their truth And that is you dig through all of the junk that's in their heads in their minds It's in their lives and you're trying to figure out this the truth which can sometimes be different than what they think someone will come to you with a thought in their head about what they want you start prodding and digging And uncovering the truth and you figure out what they actually want or what they actually need is so different from what they thought they wanted or thought they needed that you either can't help them or the project looks much different than they thought it would.
[00:03:27] Brian: like I said, a great sales process. The entire goal of it is to just uncover the truth. And then once the truth is exposed, then you can make the decision on whether to actually do part four, collect, close them, or say, good luck and Godspeed. I'm not your person. And we'll talk through how to do that as well.
[00:03:43] Brian: So part one, let's talk through the first part of this. And that is just connect. Most freelancers don't really struggle with this. And most people, when they get on a call, especially if you're from the South, where you talk for like 15 minutes or more before you ever talk money in like a traditional Southern business meeting, the goal here is just to connect with them in some small way.
[00:03:59] Brian: And this is [00:04:00] preferably something that's like a shared experience. So the example I give it's in the free course I give you, remember back in the day with COVID, like early 2020, mid 2020 when everyone in the world was going through the exact same shared experience.
[00:04:10] Brian: So it was like really easy just like, how's COVID going for you? Oh, you're locked up in your house too? Yeah, that sucks. Oh yeah, you started doing sourdough baking as well. Me too. That's really fun. That's a shared experience. That's a way to connect with people. It gets harder now today COVID is not really a thing anymore and everyone's doing their own thing.
[00:04:25] Brian: So usually you have to find some sort of connection point. And a lot of this goes into research before the call. You want to find out as much as you can about the person based on what they filled out. Maybe you go lurk or social media pages, just anything to connect on this. Now here's the caveat here.
[00:04:37] Brian: Generally speaking, you don't want this to go more than five minutes. into the call. Definitely no more than 10 minutes but preferably around five minutes. although you don't have to like awkwardly cut things off. But the goal here isn't to just shoot the for 45 minutes and never actually get to the point.
[00:04:51] Brian: The goal is to show that you're a human being, that you can connect with people, that you're not a sociopath,
[00:04:55] Brian: and that you have some sort of similarities. Because again, when somebody is hiring you as a freelancer, they're essentially buying [00:05:00] you
[00:05:00] Brian: and that sounds weird, but as a freelancer, your service and your business is so closely with you as a person that you have to show your humanity first, before you start worrying about the sale. On the flip side, getting to know the person that you're about to work with is another important part.
[00:05:14] Brian: Because, If you can't connect with the person or if something's just really off about that person, it can really affect you as the freelancer because you are so closely tied to your business. So this is again, one of the many chances you have to start uncovering red flags or just seeing how you gel together, especially by the way, especially for those of you who do longer projects.
[00:05:33] Brian: For example, in my studio, when I bands from start to finish. and they would live with me in the studio. It could be 30 days or more that they're living with me in my studio. Not even including the revisions at the end of the project.
[00:05:43] Brian: That is a prime example of when you want to take this part seriously to make sure that you are going to gel well before you, in my case, literally move in together.
[00:05:52] Brian: So generally around five, no more than 10 minutes on this section. and then you transition into the next part, which is diagnosed part two. In general, the easiest way to [00:06:00] transition out of small talk into this is like, cool, I'm ready to get started.
[00:06:02] Brian: If you are something like that, or very cool. Like I'm ready to have any of this stuff. If you are something like that, like anything that's just like a sign that you're holding up that says, okay, we're done with this. The small talk or even deep talk, personal life connection stuff.
[00:06:14] Brian: And now it's time to talk business
[00:06:16] Brian: And the goal with part two here, diagnose is to figure out the details of who they are, get a truthful picture of their current situation and find out where they are trying to go. AKA, what is their end state?
[00:06:28] Brian: Every client that comes to you is at point a, and they're trying to get to point B or even point Z. you play some small or large part in how close they get to point B or point Z. in the process. Some of you are very what I call butt and seat freelancers, and you play a very small cog in a larger machine.
[00:06:44] Brian: So you don't really do a whole lot to get them from point A to point B. But if you zoom in close enough, there is a point A and point B that you have the entire process that you take care of. Even in most butt and seat positions, you can find something there. So the goal is to figure out where are they now, where are they trying to go.[00:07:00]
[00:07:00] Brian: And again, this is a huge part of what I call finding their truth. If you cannot help them get from point A to point B. And you were genuinely not the right person or they're not a good fit for you. It's just a great point to just cut the call off early. Now you don't have to make this awkward. You don't have to make this harsh.
