My Secret Weapon to Getting Contracts

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In my first days of freelance web design, I did all the right things to get business — web-site done, Chamber of Commerce joined, social media networking done. So why wasn’t the phone ringing? I suspect many freelancers feel the same way. The big question remained: where do I get business?

Then I discovered a secret weapon. I wanted local business, as it’s easier to build referrals that way. I went through the local directory looking at businesses without web-sites, or with very old and poor sites and made a list. I made a small brochure, put on some decent clothes, grabbed my business cards and actually physically walked into their offices! I got enough business within two days to keep me busy for months, and had a blast at the same time.

It seems many of us have trouble getting over the fear of actual cold-calling. We will do anything possible to avoid it. We will waste time on catching up on blogs, RSS feeds, Facebook, anything to avoid cold-calling, and still chalk it up as ‘work’. However, once you try this method you will forget all other marketing ideas.

So, if you are new into freelancing, or business is slow, try the GOYAKOD method — Get Off Your Ass and Knock On Doors!

About the author

Hollis Bartlett1 is a full-time freelance web designer & developer located in Nova Scotia. He loves the freelance lifestyle as it gives him flexible time to spend with his wife, 3 daughters, supports a blacksmithing hobby and still gets the bills paid.

Editor’s note

This post is one of the finalists of our guest author contest2. Over three weeks selected top-10-lists and discussion articles will be published. To rate the articles we’ll analyze their popularity, users activity, quality of backlinks, traffic and further data.

Footnotes

  1. 1 http://www.hollisbartlett.com
  2. 2 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2008/07/17/write-a-guest-post-and-win-apple-macbook-air/

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  1. 1
  2. 2

    Oh, rly? I never thought it’s even possible to make any business without face-to face meetings first. That’s just the way you do business. Everywhere.

  3. 5

    @h-a-r-v don’t be ironic, but in this world the common sense it’s the less common of the senses.

  4. 6

    I don’t want to be unkind, but that’s not exactly a revelation. What about some opening lines, some common requests you’re likely to face and should be ready for, some ideas on how to price when cold-calling (there’s more sticker shock when meeting in person, I find, and it can be well worth dropping the price along with the number of features offered)?

  5. 7

    I would suggest everyone pick up a sales book or two. I was an Outside Sales Rep for Xerox and ADT Security and believe me Knocking On Doors Works. Its all about the numbers and filling up your funnel.

    Say, You decide to knock on 20 Doors a Day. Your goal is not to get the business but an appointment. See what there needs are. Maybe they need more than just a plain website. Maybe they don’t want the shopping cart you are offering them. So Get an appointment.

    20 Doors a Day – 5 Days a Week. 400 Doors a month.
    Out of those 400 Doors (that you have researched and belive they need something) you’ll prob. get around 40 Appointments. Then your closing ratio will get you 6 Deals.
    These numbers are for total begginers at knocking on Doors. IGNORE THAT “NO SOLITIATION SIGN”

    Not bad for 1 Months Work Is it.

  6. 8

    #3 Fausto Carrera: I know. I just expected a little bit more from a finalist than telling me a completely basic and obvious thing and calling it a secret weapon. I totally agree with the author, though. It’s a nice observation and I’m glad he started getting successful. Maybe that’s gonna help others doing so. It’s jut no advice for me.

  7. 9

    This is a good post, but I do agree with Schmoo that a few more specific tips would help us to learn more from your experience. Which types of businesses seem the most responsive? How do you effectively “get through” the front desk person and to a decision maker? What did you include in that brochure that they noticed most?

  8. 10

    You may think this is so base and basic but you would be surprised at how many people NEVER do this. They think having a website will be the guarantee they need to make the big bucks. I’ve seen so many freelancers go dry because they never once walk around, give their brochures, chat with people … not once.

    Another idea that is definitely worth a try (I’ve gotten a good handful of jobs) is to join a few local business groups. These are groups of businessmen who get together, have coffee and chat about the local business economy and exchange cards and see what’s going on. I’ve not only gotten a few of those businesses under my belt but they’ve also handed my business card to other businesses – getting referrals (which is a very powerful ally).

