Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Why selling freelance writing is easier than selling aluminum siding

Okay, so I got an email today from a law firm in California (they are one of @ColdCallWriter's Twitter followers). They sell mediation services to companies.

They asked if I would like to be a freelance cold caller for them.

I thought it was a joke. Then the guy actually called today from California to repeat the offer.

Now what can one glean from this?

First, I think it shows how hard it is to convince most people to pick up the phone and sell something. If they're willing to give me, a complete stranger, a chance just because I write a blog ... psh. There you go.

Anyway, I politely declined their offer.

Why? As I explained to the mediation guy in an email, anyone, and I mean ANYONE, can sell freelance writing (or related freelance services).

Because if you find the right client, your stuff sells itself.

When I've got an interested prospect on the phone, I don't have to tell him or her my unique selling proposition or list features and benefits.

Honestly, until they see what I've written, they don't give a rat's.

My job is to answer their initial questions (usually few) and direct them to my online portfolio and resume.

Simple. A middle school kid could do it.

Now if I were selling mediation services (or aluminum siding or life insurance) through cold calls, it would be a different story.

That would require actual sales skills.

That would require a polished presentation.

That would require extreme motivation that withstands hang-ups, take-me-off-your-lists and stop-wasting-my-times.

I have so much admiration for people who have all of the above. But believe me, @ColdCallWriter is not one of them. The one time in 460 calls I had a guy get mad at me and tell me never to call again, I put down the phone and cried.

But I can sell freelance services. Because cold calling freelance services is a completely different (and gentler) process than what we usually think of when we think of phone sales.

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