[00:07:12] Brian: You can just say, cool, thanks for all this information. So basically what I'm seeing so far is because of reasons X, Y, and Z, I don't think I'm going to be a good fit for you. think there's probably a few people that I can refer to you. That might be a really good fit for this. Is it cool if I just send you that in an email?
[00:07:26] Brian: it's very non aggressive, non accusatory. You're not saying that they're a bad fit for you, even if that's maybe the case. You're like, wow, if I'm being truthful right now, there's like 35 red flags I've seen from you. I would never want to be in the same room as you as a human being.
[00:07:39] Brian: You're a horrible human.
[00:07:40] Brian: everything about this project is toxic and If I never see you again, I'll be happy. You can't say that to people As much as you want might want to sometimes so easier way of saying that is hey I don't think I'm a good fit for this project I think there's probably some other people that are a better fit for this So is it cool if I just send you an email with some other recommendations in there that might be a better fit
[00:07:59] Brian: This is also the [00:08:00] place where we start getting all the information we need in order to know what the project pricing is going to be. we'll talk about this later, but pricing will be brought up on this call. There's a reason for this,
[00:08:10] Brian: which I'll talk about later, but just be prepared for that hard conversation because freelancers hate this. but when we're diagnosing a project. they get to a doctor, they're just going to ask you a bunch of questions. They're trying to gather all the information they need so that they can then prescribe the solution for you.
[00:08:23] Brian: What drug or what procedure or what thing is going to fix the thing that's wrong with you or help you get to the goals that you have. It doesn't even have to be a doctor. Sometimes it could be a A nutritionist.
[00:08:33] Brian: They're going to think about your current situation. I guess a bunch of questions. And then they're going to prescribe, which is the next step, prescribe what needs to be done to get you there. when you're getting all the information in part two, you're getting the truthful picture of everything.
[00:08:45] Brian: Now, this is the part that you talk through what they actually need. You're prescribing a solution. And this is a great place to start talking closer to the truth of what there actually is versus what they think they want or think they need. An example could be, a band came to me, they wanted their album mixed, I talked [00:09:00] through a bunch of questions and find out that the songs were actually recorded in like a basement studio with their best friend and the files are all garbage.
[00:09:06] Brian: So as a mixing engineer, the person who makes the files sound good, there's nothing I can do about that. the prescription isn't, you need your songs mixed so they can sound professional,
[00:09:15] Brian: the prescription is now, I'm so sorry. We have to rerecord everything from scratch. That sucks, but that's the truth, even if they don't want to hear it or in podcast production. to me for podcast editing and we find out all the gear is wrong. We find out that their current process is a dumpster fire and they're always behind on everything.
[00:09:32] Brian: And then we find out the prescription is actually You need us to take over the entire process for you you can just show up to the mic There's a producer there live with you to hold you accountable to make sure everything's recorded properly Now here's the side benefit of this both of those scenarios.
[00:09:45] Brian: I just laid out there double or triple or quadruple or 10x the value of the client
[00:09:50] Brian: and if you do a great job in this section for prescribing And you do an even better job in the next section for collecting or probably a better term would be closing them. Then
[00:09:59] Brian: you have a [00:10:00] very powerful kind of one two punch here. now I can already think through all of the like people shouting at their podcast apps and their phones right now just screaming like, Brian, my clients won't even pay me for the service they come to me for much less four to 10 X what they came to me for. I understand that. But if you've done a really good job again, I have a whole course.
[00:10:17] Brian: I'll just tell you the link now. Just you don't forget, you can go sign up for this right now. It's a free course, six figure creative. com slash sales. That's number six figure creative. com. slash sales. sign up for the free course there and I'll walk you through the specifics of like what to ask in these, each of these sections and how to approach some of these things in a more granular level where you have more time and there's a whole screen and showing things.
[00:10:35] Brian: But somebody comes to you with an end goal in mind and you do a great job really understanding what they need you do a really good consultative approach of. Explaining what they think they need and what they actually need are two different things. Here's what they actually need Here's what it'll look like and they're bought in and they understand that
[00:10:52] Brian: And you do a really good job explaining the value you provide all along the way and they understand how you play such a large part in getting them from point A [00:11:00] to point B, pricing becomes less and less and less and less of an objection over time.
[00:11:05] Brian: And again, there's some ways to counteract that objection anyways. We'll talk about that later on.
[00:11:08] Brian: So that's part three. We're trying to prescribe. the right solution to get them to their goal or get them what they want. Everyone is either running away from pain or running towards pleasure or a combination of both.
[00:11:18] Brian: Some people were very pain motivated where they they'll do anything or pay anything to alleviate a pain. For example, if I have a migraine, I get migraines somewhat regularly and they're awful. And I have to like wear an eye mask and just lay out in bed and I'm sweating and I'm cold at the same, like everything sucks when I have a migraine.
