Capable + Credible = Contract

Introducing prospects is stressful and time consuming, but how exciting it is to be invited to discuss a project! Well in advance, time and energy is spent preparing for the meeting and, if requested, a proposal is also written to describe how the client’s goals would be achieved.

It’s frustrating if your proposal is rejected, or worse, if you never hear from that prospect again. Therefore, it is imperative that Solopreneurs plan to improve our customer acquisition rate and minimize negative results.

Customer endorsements

Recommendations from satisfied customers are votes of confidence that build trust. A recommendation made by someone known and respected by the potential customer is the ideal endorsement. Word of mouth is always the best advertisement.

LinkedIn recommendations are lukewarm. The testimonials that appear on your website are powerful, especially those given by a reputable client. Better yet, is to invite a client to participate in a case study that details what it’s like to work with you, so that the story can appear on your website.

Samples of your work

Create a portfolio of case studies or samples of your work to put on some show for prospects. They deserve the opportunity to see and evaluate your work, so that they can imagine the correspondence between the results they must achieve and the solutions it would offer. Curate your portfolio by choosing projects that demonstrate the experience you want to showcase. A good portfolio will also help justify your price (premium).

Online presence

Potential clients expect all professionals to have an online presence, and before deciding to contact a Solopreneur specialist, an internet search is conducted. Prospective clients want to know who you are and confirm that you are legitimate.

There are those rare Solopreneurs who have been able to build a successful client list without an online presence. Whether or not you have a website, cultivate your digital personality through social media, or post press releases online to publicize talks, participate in charity or community events, or announce an award you’ve received.

Writing a newsletter or blog, guest appearances on a podcast, or uploading a video clip of yourself in action are additional options for establishing a credible digital presence designed to reassure prospects.

Communicate added value

The primary reason clients hire Solopreneur specialists is that they believe these people will bring significant value to the project and make the person making the hiring decisions appear smart. The mere description of your products and services is no longer enough to win assignments in a hyper-competitive market full of highly skilled professionals who are available and eager for billable hours.

Communicating your exceptional value is the way to get hired and your value must be demonstrated in many ways. As a trial attorney, apply examples of your skills until the preponderance of the evidence is tilted in your favor. Make the case that the customer’s job will be easier, the business will save money, be better positioned to make money, and that mission-critical goals will be achieved, with you at work.

Politely persist

When a potential client has agreed to talk about doing business, or when you need to confirm whether you will be awarded a contract after you have discussed the project, there are two possible actions you can take:

1). Active search, when you send an email to encourage a meeting or to know the result of a hiring decision.

two). Passively waiting for the potential customer to contact you.

According to experts, neither approach is helpful. It takes a diplomatic way to keep your proposal in the foreground. Why not phone or text the prospect three to four days after submitting their proposal to confirm that it has been received, or follow up after a discussion about the project? You can also ask when you would like to start project work. Open the door a little more and suggest that you will be happy to start work as soon as possible on an urgent action item, so that the deadline is comfortably met.

Entrepreneurs have two jobs: finding projects, and then completing those projects. Our ability to survive economically is directly linked to this process. As companies continue to downsize the full-time workforce, the number of Solopreneurs grows. To compete successfully, we must always be positioned to acquire customers and generate adequate income.

Thank you for reading,

Kim

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