    And while #5 Fadi says to ignore the “No Solicitation” sign … I’d recommend handing your brochure, asking for someone’s business card and contacting them outside the office. This way you’re not soliciting. You can walk in and say, “Hello, I’m from XYZ Design and just wanted to ask if there is a business card for someone who I can contact later about your web and graphic design needs. Hey thanks for the card, could you do me a favor and give this to him/her and let him/her that I’ll contact them later? Thank you! Have a great day.”

    Just remember, be polite, pleasant, can the corny jokes – you want to make sure you don’t monopolize their time because if they feel like you’re just a pest they’re just going to try and push you out the door.

    You’re not selling design at this point – you’re selling yourself.

    And remember – FOLLOW UP is just as important if not more important then the initial contact. Send a letter, an email and call .. make sure they know you’re still there and be sure to know what they’re going to need.

  9. 11

    This works for all other types of advertising as well. I go through the yellow pages and find the ugliest, spartan-looking businesses, then do a quick ‘makeover’ brochure on glossy stock and walk in with that.

    Here’s how I do it:

    (walk in, introduce myself)
    “Hi, I’m Ted Bragg. I handle smart advertising for local businesses. I took the liberty of making this (hand them the brochure) and would like an appointment with Mr/Ms So-and-so (I usually call a few days ahead, posing as a customer and ask who their manager or owner is).”

    More often than not, I get to talk to the big dog right away. It doesn’t always get a sale, but I make contact and the brochure makes a huge impression. If they take the sample and get some cheapo shark to do it (it does happen), I don’t sweat it. I don’t want them as a customer to begin with. Like Mr. Xerox above said, you’re out to fill up your funnel with appointments — out of that you get your actual sales.

    As someone who’s been on both sides of the counter — business owner and freelancer, this article is great advice. Don’t let its simplicity fool ya.

  10. 12

    This is totally true. Short post but makes a good point. I was struggling while freelancing and I was the same, sending emails or messing around on my site to try and get work in. It wasn’t working well.

    So one day I went out walking. After 20 minutes I had interest, and after a follow-up call got a job. From that job I’ve had referral work and further work from that client. I was still nervous about doing it though.

    But I bet if I’d spent just 1 day a month knocking on doors – that work and the further work from referrals would be enough to keep me busy without any other form of marketing.

  11. 13

    You are right – but i really hate that ;-)

    Thomas

  12. 14

    Good point. It seems obvious, but the majority of young freelances make the mistake of trying to find ‘global’ work by answering classifieds, or joining bidding sites, and often learn important freelance lessons the hard way.

    Being from New Brunswick myself, I understand how this is especially important in our markets – many small businesses are late adopters of web marketing, and the majority of advertising dollars are still spent on ads in the local paper. You know, they ‘have a website’ their brother-in-law made.

    One of my secret weapons – make friends with a local hosting/tech company, and a local printer. The referral circle never ends!

  13. 15

    willworkforart.net

    August 12, 2008 8:08 am

    When I started out as a freelancer – I cold-called every print shop in the city saying that I was a recent graduate and had some availability to take on some design projects if they found themselves with too tight deadlines.

    I had a call the next day from one of the people and they begged that I come in and help put together a flyer for a client that needed it designed and printed the next day! It was crazy work but I got it done and next thing I knew I was getting projects every couple days…(with much better deadlines)

    The hardest part about cold-calling was initially picking up the phone book and making those calls with something prepared to say. It was total apprehension but after the first call or two, everyone seemed to be pretty nice so the other calls were much much easier!

  14. 16

    @Tadd – I agree that you’re selling yourself first, and not looking for a contract right away. However, in spite of this I have walked away with the next meeting being the interview for the website content as opposed to trying to still sell the idea in the first place many times.

    My approach isn’t that defined, it doesn’t work for me if I try to have a planned speech or anything. Quite often my opening line contains the phrase ‘you need a website’ In fact, I walked into a place just last week, and that was indeed my whole opening phrase – but only because I knew beforehand who the owner was and that I was talking to the right person. Be up front and honest about what you’re doing. The fact is, I don’t try to sell something I don’t 100% believe the client needs, and 100% believe I’m the best person for the job. Those facts comes through I think in your delivery.