[00:11:34] Brian: I hate it. And I'm cranky. If someone came to me and said, Brian, take this right here and your migraine be gone in 30 seconds or even five minutes, I'd probably pay a lot of money for that solution because I am running away from pain. I want that pain solved. So again, in some freelance worlds, many people are trying to solve a pain on the flip side. Some people aren't running away from pain They're running towards a goal. in my world is a heavy metal mixer, mixing heavy metal bands. They're not really running away from the pain. They're actually trying to work towards [00:12:00] a goal.
[00:12:00] Brian: So when you formulate a great prescription, That helps alleviate pain or helps them work towards a goal. That's when we can move into part four, which is collect and close. And the goal here is if you're a good fit for them and they are a good fit for you, you close and collect.
[00:12:14] Brian: You either collect a deposit or you collect the full payment and it's very some person to person. But obviously this means that pricing is discussed on the call.
[00:12:22] Brian: And this is a terrifying for many freelancers be it's difficult for many freelancers. We'll talk through what that might look like in a minute. But the big reason this has to be done is because the sale doesn't actually start until pricing is discussed. And actually to me. The cell doesn't even start till money is asked for
[00:12:39] Brian: the money conversation, especially when you're asking for a deposit or asking for payment. This uncovers the real objections. I have had so many pleasant conversations where we're talking through things. Obviously, it's a great fit. Obviously could use my services. And there's no hint whatsoever that they are not going to become a client.
[00:12:57] Brian: the second money comes up, And it's [00:13:00] asked for a positive or payment or whatever. That's where all the objections start to bubble up out of nowhere. This has happened so many times in my life. And I promise you, this will start happening in your life as well. Most calls would be like this. So can you send me some more information? Can you send me a proposal?
[00:13:13] Brian: People ask for proposals.
[00:13:14] Brian: What can happen is somebody will not be interested in working with you. They're just trying to get in the call. And that's okay if it's not a good fit, but what can happen time and time again, especially as you are learning your sales process, you're learning more about the people that you serve is that many times there's something that was set earlier in the conversation or something that was unaddressed that kills it in their head.
[00:13:34] Brian: Like they don't want to work with you. And it's a false objection, meaning it's a false belief that's holding them back from paying you as a freelancer. And because you don't ask for money on the call, no objection really gets brought up. They just say, cool, thanks. I'll think about it. Or some variation of that.
[00:13:49] Brian: I'll talk to my bandmates cool. Can you send me more information in email, whatever it is to get off the call. So in my opinion, the sale doesn't start until money is asked for on the call.
[00:13:57] Brian: So how do we do this? In many cases, Most [00:14:00] freelancers, you can just ask for deposit. This can be refundable. It can be non refundable. I'm going to talk more about this in sales course that you can get for free at sixfigurecreative. com slash sales, hint, hint.
[00:14:08] Brian: But even a small 100 refundable deposit where it's like, Hey, there's a lot we've got to discuss from here. I can put a proposal together for you because I need to figure out what the pricing might look like based on everything we said so far. But if this is something you're genuinely interested in, the way I do this is I take a 100 refundable deposit.
[00:14:26] Brian: And this just tells me that, hey, you're all in, assuming we can come together on a price and everything looks good, assuming everything we've discussed so far is true and you like working with me, that 100 deposit will just go towards whatever the total is. And if you don't like the proposal or you don't accept the proposal or something doesn't work out, I'll refund the 100 the 100 is just here to tell me that we're still on the same page here.
[00:14:45] Brian: Does that sound fair? You take the deposit. Even something like that is a low stakes, low barrier way to ask for money in a way that for people, if they're genuinely interested in working with you, we'll have no problem paying. And people that are tire kickers are people that have an objection that's unraised and their heads will [00:15:00] push back against. especially those of you who have more higher ticket sales, meaning you have like 10, 20, 50, hundred thousand dollar projects that you're doing. If you can't collect a hundred dollar refundable deposit for you are not going to get the deal. The whole point of this is to uncover those objections so that they lay bare naked out in front of both of you.
[00:15:17] Brian: And you can actually discuss the conversations as somebody who's been married for four years now, if somebody who's been in a partnership with somebody in a business even longer than that, I can tell you the biggest conflicts or the biggest issues can be the things that are.
[00:15:27] Brian: Not brought to the surface. The things that are still buried beneath that are not laid bare between both people. now the three most common objections you're going to come across on any sales call is this. There's going to be price sensitivity. There's going to be a timing issue. Or there's going to be some issue about a decision maker. I'm going to talk through each of those three.
