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In the mind of some people “selling” is a bad word. I’ve seen content shared that says things like “don’t sell, serve.” Good advice, for sure, because serving someone leads to a trusting relationship and a trusting relationship can lead to a sale.

But guess what?

It is ok to sell too!

In fact, if you don’t sell (in some form) your business will struggle and probably die a slow miserable death.

In this article I share a list of things you should be doing to “sell” your services to potential clients. All of these are good to do. All of them are part of business. And none of them will make you a “used car salesman.”

Write an Elevator Pitch

Before you start “selling” you need to be able to share your business in an articulate way. Here is a quick “fill in the blank” elevator pitch template.

“Hi, my name is (1) ____________.

I help (2) these types of clients ____________

(3) produce these types of results ____________.

(4) I do these types of services ____________.

(5) The things that make my business different from others businesses like mine is ____________.”

Here is mine:

“Hi, my name is (1) Michael Janda.

I help (2) creative freelancers and agency owners

(3) make more money, have less stress and grow their businesses

(4) I do this through free social media content, paid courses and 1:1 coaching.

(5) The things that make me different from other people like me is I’ve been through every experience a creative career can have, from junior designer, to Hollywood creative director, to growing and selling an eight figure agency. I know what my clients are struggling with and how to help them because I’ve been their shoes (no matter what phase of career they are in).”

Get Out and Meet People

Now that you have a quick elevator pitch ready, stand up. Stop hiding behind your computer. Go out and meet potential clients somewhere. Anywhere. They aren’t going to come knocking on your basement door.

Don’t Hide What You Do

And when you meet new people in business circles, don’t be afraid to share your elevator pitch. It also helps if you are willing to listen to theirs. I’ve met some amazing people who never became my clients, but they have become lifelong friends…all starting from a conversation about each other’s businesses.

Ask for Referrals

Now that you’ve gotten out from behind your computer, don’t be afraid to ask people if they know anyone who would benefit from your services. The world is smaller than you think.

Set Some Meetings

Now that you’ve rustled up some potential clients, set up some meetings. Meet them on a video call. Meet them for lunch. Offer to meet them at their office.

Listen to Understand

Once you get in front of a potential client, ask smart questions with the intention of understanding their business and the challenges they face. Start thinking about how to position your services as a solution to the challenges you uncover.

Position Your Services and Unique Advantages

With a good understanding of your potential client’s challenges, you can now share a more “long-winded” version of your elevator pitch. Expand on it a little. It shouldn’t take an hour, but it shouldn’t take 30 seconds either. This version should be uniquely positioned as a solution to some of their business problems. And don’t be afraid to highlight the reasons that working with you (instead of someone else) is the best choice for them.

Help Your Client Envision Results

In your sales conversations, help your clients see the potential “return on investment” they will get from working with you. That return on investment can be in the form of more customer, increased revenue, smoother business, brand awareness or any of the myriad other reasons your services will help them.

If the above stuff qualifies as “sales” and if indeed “sales is bad” then I guess I am in staunch disagreement with the “sales is bad” preachers out there. You need to sell and you can do all the things I’ve listed here without becoming a sleazy salesperson. No Jedi mind tricks necessary.

Provide services that will help your client’s business. Offer them at prices that are fair to both you and your client. Be genuinely interested in solving their problems and producing results. Then go sell the heck out of it. Your clients will thank you and so will your business.

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.