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I left so much money on the table when I was scaling my creative agency. Oh man, it is so embarrassing to even confess it here. We would land a great project, then execute like prime Michael Jordan in the NBA finals. The client would be thrilled with the results. We’d send the final invoice and then hope that another project would come from the client soon.

Mike Janda Sales 101

This was “Mike Janda Sales 101,” also known as the “hope for more work because you did a good job and are a nice dude” sales strategy. I was always afraid of coming across as “too salesy,” so I was never very aggressive with my sales approach (to be honest, I still am afraid of that, which is why I am so careful about my “give value” vs. “ask for the sale” proportions).

Am I Being Too Salesy?

It took me years to realize that “asking for more projects” does NOT make me seem like a noodle-surviving used car salesman; it just makes me seem like I am running a business.

I probably got scared into becoming more direct in my sales efforts when my agency overhead started to grow. There’s nothing quite like a big payroll to kickstart a more direct sales approach and grow revenue.

The Easiest Sales Trigger Ever

Consequently, I had to add some standard triggers to try to generate more sales and cover the revenue needs of my business. This sales rule is one of the most effective and easiest to implement in your business. Although I don’t have exact data, it probably resulted in 10-20% more revenue each year (getting me some of that money I was leaving on the table due to my timid sales approach). Here is the rule:

Sales Rule:

After every project is complete, ask for more work. Every project. Every time.

Some of you might be thinking, “No duh,” so I’ll tell you what I am thinking, “Are you doing it?” Really? After every single project?” I suspect not. And the fact that you aren’t doing this means you, like Mike Janda 101, are likely leaving money on the table.

Use These Scripts to Ask for More Work

Here are a few different ways you can ask this question to your client:

“It was a pleasure working with you on this project. We are so proud of the results. We would love to continue working together in the future. Are there any other projects coming that we could help with?”

“We loved this project! Do you have anything else coming up that we can have on our radar?”

“We’re super happy with how this project turned out. Anything else we can do for you?”

“We’d love to keep working together to help your business. Do you have any additional projects coming in the next few weeks or months ahead?”

You can ask this question face-to-face. You can ask it in an email. You can ask it on a bus. You can ask it as a plus. Just ask the question; don’t be a lamb. Ask the question, Sam-I-Am. (Ok, now I’m getting a little carried away. I digress.)

What If They Say “No”

When you ask for more work, sometimes the client will unveil an upcoming project they haven’t divulged to you yet, and other times they will say “not right now.”
Don’t fret if they don’t have anything right when you ask. Know that you planted a seed that you’re interested in more projects. That seed will often grow in the coming weeks while they are sitting in a meeting, and a new project opportunity springs out of a conversation with their colleagues. You’ll likely be the recipient of an email with something new for you to bid on.

The Summary

Don’t be afraid to ask for more work. It does NOT make you “too salesy.”
Make “asking for more work” part of your standard process when you close out EVERY project.
If you want something, ask for it! It’s ok!

Michael Janda

I am Michael Janda, an executive level creative leader with more than 25 years of experience in both in-house creative departments and agencies working with some of the greatest brands in the world including Disney, Google, Fox, ABC and NBC. I create books, courses, workshops, lectures and other training materials to help creative entrepreneurs run successful businesses.