[00:15:42] Brian: How to address those on the call if they come up, how to even know if those are the real objections. Like there's a bunch of stuff that goes on there. But generally speaking, I'm going to talk about pricing first because this is the one you're going to come up against the most. And the more copycat of a freelancer you are, the more button seat you are, the more commoditized your service, the more this is going to be a real objection.[00:16:00]
[00:16:00] Brian: And the more your service, meaning there's not direct competitors. And there's a bunch of ways to do this. maybe I'll have a whole episode on differentiators. If anyone's interested, the more differentiated you are from with your competitors, the less of this will be an issue or at least the more you'll be able to overcome this objection because no matter what everyone has a limited amount of money or at least in their head, they have a limited amount.
[00:16:19] Brian: They're willing to pay for this type of project And either they know that exact amount or they have a ballpark range in their head. And the higher you get up in that range, the less likely they are to close or the more hesitant that they are going to be to actually pay you. So how do we handle the price sensitivity issue?
[00:16:33] Brian: First, the best way of addressing objections like this are to first prevent them from ever happening. I'll give you an example. I'm working with a client right now and he sent me a screenshot of an email that he got from one of his. Leads that he had a sales call with and pricing was discussed on the sales call But no deposit was made or anything which again would have helped the situation a lot there Because this would have come up during the call But the concern was that their fee which was a percentage of the project size was going to be too much So it [00:17:00] was a pricing objection
[00:17:01] Brian: and while that can be addressed and I gave him some ideas for how to address this The real issue was in his sales process He could have prevented this from ever happening had he pre addressed the value he brings to the project i'm trying to be vague here because i'm not trying to give away any like This client would be easy to identify if I brought up what they did or how they help.
[00:17:19] Brian: But I'm just going to say this, my client's service more than pays for what he's charging. and I don't think he properly talked through in the sales process, why that is, And because of that pricing was objection and a concern.
[00:17:31] Brian: the best objection overcome is prevention in the first place.
[00:17:34] Brian: And that's done in the diagnose and prescribe stages. if you had asked for a deposit on the call to just lock in the dates for the client, what would have happened is they would have addressed this on the call. So now we have what's called an objection.
[00:17:45] Brian: An objection is just anything that keeps the project from moving forward. It is an obstacle that needs to be overcome. Now there are objections that are valid. I mean, Man, this is actually now an unqualified lead because the objection they have is truthful. I can't provide the thing that they want. So I've got to say, [00:18:00] you know what?
[00:18:00] Brian: You're right. I don't think I can do that. Is that's going to be a deal breaker for you guys. It is. Okay, cool. I think there might be a few more people that are better fit than this. So I'm going to send you their way. If that's cool with you, I'll send you an email with all the details of who I think might be a better fit for this.
[00:18:11] Brian: Cool. That's an unqualified lead. That's not what I'm talking about here. There's a real, not objections and objection is generally speaking things that are untrue. They're not disqualifying them. They're just a hurdle that we not to move past.
[00:18:23] Brian: So when they bring up some sort of pricing sensitivity on the call, we have to figure out one of two things. Is it a complete lack of funds or is it a lack of value funds means they just have no way of actually paying for your service. Like maybe you were way more than they thought, or they don't have a budget, which is very common in my world is in the heavy metal musician world where they all work day jobs to fund their passion of music.
[00:18:43] Brian: And I'm the producer who's getting paid to bring their music to life. The fund issue was the main issue I had with my clients.
[00:18:51] Brian: Lack of value is where. They might have the funds
[00:18:54] Brian: or the means to get the funds, but they don't believe that what you provide is worth what they're [00:19:00] paying. And that was the case in that example I gave you with my client where they didn't believe the value he provided was worth what he was charging. So these are two separate issues. And sometimes you have both issues.
[00:19:10] Brian: They have no funds and they believe you're too expensive. that's the death zone that will kill a project very quickly. So how do we address these? let's talk about the funds issue, lack of funds. The best way to prevent this is to have a solution. So if it's a B2B sale, like you're a freelancer that works with other business owners, have some sort of funding option where you have ways that they can fund the project. Now, everything is different,
[00:19:29] Brian: but in the B2B world, business to business, for those who don't know what that is, there are many funding partners who can Fund big projects, especially when it's a project with an ROI.
[00:19:38] Brian: There can also be things like Stripe or PayPal that have funding options again This is a world where you need to educate yourself because if funding is a big roadblock Finding a way to get the funds is a huge way to overcome this another way and this is more common in the b2c world business to consumer business to customer, which is the world.