    I think my apporach is really nothing more than assuming they want a website and want me to do it, as if we had already talked before. Something like “You need a website. When can we get together to discuss the details?” – well, maybe not that direct, but you get the idea. Assume they’ve already said yes. It’s not some slick saleman trick if you truly know they are going to benefit from your services, and that you really are doing them a favour by talking to them about it.

    Anyhow, the point of the post was really that we all possibly know in the back of our mind that getting clients requires talking to them first, however for whatever reason we avoid it like the plague. Once you get over that mindset, and really start talking to people it becomes much easier and you question why you wasted so much time and money on useless marketing attempts.

  15. 17

    Yep ! This is how things work ! =)

  16. 18

    How else would you do business? I mean, you can’t just email and say “Hai I make websites and I’m rly gud and I can make one for u” or something… I always have to do a face-to-face meeting with my clients before starting their website.

    A lot of people near my area need websites… Or better ones for sure. Businesses all around the WORLD need better websites. Come on web designers, GOYAKOD :)

  17. 19
  18. 20

    first things first: One mor hour then Im done with work for today JUHUUU!

    sure the main point of this article is communication with an unknown/known maybe future client. Im in general a very communicative person. I can easily go up to people and say hey how is it going and all that what it takes to get to know a customer and know what he wants. – without trying to be arrogant. Im not a marketing sales person, im an artist.

    The other thing you have to consider when trying to get a customer and whilst you are being communicative is to – yeah sure its important how you present yourself but also your price. If you hurry to a customer and you have ajob but have to work 12 hours for 4 bucks an hour, you are not worth your profession. I mean we are all in the end qualifies people because we have done our bachlors/masters/collegeDegree/workedFOrSoLong already that we can go for a solid number. It would definately be alright to be lower then usual with the price the first time – give a taste. but if its too low the customer might expect your fucking dumb if you understand what I mean. Cheers

  19. 21

    The articles have been good but the contest highlights one dilemma. I am wondering if 1200 characters is actually too short. It seems like the articles are over before they even start. Just an observation.

    Maybe the top 10 authors should be invited to write a longer article (2400 characters) to flush out their ideas.

    Either way, great job smashing magazine.

  20. 22

    U just earned your a DUH award.

    (enough said)

  21. 23

    This is a double edged sword… business in small towns can be good – or it can be a pain. Everybody knows one another & everyone expects a good “deal” – what ever that is. I am debating the risky move of leaving a local organization because of the politics yet risk losing a lot of business in the long run due to a good ole boys network.

    It’s not the gold mine you’d expect.

  22. 24

    GREAT GREAT!!

  23. 25

    Every person will develop their own style. I do suggest not selling your services but a solution.
    For example, when knocking on a lawyers door, they’re not interested in your services. Period. Sure the off chance that they might be looking for a designer at that point in time is possible but minimal.
    Go In and Say, “Hi, My name is Fadi. I’m just doing some old fashion knocking-on-doors. I help law firms establish a better image around the community that will help them get quality business.”
    “No I’m not interested”
    “You’re not interested in getting more clients?”

    ….see where i’m going with this?

  24. 26

    @ h-a-r-v: If it’s not good advice for you, then just move along. No need to be derisive.

  25. 27

    BANG! That’s it brother!

  26. 28

    I think this article its interesting, its the experience of the author.
    But, a opinion its one thing, refuse other’s comments its other thing, and very stupid thing.
    sorry for my english.

  27. 29

    Many comments in this page sucks!!

  28. 30

    What this article lacks in content it makes up in discussion. Great points of view from all commenters above. Thank you for unearthing this time honored gem of wisdom.

  29. 31

    Do an excellent job everytime and referrals will flow continuously.

    Make your few clients very happy and you will never cold call again :)

  30. 32

    lovely ideas for a know nothing student like me. thanks to the commenters. this kind of discussions really inspire.

  31. 33

    #24 Mike M.: I didn’t intend to be derisive and I think I explained my point of view well enough not to do this again. Forgive me that “O’RLY” thing, if anyone felt opposed. That was Jon Stewart kind of humor I prefer, nothing more. Maybe I should have add a smiley ;-)

  32. 34

    Been doing it like this for years. While the rest are praying to the google gods, I’m getting paid.

  33. 35

    Has anyone else noticed that the quality of articles has been poorer lately? I guess we’ve become spoiled with the high quality content of the past, but there’s a reason I read Smashing Magazine on a daily basis and this isn’t it.

