GROWING YOUR BUSINESS

How to Close More High Ticket Sales8 min read

January 16, 2020
Emilie Johnston

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How to Close More High Ticket Sales8 min read

Learn how to boost your sales prowess to pull in high-dollar projects in the FREE Six-Figure Freelancer audio course, with Mike Montague, VP of online sales with the world’s largest sales training organization, Sandler Training. 

You’re a freelancer. You might design websites. You might write blog posts. You could be a graphic designer, video producer, photographer, writer, or any number of other specializations. But there’s one thing you’re probably not — a salesperson.

For many self-employed creators, sales is one of the most challenging, uncomfortable, and mistake-fraught hats they have to wear. It seems to require a certain set of skills, many of which run exactly counter to the traits that creatives often possess. 

This puts freelancers in a difficult spot. If they want to scale to a six-figure freelancing business they need to focus on sales, the function they most dislike.

But it doesn’t have to be this way. In his episode of the Six-Figure Freelancer audio course, Mike Montague dispels some of the myths around pitching and selling to high-ticket clients. With the right attitude and approach, you can close more high ticket sales and skyrocket your freelance business.

Sales Isn’t About Selling, It’s About Building Relationships

We frequently think of salespeople as fast-talking hustlers that push customers into deals with aggressive tactics. And some do operate this way, but it’s not the most effective way to sell. Prospects might buy from these people once to make them stop, but they certainly won’t come back for more. 

To land high-value clients that respect your skills and your time, you should take a very different approach. Instead of rushing to the sale, you need to take your time and develop the relationship. Once you’ve established a rapport with your prospects, selling becomes much easier, because customers buy from people they trust.

Build better relationships and create more open, honest communication than just trying to overhype your services. Generally the harder you push on prospects, the harder they push back and the more defensive walls they put up. Instead, just calm down, relax and create an atmosphere and environment where both people are equal. If you’re seen as a highly paid professional and worthy of higher dollars, more attention, more respect, then that’s what you attract and you get in the sales process.

Mike Montague, Six Figure Freelancer audio course

You Need to Change the Way You Think About Your Business

First and foremost, you need to take yourself seriously. You need to believe that you’re worth the money that you want to make. This isn’t always easy. Many of us are plagued with self-doubt, and often feel that we should accept whatever clients are willing to pay us.

But this is the path to failure. It takes work and self-discipline, but if you want to close more high ticket sales you need to convince yourself that taking less than what you’re worth isn’t acceptable.

This involves shifting your approach to selling, from a position of weakness to one of strength. Yes, you need money. But you don’t want to approach sales that way. Clients can sense desperation. If they feel you need the job, they’ll have the advantage. So work to cultivate a mindset that says you want the money, but you don’t need it.

In short, you need to be willing to walk away. This moves the power in the transaction back to you, and it lends your position credibility. It says to your client, “you need me more than I need you”, and only true professionals that know their worth approach their businesses that way. Your prospect will pick up on your confidence, and this is often enough to convince them that you’re worth what you’re asking for.

Underbidding Can Actually Hurt Sales

This isn’t the case with low-value clients that place price above all other considerations. But when you start pursuing clients that have decent budgets and are looking for quality, being the lowest bidder works against you. 

I’ve lost the deal because I said I could do this website for 10 grand and I was $40,000 under the second, the next lowest bid. And so they said, hey, we like your work but we just don’t trust that you can do it. That deal’s too good to be true. And we’d rather pay for quality than get something cheap. So when you’re leveling up, sometimes you have to level up your money mindset too. And discounts are not deals for higher-level people. They have the money, they want something really outstanding.

Mike Montague, Six Figure Freelancer audio course

This is one of the benefits you’ll discover when you begin targeting higher-value clients. They’re not afraid to spend money. They’d rather pay higher prices to assure that they’re going to get proper value in return. 

So should you feel guilty that you’re charging significantly more for the same work you did before? Absolutely not. If you can deliver what the client’s looking for, and they’re willing to pay a premium for that, then it’s a win-win. Both of you get what you want.

Ride the Top of the Bell Curve

For a freelancer, there’s an ideal mix between the size of a project, the rate you’re charging, and the difficulty involved in sealing the deal.

On the lefthand side of the curve, you have small projects for clients that won’t pay a lot. These are minnows. They’re are easy to catch, and the waters teeming with them, but you’ll end up working crazy hours trying to close and finish the quantity you need to in order to support your business. This won’t leave you any time to go after bigger fish.

On the righthand side of the curve are the whales. These are massive projects for large companies that pay handsomely. However, they’re slow and lumbering, requiring a huge time investment to land. They’re a boon to your bottom line, but their size will dominate your schedule, leaving you little space to take on other projects.

This is dangerous because you’re putting all your eggs in one basket. This leaves you financially vulnerable. If your whale were to ever head for different waters, it would leave a sizable hole in your revenue.

The top of the bell curve, right in the middle, is where you want to focus if you want to scale your business into the six-figure range. These are projects that have the budget to pay you a high rate but are still plentiful enough that you can keep your pipeline full of prospects. If one or two were to leave, it wouldn’t affect your finances badly, and you wouldn’t have a difficult time replacing them.

Keep Your Pipeline Full

It’s a game of numbers. If you only have five prospects, you’re going to feel pressured to turn them all into sales. That means you’re likely going to rush through the process and make mistakes. You’re also more likely to accept lower rates in an effort to keep yourself busy.

On the other side, having a greater number of prospects allows you to focus only on the projects that get you excited, and those that are willing to pay you properly for your expertise.

This can certainly be difficult in the beginning, and it will require considerable effort marketing, prospecting, and writing proposals. It doesn’t really matter if you’ve been working as a freelancer for a while, chasing minnows. Minnows don’t talk to bigger fish. And bigger fish aren’t impressed by the number of minnows you’ve caught. In some ways, you’re starting fresh when you move to scale your business.

But once you’ve established yourself, and you’ve built some momentum, maintaining a pipeline brimming with projects is significantly easier.

Build Momentum And Let it Snowball

Scaling your freelance business into the six-figure range takes a lot of work. And it can involve pushing yourself far out of your comfort zone. This is often enough to dissuade people from moving forward.

However, it’s important to remember that this level of engagement doesn’t have to last forever. You just need to get the ball rolling. Once you’ve closed a critical mass of larger, more lucrative clients, those clients can refer you to other clients. Working with these higher-tier accounts will establish your credibility in that space, making it significantly easier to close new work.

And once your revenues have ballooned sufficiently you can start outsourcing the parts of your business you don’t enjoy. You have to work hard in the beginning, but once you’ve built momentum, you’ve created a positive feedback loop that can self-reinforce, as long as you’re doing good work. Scaling your business requires less work over time, if you keep your momentum.

Those uncomfortable things are required, and you can either take a year to do the calls and the uncomfortable stuff and work, talking yourself into it. Or you can get all of that stuff out of the way in a month and get your momentum rolling and then you don’t have to worry about it anymore.

Mike Montague, Six Figure Freelancer audio course

The question is, how badly do you want it?

Learn more about how to scale your sales in Mike Montague’s episode of the Six-Figure Freelancer audio course. Access the course for free here. 

Emilie Johnston

Emilie is a seasoned B2B Marketer and started a pastry company a few years ago. She writes about software, freelance and small businesses.

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