[00:19:55] Brian: I'm from I work more than that than anything else when I'm working with the bands can I help them get [00:20:00] funding so in the band world something like Kickstarter or GoFundMe is a huge thing. as far as how bands get funded for their albums and for their music videos and things like that. So depending on your niche, a lot of times you can either learn that whole world yourself or you can find people to partner with to help them get funded.
[00:20:14] Brian: Either way, you've overcome that big hurdle or that big roadblock of lack of funding that's killing the deal. Now, let's say that that's, that's either not the issue here or. But that's issues been dealt with. And now we're talking lack of value. And if it's a lack of value, they don't believe that you're worth the price that you're charging. We've got to get to the root cause and figure out where's the disconnect here?
[00:20:32] Brian: What, where do we go wrong in the sales call? So it's either maybe a competitor offers better value, which is a real thing,
[00:20:39] Brian: especially in more of the copycat freelancing world where someone's a direct competitor and there's a clear better than or worse than you, If the competitors, the issue, maybe it's time to look inward at yourself to find how you can differentiate from your other competitors, because if the other competitor offers more value, meaning a better service for the same price or the same service for a lesser price, that's a hard thing to compete on.[00:21:00]
[00:21:00] Brian: You need to find ways to differentiate. And either stand apart or out from them, or in many cases where you're already at the upper limit of what you can charge, which is the common thing in my world as a music producer where you're working with broke bands, there's an upper limit to what I can charge.
[00:21:12] Brian: So I've got to find ways that I can provide more value at no expense to myself, which I did. So I'd have bands stay at my studio. I had bunk beds for them. I had a place for them to stay, so they didn't have to buy a hotel. So when they flew in from other countries or they drove in from out of state, that's a value add that I could provide that other than the mental toll, it took no more time out of my day or skin off my back to have a place for them to live.
[00:21:31] Brian: Or you've just got to get better at what you do so that you are now the superior solution. That part is really difficult. It takes time, effort, energy, continuous investment of time, effort, and sometimes money investing in yourself to improve your craft.
[00:21:42] Brian: But if competitor offers. Better value that is where you look in really to fix that it's not something you can just quickly overcome on a sales call using slick words That is just a genuine means that you're not a good fit for them. If there's a better solution for them out there, disconnect number two, when it comes to lack of value can be there, just looking for the cheapest solution.
[00:21:59] Brian: And if that's the case,[00:22:00] few ways to address this. If they're just looking for the cheapest solution, then they're probably not a good fit for you. That's more of a disqualifier. Then a objection, however, there could be some things in the sales process you can do to improve uncovering this earlier on, because the worst that can happen is you spend all this time, effort, energy, getting to this point of the call for this to be the thing you uncover anytime you have a disqualifier late in a call, that's a chance to improve your sales process during the discovery phase where you're trying to diagnose the issue.
[00:22:26] Brian: Or maybe even before that, when you have an inquiry form or pre call form that they're filling out to give you more information to try to uncover these sorts of disqualifiers earlier on.
[00:22:35] Brian: But sometimes they're just uneducated and you have to talk back through your notes. It's great to take sales notes. I have a whole, again, this part of my guide on the Sales course you can get it six figure creative comm slash sales But when you're talking to them, you're gathering all the information for the project a lot of times You can just read back some of the things they said to you.
[00:22:51] Brian: So, Okay. So just some understanding your expectations are 200 a song for producing tracking mixing mastering and Lodging[00:23:00] my pricing is 800 a song. So we're like we're way off here.
[00:23:03] Brian: Who do you expect to go to? To get what you want because you said you want to sound like these bands and all of these bands recorded either with me at my studio or at competitors that are just as expensive if not more than I am. So I'm trying to see like, what is your alternate solution? Like, what are you going to do here?
[00:23:19] Brian: Because if you're just trying to work with whoever's going to charge you 200 per song, You're not going to get the quality that you want. And you said the quality or the sound or the mix, whatever. Again, this is just, you're reading their words back to them.
[00:23:28] Brian: So it was very important to you. What am I missing here? this allows them to confront their own thoughts and feelings around what they expect versus what they're willing to pay. And sometimes you can help educate your clients on what it costs to get what they want. That's why, again, when we get to the prescription element, you're trying to tell them exactly what needs to be done in order to get them the thing that they want.
[00:23:48] Brian: In my case. Sounding amazing, heavy metal mixes, whatever,
[00:23:51] Brian: and by educating them on the fact that no matter what they're going to pay eight to 12, 000 or more for an album at that quality. And there truly is no other [00:24:00] option than looking for the cheapest solution isn't going to get them to their goals. And so again, them back on the goals that they set.
[00:24:06] Brian: And using their words to overcome that. So that's part of how we can overcome the looking for the cheapest solution objection.
