Building confidence in business is something you'll do naturally over time. It's not an overnight thing and it's important to realise that. However, when it comes to presenting any sort of business solution, your self confidence will never be as important as the confidence that you need to build in your client.
You see, I'm not talking about the confidence you need in yourself. I'm talking about the confidence your potential clients need in you in order to give you money.
Whenever you buy anything, you have a desired outcome. As a buyer, you have a certain "thing" in mind, that if it happens, the purchase was successful. If it doesn't happen then the purchase was somewhat of a failure.
When your potential clients ask you for your proposal, what they're really after is something that gives them the confidence that you can achieve their desired outcome.
Now, the first thing to note is whether you actually know what that desired outcome actually is. If you don't know then it might be worth starting to find out because I can assure you, it's going to be pretty difficult to build a compelling case to any potential client if you don't know what they actually want. That said, let's assume you know it.
"What you're looking to do with your proposal is build confidence that you can deliver their desired outcome."
Building Confidence in Business
One of the ways you will naturally build this confidence is by having a great relationship with your clients and by repeatedly delivering their desired outcome.
Imagine, after 6 years of consistently delivering results you get a text from your client that says "Hey, we need a new website, how much roughly?" and you reply "10k". Assuming that's within their budget, that will probably be enough to get you the job.
What kind of response do you think you'll get if you do that to someone you've never achieved any results for?
It's unlikely you'll be taking home a new deal that day. Ultimately, the better the relationship the less effort you need to put in, in order to win the job. That said, that doesn't mean you shouldn't put the effort in.
What this does highlight though is the amount of effort you need to put in to win the job from someone who hasn't built up that confidence in you yet.
What can you do to build that confidence?
There are some simple things you can do to build the confidence your client has in you. It really comes down to two major things.
Proof that you've achieved their desired result before
Proof that you've delivered any previous desired result for your potential client
Achieved the desired result before
The first one is relatively simple. It just takes a little bit of leg work. It involves asking your current clients to send you any sort of proof that you've done what you said you'd do. These could be screenshots of text messages, recordings of voicemails, an interview, photos or screenshots of statistics.
Whatever it is in relation to your business - do that and get as much of it as you can.
This can be done by doing anything you see business celebrities doing. Getting featured on different websites, doing interviews, sharing their stories, putting out content, putting out videos, getting endorsed by bigger websites and companies, writing books, giving talks... The list goes on. Anything that positions you as an expert or someone who has achieved the goals of your target audience is going to be on the cards.
Proof you've helped your potential client already
This idea comes from Frank Kern's "Results in Advance" idea. He has many good ideas, like the Collaborative Close which I wrote about a while back. This idea though is that you use your content marketing or your ability to generate results quickly as a way of winning your clients over.
So an example might be if you're a copy writer. You might want to pitch for re-writing their websites and brochures. You could do that by saying that you've done it before and got these results which would be great, but what would really tip it over the edge would be to say "Change your headline to this" then give them a re-written headline that takes them 5 minutes to change, then just let your work do the talking and set a call for 7 days time to go over the results.
The genius of this is, you actually need to do less selling in a way. It's taken you maybe 15 minutes to think up some headlines and you've immediately convinced them that you're a genius. Your free work has worked a treat and increased conversions so your paid work must be worth the money.
Ultimately, confidence is about trust and belief. How you get your potential clients to have that confidence in you is up to you but these are solid, time-tested ideas which are guaranteed to work. Give them a test.
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