  34. 36

    thats because these articles (lately) are for the contest. grin n bear it!

  35. 37

    These kind of articles would be a welcome addition to smashing magazine. Longer, of course. Really insightful and fun to read. Pretty thumbnails get old after a while.

  36. 38

    as much as this articles are interesting they should be longer, they finish just when you expect some detailed informations. just a thought

  37. 39

    Great article! I totally agree the best thing to do is visit people in person.

    Thanks for the article!

    Stu Collett

  38. 40
  39. 41

    You idiots… don’t take the title so literally. This is very obviously not a secret. But, for us geeks who prefer to a computer screen to a party, it is very easy to for get this import step.

  40. 42

    I have never seen so many poor loser in one place.

    Great article, thanks so much! I always find it helpful to read what other designers are doing.

  41. 43

    It’s a decent blurb of a topic covered on many freelancing blogs around the web, as well as something I’ve discussed with numerous designers on many different levels form art directors of major European firms to just successful freelancers.

    But it would be nice if there was more information. For instance, simply walking in with said brochure won’t be enough, there are specific points you want to cover when you talk to someone. Also, calling a week or so after the brochure is delivered is a good idea. But beyond all of that the way you approach people and the information you give them is very important.

    Those are the sorts of things that it would be good for this article to have covered.

  42. 44

    Say it’s a restaurant business, what time and day do you approach them?

  43. 45

    Although I agree that you do need to get out and actually meet potential clients, there is also an argument to be made for chasing leads via email, video call or phone that you will never actually meet in person.

    We recently started the website design and development sector of our company and strictly used leads from opt-in list brokers. We are located in Canada and most of the leads we were chasing were from the USA. It didn’t take long before we had more websites to create than we knew what to do with.

    It’s only been within the last couple of months that we’ve opened our services up to the small town we are located in. I think word of mouth has definitely helped us out because again, we started to get more websites than we knew what to do with.

    I think a truly successful company needs to employ both in-person and remote lead chasing. Being located in a small town, if we didn’t chase international leads, we wouldn’t survive long. However, because we are located in a small town, we have to respect the close-knit community and reach out and meet our potential clients.

    Overall, good submission. We all had to start somewhere. Perhaps a newbie to the world of web design and lead chasing never would have thought of this.

  44. 46

    I think this article is actually alright, so many people think all they have to do is make their own website and people will find them. People don’t always know that they’re looking until you show them what you can do and what they’re competitors are doing.

  45. 47

    I do believe that smashing got worse with writing their articles.
    I still love em and read smashing on a daily basis but I guess they didnt play a bad chess move with the competition for people who feel like getting featured as authors in here. Then again the articles are long but what to do if you have an author who is really bad at writing has though an interesting point of the whole design dilema to mention? His writing doesnt have to be like shit Im more thinking of his writing going from excitement to boredom. Something like my writing and pretty bad grammar, or is it just really late?

    Some very interesting and appreciated comments down here.

    ;)

  46. 48

    I couldn’t agree more. I’ve been self-employed now for over a year and I’ve not looked back – best thing I ever did. I don’t think you can be a truly good graphic designer (well, ‘communicator’) without having a salesman side to you. Once you’ve approached a few businesses in this way you soon realise how easy it can be – and you also realise how easy it is to up-sell in these situations.

    I rarely only do one job for a client – if they want a website, they’ll need a logo… once they have a logo, they’ll need stationery… once the website is ready to go live, they’ll need to promote it somehow – sell ‘em a brochure or leaflet…. have they got a list of email addresses of clients? Surely their clients would like to know they’ve got a fancy new website? Well sell ‘em an email newsletter!!!

  47. 49

    hey this is a cool article – makes a good point, short and sweet. At first I was thinking that it’s too short to be a good SM article, but then I saw the comments – got people thinking, hey!

  48. 50

    Excellent article.

    It’s funny, I started off doing the same thing.

    I knew a company that was trying to create a Website, so I walked into there office and offered them a free Website.

    From there, I had something to show in my work and the word of mouth was great.

    I know how hard it can be, going out there and meeting with total stranger, believe me it can be very nerve racking.

    But it’s well worth it.