[00:24:12] Brian: So that's a bit on the first main objection. The big one is price sensitivity. And again, to me, the best way to overcome this is just to address it before we ever get to this part of the call. Next is kind of a timing issue,
[00:24:23] Brian: which means either timing isn't right for them.
[00:24:25] Brian: Or they're just delaying the decision because they're not ready to make a decision yet, which again has its own issues. first let's talk through how do we get here in the first place? Again, prevention is the best solution for objections. Was this an issue in your qualification process? Again, we talked last week about qualifying leads and people who are not ready to make a move right now. Sometimes you can have just a general conversation with them to see kind of what their timeline is. And I actually suggest on your inquiry form, putting a timeline question on there, like, when are you looking to get started?
[00:24:53] Brian: Or select your ideal date, something like that.
[00:24:54] Brian: Because if you're surprised here. Because of a timing objection, usually that's an issue that can be addressed earlier on[00:25:00] in the conversation or before the conversation even happens. just asking better questions there,
[00:25:04] Brian: but if you do get this objection, especially at the end of a call when you're like, we're not ready to pay a deposit right now because we're still just kind of figure out who we want to work with or still not ready where I think we're going to maybe look to start in January or February or March or they give some future date.
[00:25:17] Brian: First thing is just. Refer back to your notes that you took on your sales call. Always take notes or just think through the conversation is does this line up with what they've said so far? Because many people will change their tune and they throw this objection. The timing objection or some issue around not being ready or really any objection.
[00:25:31] Brian: They'll throw down what's called a smokescreen. And a smokescreen is just a blanket objection that everyone has their pockets so they can get off a call. We all do it. so what I'll do a lot of times just be blunt. Listen. Totally get it. if you're just trying to get the call like no problem Like if this is just not a good fit for you, But based on what I'm seeing like if you guys are trying to start in January We should have probably started this two months ago.
[00:25:52] Brian: So we're already behind
[00:25:53] Brian: Or based on what we've said so far, this doesn't really line up with what you've told me so far. So is there something else I'm missing here? Like what's going on again, a [00:26:00] smokescreen is just an objection. They raise as a way to just try to get out of the conversation,
[00:26:04] Brian: which is fine if it's not a good fit on one way or another. But if we're trying to find the source of truth here. That's the whole goal. If we already know the source of truth is they're at point A, they wanna get a point B. It's a great fit on both sides.
[00:26:16] Brian: Everything else has been great, but something is off here and we can't figure out why. It is your job as a freelancer who can provide value to your clients to uncover the real truth here. So if they're throwing up a smoke screen I need to think about it.
[00:26:28] Brian: It's your job to uncover the truth.
[00:26:29] Brian: And a real easy question to get there. If you just want a good framework of a question to add here, if you're just trying to uncover what the truth is, it's a cool, like how much time do you need? you need a month. Cool. Let me ask you this on a scale of like one to 10, one being like, I just want to get off the phone with this guy.
[00:26:43] Brian: I hate you. 10 being like, I am all in. I just have to get my ducks in a row before we can get started. But in a month I'm a hundred percent in. Where are you on that scale? If it's a 10 great, we can talk about what to do next, if they give you anything other than a 10, obviously below 5 is awful, a 6 or 7 or 8 or sometimes even [00:27:00] 9, all you say is cool.
[00:27:01] Brian: Thank you for being honest with me. What is missing to take it from an 8 to a 10? Or what do you need to see to take it from an 8 to a 10? And that golden question will uncover the real objection that's still lingering. And until you present it that way, it won't tickle that little thought that's in the back of their head of like, what is missing?
[00:27:18] Brian: why isn't this a 10 Why am I not all in with this? And it could be the pricing just doesn't make sense to me. I'm sorry. Like We just can't pay 10 grand for this. I was hoping to be around five. This is just so far off from what we expected. Now we're back to the pricing objection, and that's truly the thing that's holding them back.
[00:27:31] Brian: It could be a competitor.
[00:27:32] Brian: But again, that question is just great at breaking up the smokescreen that they've thrown up and get to the real truth here. But whatever happens here, you always want to book a follow up call on the spot. they tell you a month, it's a 10 They definitely want to work with you in a month. Don't wait around and wait for emails. Just say, cool. What date works for you for a follow up call? We'll just have a follow up call and we can, And any questions or concerns or things that come up between now and then we can discuss on that call. January 5th sound good to you?
[00:27:54] Brian: Cool. Put it on the calendar, book it, Have them confirm on the call so that it's in the book so there's always the next step.
