8 Pitching Tips for Freelancers and Startups to Win Big Clients

Are you ready to master your pitch and win the deal with confidence and charisma?

Pitching is hard, especially when you’re a freelancer or are running your own business. Common reasons for pitch rejection include poor timing, insufficient research, a weak value proposition and subpar presentation skills. This article aims to guide you on how to enhance your pitches to gain more traction and increase sign-ups for your products or services. Whether it’s convincing an investor or persuading a skilled developer to join your team, refining your pitch should be your key focus right now.

1. Focus on delivery, not just content

When crafting a pitch, it’s easy to get lost in perfecting the content and the words. However, how you deliver your message—your body language and tone—also plays a pivotal role. Even if your audience doesn’t fully understand the language you speak, your body language and tone should radiate confidence and enthusiasm, showcasing your belief in your proposition. To polish your delivery, try practicing in various settings: in front of a mirror, with friends or on camera. 

2. Get in the zone

Your state of mind impacts your performance. Many people dread selling or pitching because they are anxious about the outcome. To combat this, engage in activities that elevate your mood and confidence right before your pitch. Some people visualize their goals to feel inspired and upbeat; some people work out. It might also help to eat healthy food or listen and dance to your favorite music. The goal is to find and do what motivates you.

3. Empathy is key

Want to know the real secret to success in sales? Empathy. You need to understand your customers’ needs, challenges and desires so you can help them in the best possible way.

To gain this insight, engage them with thoughtful questions about their work, frustrations and ambitions. This empathetic approach helps you tailor your pitch, offering solutions that genuinely address their problems. 

4. Present solutions, not features 

Understandably, you might be fascinated by the specifics of your product or service. But your customers aren’t interested in the details—yet. Initially, they are likely to be more interested in what your product will do for them. How does it solve their problems? Does it help them to achieve their goals faster and with less effort? And does it help mitigate risks?

Always translate your product’s features into direct benefits for your customers, rather than just listing the features themselves.

5. Manage objections smoothly

Most salespeople fail to prepare for or fear objections—the best ones do the opposite. 

Start by identifying the 10 to 20 most common objections you can encounter and craft clear and concise answers to each. Then, rehearse your answers until they roll off your tongue. This approach ensures that when you face an objection in a sales conversation, you won’t need to pause and search for the right words. 

Also, maintaining eye contact and projecting confidence are important. These behaviors help build trust and convince your audience of your expertise, which might even turn objections into opportunities.

Remember, not every pitch will succeed on the first try. Handle rejections gracefully by seeking feedback and knowing that sometimes, a “no” is not a “never”. Stay committed to refining your approach and understanding the nuances of effective pitching.

6. Confidently close the deal

This step is all about confidence. Rehearse transitioning smoothly from your pitch to the ask, making it feel like the natural next step in your conversation. Make your prospects feel as confident about your solution as you are, and guide them through every stage of the buying process.

7. Negotiate wisely

Once a prospect has made a buying decision internally, they will want to make sure to get the best deal they can—that means it’s negotiation time. There are two simple rules to negotiating:

  • Know your price: If you feel it’s necessary, you can offer a client better terms or lower your price. But know your numbers in advance and decide at what point you just walk away from the deal. If a prospect can’t afford to pay what you are worth, they’re probably not the right fit. 
  • Be quiet: Use the power of silence to your advantage and let the other party do the talking. If you keep your mouth shut at the right times, the client will often start to negotiate on your behalf. It’s absurd and illogical, but it works.

8. Persistence pays in follow-up

Follow-up is where the magic happens in sales, with a significant portion of deals closing after multiple contacts.  You definitely don’t want to fall into the trap that ensnares 44% of salespeople—who abandon their efforts after just one follow-up call.

When you’re following up on your prospectus, be consistent and follow through on your word. Always honor your commitments and aim to exceed expectations whenever possible. Keep following up until you either get a yes or a definitive no, but never interpret a lack of response or any other kind of message as a no. 

By investing in these strategies and continuously optimizing your presentations, you’re setting yourself on a path to sales success. Each interaction is an opportunity to learn and improve, ensuring that with time, your pitches will convert more prospects into enthusiastic customers.

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