  49. 51

    Thanks for this and I do consider it very good advice, although I’ve taken a different route in the past 8 months that I’ve been freelancing. I prefer if people call me, to be honest. I spend all my time doing great work and updating my various profiles online. People contact me after they’ve reviewed my portfolio and think my skills will meet their needs. Great way to know most of your inquirers are serious about you. Every once in a while I post on craigslist and let a dozen or so people contact me, but I’m getting repeat business now and haven’t had to do that in months.

    The reason I avoided cold-calling in the past is that it meant getting a lot of rejections. Lots of rejections lead to discouragement, lead to self-doubt… something I seriously tried to avoid in the early days of my career when I was frequently unemployed and rather sensitive. But now I’m a big girl and it’s time to start cold-calling and going after the assignments I really want with the companies I’d really like to work for. So this article comes at a perfect time when I’m ready for the show to begin! :-)

  50. 52

    Apart from the few idiots that have posted overal I would say this article is fantastic. Not only has it been a good article the follow-on discussion in reply was a great read!

  51. 53

    So obvious. But a good reminder. Thanks!

  52. 54

    I find it amusing when the commenters have longer post + have more valuable information than the article.

  53. 55

    Yea… so many people go tapping their heads… “err i dont know how to get work”… its rule #1… to be honest your advice like this isn’t worth posting tho… if people dont think of this themselves they should suffer in business ;¬P for that exact reason! =¬D

    ps. your method only works if you know how to generally interact… dont forget this is the internet your speaking too ;¬)

  54. 56

    Thanks for the heuristic that it really is an effective way, and via the Internet is usually harder… I don’t like face-to-face that much, a lot of people in the IT industry don’t, and we hope there’s another way to getting work… so the ‘obvious’ point is a Get Off Your Ass wakeup call!

    Trouble is, I can never fit the standard ‘identity’ and ‘look’ of the Preconceived Intelligent IT Dude, and I live in a closeminded city… so face to face is quite likely to lead to less leads for me than the abovementioned, if you get what I mean. “First impressions” and all that might lead to potential leads having less confidence in my actual ability. I’d like to think through ways to first get interest before meeting face to face.

  55. 57

    #53 Loque: My man.. However, I wouldn;t agree that they > should

  56. 58

    #53 Loque: My man.. However, I wouldn;t agree that they *should* suffer in business. Looking at most of the comments it seems to me that there’s a lot of people out there, who needs advice or at least some encouragement. Being a developer and being a businessman are two different things. That made me think ’bout writing some longer article ’bout it. Hmm..

    (sorry for the previous broken post)

  57. 59

    #54 Kite: I think that’s possible if your portfolio is strong (quality, not the amount of projects, so those browsing it get exited and call you) and your clients satisfied (so they will recommend you to their folks, if they look for someone).

    I don’t even have my portfolio online and I got few calls this month. Three business-card sites, three interactive enterprise sites and one BIG portal. Despite my own business, it’s a lot of work that I didn’t even asked for. From time to time I have to reject proposals. But that’s normal when your friends are businessmen respecting high quality, they know you can provide. Or not even.. Let your mother know what you’re doing (one of those little sites I’m gonna do is for my mother’s friend’s husband), let all of your friends know and spread the word, they don’t particularly need to be businessmen. They all got parents too, right? They got other friends, etc.

    You said you’re from a “closeminded” city and that you prefer not to meet face-to-face first. Well, I have a girl friend, who is just like you. I had to encourage her a lot before she founded her company, ’cause she has a great talent. She doesn’t code, but makes great print works, illustrations, logos and layouts too (still, needs to learn about them more). Anyway, she started her business officialy, got a lot of support from her father and sister (clients, biuro) and some EU funds in addition. It’s been year and a half and her hands are full of work all the time and she haven’t managed to make her own site yet.

    Hope that ‘lil bit storytelling helps.

  58. 60

    Thank you for posting this article, it’s something I knew I had to do (cold calling) but I wasn’t actually sure if anyone else did it. It’s such a reassurance to see that this is the way to get jobs, well at least the first few jobs.

    Only problem I’d have is what exactly to say.. and also I’m 19 but I look really young so I’d be worried my appearance would put clients off, hopefully my portfolio would ease any concerns though of course!