[00:27:59] Brian: But the third [00:28:00] objection, the final one I'll talk about here is kind of a decision maker. What can happen is if you're in B2C world, business to consumer, they'll say, I need to talk to the wife or the spouse. If you're in a B2B world, I need to talk to my partners. if you're in, some B2C worlds like mine as a music producer, I've got to talk to my bandmates.
[00:28:15] Brian: This can kill a deal and not kill a deal, but it can delay a deal. It can hold off from even getting a deposit. So in these scenarios, you kind of have two options here
[00:28:22] Brian: and both turn this into process changes, process change. One in your sales process is you can either turn this into a two call close call one is where you can run through part or all of this process I just talked about here in call two is where you get the rest of the decision makers on the call to have a shorter discussion where everyone can bring up their concerns and that can really work great in a lot of scenarios or option two is to just Require for the first sales call that all decision makers be on that call.
[00:28:47] Brian: Now, again, every business and every scenario is different and the more decision makers there are, the harder this can be. so in many cases, the two call sales process makes a lot more sense. Use your own best judgment here.
[00:28:54] Brian: But by the end of all this, the objection overcomes fixing all the issues in your sales process. The goal of all [00:29:00] this, besides getting to the truth, is that if the truth and covers that you're the best solution for their problems to help them get where they want. goal of this is to get some sort of skin in the game.
[00:29:08] Brian: They neither need to deposit or the full pay or something where they have skin in the game. They have money on the line, either refundable or non refundable. Doesn't really matter, honestly, so that you can actually uncover all of the real objections they have and finish the call by collecting some sort of money.
[00:29:22] Brian: The more you do this, the better you get at this, the more comfortable you are with this, the more confident you're going to be with everything, the more clients overall you're going to close, the more you're going to weed out those red flag clients you really don't want to work with anyways,
[00:29:33] Brian: and the less surprises you'll actually have when the project starts.
[00:29:36] Brian: Now, let me wrap up this with a conversation on proposals. Where does proposal fit into the sales process?
[00:29:42] Brian: I'm going to be blunt here. In most cases, freelancers use proposals As a scaredy cat scapegoat. So bear with me if you're offended right now. Generally, the reason people use proposals is because they don't want to talk about on the sales goal. They don't want to bring up numbers. They don't even want to bring up ranges.
[00:29:58] Brian: They just want to have the first parts of [00:30:00] this call and then wash their hands of it and say, cool, I'll send you more information in an email. The problem with that, like I just said, is no real skin in the game. No real sales has happened. And now you're forced to address objections through email.
[00:30:11] Brian: Assuming you can even get them to bring those objections up on a sales call. Really hard for people not to address their concerns on a one to one call. Really easy for people to ghost you on email. So if you get ghosted a lot or you lose a lot of deals and you couldn't tell me why other than maybe pricing, chances are you need to get on sales calls and actually talk money and collect money on the sales call and not hide behind proposals. when it comes to certain freelancers and certain industries, proposals. are the norm in your niche, in your industry. And I acknowledge that. That's okay. It doesn't mean you can't talk money on a call because to me, the best way to do it, if you have to send a proposal, or if you usually send a proposal, the best way to me is to discuss it on the call, talk money, do your best to collect deposit if you can, and your industry allows it.
[00:30:51] Brian: And then say, cool, great. Based on everything we discussed here, I will send you a follow up with a proposal on it. It'll have all the details of everything we discussed here. So you and your team, or you and [00:31:00] your, band can look through it all and then the next step is if you like it You can just sign the proposal and pay the deposit straight through there put a link on our show notes at six figure creative comm slash 286 it'll have links to anything I mentioned in this episode including the link to get the actual sales course That's companion to this episode at six figure creative comm slash sales. That'll be at our show notes page at sixfigurecreative.
[00:31:20] Brian: com slash two eight six on that page will also be a link or an embedded video where I talk through how you create a great proposal or you can look at it like a client agreement to me with the one in the same for the most part, a client agreement has a little bit more legal ease in it proposals a little bit more.
[00:31:35] Brian: About the project and the specifics, but to me, I just like to combine the two of them together. And it's more like a client agreement slash proposal. It's really easy to make that look good, feel good, and not be super legally jargony. But at least there's some resource there that I can walk through the specifics of that.
[00:31:49] Brian: If you're really into proposals for whatever reason, just go to sixfigurecreative. com slash 286 for the show notes on this episode.
[00:31:55] Brian: But I acknowledge that this stuff can be intimidating, especially sales calls, especially those of you who are not [00:32:00] people persons, persons, people, people, persons, people. People, people, persons, paper, people, I'm trying to say. If you're not a people person. One on one calls and live calls of people is intimidating.