    :)

  59. 61

    GOYAKOD method — Get Off Your Ass and Knock On Doors!
    Yeahh.. nice and fun slogan.. but i’m very agree with you..

  60. 62

    I’m still studying but already know that one, I agree though!

  61. 63

    It’s no longer secret. ;)

  62. 64

    Nice point aptly made, but really thin on how to go about it – which is a shame – especially if you are the nervous type, as many of us are.

    In a previous small business cleaning cars I did some reading on marketing (when it rained, in the UK it rains a lot)

    Go to the same premises on the same day every week for 3 weeks.
    They get to know your face, you say you will be back next week, and dammit, you are nothing if not reliable!

    Set yourself mini-targets : cold call 4 premises each morning. Don’t worry about whether you converted or not, just do the target. Week 1 drop off some literature and find out the name of the DMU (decision making unit).

    Thats all, just see yourself floating through the door, smiling sweetly, saying your prepared piece, droping off the docs and retiring gracefully. Nothing else, no pressure, do your 4 new premises and give yourself a clap on the back.

    Then do the 4 you visited on this day last week, that’s easier, you know the layout maybe you know the name of the DMU is he/she busy? Drop off more infom try and get an interview, get chatting with the “gatekeeper”. (the person whose job it is to keep the DMU away from people like you)

    By the time you are at your 3rd week, you will have developed so much patter, and your ability to walk through doors will be so imense that you will start to exude confidence. Unless your product service is so badly preseneted it must need review, you will win new business.
    HTH
    It will eat every morning of your life though.

  63. 65

    This method might work, the only problem is, it’s a perfect dead end. You can only target small (usually very small) businesses in your area. There’s nowhere to go from here. If your only goal is to able to feed your family or your hamster, fine, walk this path. But if you want a little bit more than that, try something else.

    There are two actual ways to get serious biz, both being equally difficult:
    1. You are good at social networking (i don’t mean facebook and such, i mean real life actual human relations), you know the key personnel and decision makers at large organizations. It requires not only great interpersonal skills but a certain background that allows you to start developing contacts at an early age.

    2. Your work is truly outstanding and it is recognized by the worldwide design community. You win competitions, you have a distinct style, you are on the map.
    Remember how MTV and Nike and other international brands hire fresh talents from time to time. Once you are in the loop, you’ll have enough assignments for the rest of your career.

    I’m not UK based so i don’t know how business is done there but it can’t be a lot different. But here’s how it’s done in my country: Some 5 or 6 years ago there’s been a government website launched to allow citizens to submit electronic tax declarations and stuff. Three hours after the grand opening it crashed and remained down for another 3 weeks. They charged for this job as little as 2,85 million GBP (in local currency). This year the same company was hired to deliver a website for the speaker of the government, for a ridiculous 630.000 GBP. It was built on a free CMS, with whole pages not functioning properly, terrible design and typography throughout, dead links and so on. How could this happen? It’s easy: the owner of this online agency and the decision makers in the gov building are buddies. Nothing else matters.

  64. 66

    I agree with Dog5.
    your advice is maybe nice for starters, but somewhere in your carreer you probably want to get a bit further that your local garageshop.

  65. 67

    #64, Dog5: No conspiracy theories please. Of course connections matter, but the example you gave does not reflect the whole business. It’s just an example of a business-meets-politics situation, same shit happens in every branch. Years ago I worked calling big companies (we wasn’t interested in small ones even ’cause our products weren’t cheap), asked to talk the big fish (we always knew his name before) and if we somehow didn’t manage to talk him, then some other director from the board or the marketing director in the worst case (that usually didn’t work in the end ’cause – at least here – they’re usually some assholes with no clue) and just talked. The purpose was simple – to arrange the meeting, not sell anything or convince anyone, just to arrange a meeting where face-to-face the proper impression and the right decisions could both be made. In worst case you spend half an hour drinking free coffee eye in eye with the company president (who usually happened to be at least very mannerly man) on talking stuff, not business only, but the life, city, etc. They like guests and because YOU ARE A PRO he treats you as an equal company. Even if the answer’s NO you had a nice time, maybe learned something, met an interesting, rich man and gave him your business card. Not bad, huh?

    To be continued..