[00:32:10] Brian: It's scary, especially to talk money because a rejection to you and your pricing and value is a direct rejection of you as a human being. So I fully acknowledge that this is an intimidating subject. I don't expect everyone to be just be gung ho and excited about this, but I will say that if you struggle with this, the best way to get over it is to just keep doing it.
[00:32:29] Brian: You get desensitized. For example, I just remember the first time of me ever being on camera. Where I'm staring at a camera like I am right now, if you're on YouTube, you see me looking at you. Hi. Staring into a camera and trying to talk was one of the most awkward experiences in my life. It is brutal. The first time I ever did that, it took so long to get through anything.
[00:32:46] Brian: And then eventually I found out, Oh, I can get a teleprompter and I can script things out. And I can just talk and just read through a thing. I can read, right? And that helped me for a while. And a lot of my content was done through a teleprompter for a while. I was all scripted. at the time, I was a better writer than a speaker, and I still think I'm great at writing,[00:33:00] but writing takes me for ever.
[00:33:02] Brian: Speaking, I have a whole series that I outline in about 30 to 45 minutes, that'll be like 3 to 5 episodes, and I'm just talking through bullet points at this point, I'm reading very, very little. And the only reason I got there is because we're at 286 episodes of this podcast, about 150 of those have been on video, even before that. It was still on a zoom call with my co host where we're just talking and shooting the And I've done a bunch of YouTube videos. So I, I've gotten over it by doing it and practicing it. It's just like an instrument. The more you do it, the more you practice it, the more confident you get because the better you get at it.
[00:33:33] Brian: So just like that sales is the same way. It's an instrument you need to practice. It's a skill you don't have, and it would be unreasonable to expect for you to be good at it. If you haven't done this yet, so my advice and encouragement to you is to just go to sixfigurecreative. com slash sales, sign up for the free sales course, work your way through it.
[00:33:51] Brian: The first three videos are very short. Just talk through some of the philosophy stuff. The last video on that course is very long and it talks through mapping out your whole roadmap, your [00:34:00] sales AKA your outline of your sales script, adding all the questions you're going to ask during the call, And then use that on the next lead that comes to you, try it out. And then, like I said, at the beginning of this episode, start small like that, and then just continuously evolve that sales script or that sales roadmap. Every time you do a call, Several things need to change.
[00:34:16] Brian: That question didn't land. This question would have been better. The way I phrased that was weird. We need to add more questions about this. We need to. X, Y, and Z, A, B, and C, whatever. There'll be a million things that you'll know you need to do because you're going through this process and you're actually taking steps.
[00:34:29] Brian: So that is all I have for this episode. Hopefully this was one that you somewhat enjoyed. Let me know by just leaving a comment on YouTube. SixFigureCreative. com slash for the show notes on this episode. will take you to the page where the YouTube video is embedded. Click on the YouTube video and comment. I read every single comment. I reply to all of them except the ones that came in while I was in Peru.
[00:34:49] Brian: Sorry about that. But if you comment on this I will respond to you. It is not my team. It is me. as far as what's coming next in this series, I have more I want to talk about, but the things that I have at least mapped out right now, and this will [00:35:00] probably expand as I sit down next week to play more of this out. We're going to talk through short term, longterm followup process. How do you do this? Because follow up will account for about half of your income. And I'm not even kidding. Follow up is 50 percent of your income or more in many cases. So the better you are at this, the more money you will make.
[00:35:17] Brian: And if you don't do any follow up right now, listen to next week's episode and you will double your income. If you implement what I talk about, that's as close to a guarantee as I can make.
[00:35:24] Brian: I have another episode that will be a standalone episode talking through, dealing with stagnant leads. So. All of your leads, your sales leads. I talked about this last week. Somebody who sent an inquiry and showed actual interest in hiring you talking through when they get piled up at a certain stage, whether it's everyone's feeling out your inquiry form, but no one's booking a call or people are booking calls, but they're unqualified or they're booking calls and they're good leads, but they're not showing up on the calls or they're on the calls and they're not closing again, there's a bunch of different places that leads can, what I call pile up, meaning they're just not getting through the bottleneck. We'll talk through essentially, how do we break through these bottlenecks in the sales process?
[00:35:59] Brian: And then we'll have some [00:36:00] information on just ticky tacky things like contracts, and how to do those, payments, how do you collect payments, especially if you're on a call, I probably should talk about that today, but we'll talk through some of that stuff.
[00:36:08] Brian: And then the whole conversation on upselling and cross selling. if something else comes up while I'm playing this out, it might extend this episode out. But let's say there's probably about two to three more episodes in this series and hopefully you're liking it. Just let me know on YouTube.
[00:36:18] Brian: Otherwise, I'll see you all next week. Thank you so much for listening to the Six Figure Creative Podcast.
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