  66. 68

    But you can’t meet the right guys you don’t know yet without the risk of meeting the wrong ones. Sometimes they invite you too. Thick skin and calm nature is what you need. Some life experience and flexibility to talk their language too ’cause it’s not that hard to make someone think as you do, especially if it’s an asshole. In worst case, you’ll have some fun watching an idiot in action (two types: “i know better and i don’t need you!” and “what? i don’t understand, so i rather not, we’re fine”)

    When the president takes the decision, everyone else at place will serve you.

    TBC,,

  67. 69

    Good article.

  68. 70

    Loving this article!

  69. 71

    h-a-r-v, i get your point but most people (myself included) are extremely uncomfortable making cold calls. Earlier this year, our office manager quit and for two weeks i had to answer phone calls (normally i’m the lead designer). 7 out of 10 calls were from telemarketers who tried to make you buy some sort of pathetic product or service. I’m a friendly dude who avoids conflicts but with those telemarketers on the phone, i’m downright rude. They go like ‘i want to speak to the CEO’ and i usually ask who happens to be the CEO and the answer is umm…dunno. Then i ask why the bloody F do you think he would want to waste a second on you. And this is where the conversation ends. Most of the telemarketers (at least over here) are unsuccessful, uneducated, unhappy people who aren’t good enough in any decent job. Lately when i see the caller ID is hidden and i hear this totally bored tone i just hang up on them the second they start to sound off. I think cold calls are a particulary rude way to abuse your privacy.

    You must be fortunate that you’ve been treated the way you said. But my experience is, serious managers usually don’t make business with someone who just dropped in from the street and don’t bother to deal with telemarketers.

  70. 72

    Abdulsalam Alasaadi

    August 13, 2008 12:58 pm

    Thanks for the post. I have gone through this and I totally agree. Keep it up

  71. 73

    #70 dog5: No, I wasn’t. As I said: most of the companies I called wasn’t interested. However, among hundreds I called there were several dozen I had good business and time with. I believe several dozen is enough. I’m not saying this is a perfect way to get a bigger contract. I’m just saying it is possible and it’s one of many ways. Surely, them calling you ’cause you’re so damn good is the best one, but you gotta be though nowadays if you really think about success. The way described is also not intended to be followed forever. After few months you should have enough clients scheduled not to worry about your portfolio quality, I guess. This is also a harsh way, yes, but the difference between you and that pathetic telemarketers is that you DO have something real to offer the company can benefit from. Managers are aware more than ever now that a good website is a pretty key thing. Not all of them, sure, but you gotta find this few only. Bearing the process might be stressful at the beginning but what doesn’t kill you.. you know the rest. I learned a lot back then.

  72. 74

    most of you are thinking far too hard about this and it fuels the insecurity about the “cold call”. Like the author stated, just get out there and do it. There are no secrets beyond that. Doing it more leads to confidence, and confidence can go a long way. You’re going to be constantly selling yourself throughout the rest of your life anyway by owning your own business, so you should start getting used to it now.

  73. 75

    Thanks for the short article. As simple as it sounds, it sometimes is the most challenging thing to do. Just open your door and go out and ask for business.

    Using this method, I have been able to secure over $10,000 worth of work this month alone.

  74. 76

    sometimes you don’t need to do that. clients will go after you automatically. web design and graphic works are so trendy now adays. clients will flock automatically

  75. 77

    @Fausto Carrera I think H-A-R-V is being sarcastic not ironic

  76. 78

    ahahaha nice! the problem is, at least in Brazil, the client knows that need our job but he don’t want to pay for it!!! when we say “well all this job will cost 1.000,00 USD$(a thousant)” the client never more call to us!!! How is in your country?

  77. 79

    lol i dont want to know how many ‘designers’ act like you did a while ago…the problem is that designers see theirselve as artists and not businessmen…

    • 80

      Hallo Herr Cussok,
      bitte nehmen Sie unverzüglich Kontakt mit mir auf. Betreff iPhone
      0174-7110611

  78. 81

    This is exactly what i did. now i have enough works…

  79. 82

    Awesome! I loved it. I was expecting more after that short paragraph, thinking you tell us more about how you did it. Thanks!

  80. 83

    Interesting article. I found some more information here

  81. 84

    I’m totally f’n going for it. This week. Been looking for work for two weeks with nothing. Why didn’t I think of this.

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