The One Skill You Need

By Stephen Godfrey - Reading Time: 5 minutes

two people talking Source: Photo by Anna Vander Stel on Unsplash

“He who can do this has the whole world with him. He who cannot walks a lonely way.” – Dale Carnegie (How to win friends and influence people - Pg 35, p2 ).

The One Skill

There is one skill that will jumpstart your freelancing career.

And it isn’t some productivity hack. Nor is it a new framework or software tool. It’s even not about pitching to clients.

All you have to do is listen.

Listen to your clients. Listen to what they struggle with. Think about what problems they have, and how you can fix those problems.

Don’t just jump in and assume you know what they need. Instead, just:

  1. Ask what they struggle with.
  2. Listen to them.
  3. And seek to understand.

And then, once you understand what their problem is, what what success means to them do you propose a solution.

For example, a good mechanic will do this. They’ll ask questions, have you bring the car in, and then take a look under the hood. Only then will they recommend a solution to you.

But, what if the mechanic didn’t examine your car, and they told you that you need a new engine, coolant system, and a new muffler? All without looking under the hood!

And we freelancers do that sometimes. We think we know what is best for our clients. We think we know what they need. When the truth is that we don’t know. We need to listen to them. We need to understand what they struggle with. This way we can make sure that we solve the right problems.

So, what kind of mechanic freelancer are you?

Why This Matters

And this matters. You’ll find that as you listen more your profits will increase, you’ll get more referrals, and you’ll find more success. How?

First off, it helps you to fix the right problem. I have a friend who wanted to sell someone a website overhaul. The potential client had a horrible website, and if was fixed they could likely bring in $10,000 more per month in sales. But the client didn’t care that the website was old and outdated. As my friend asked more questions and listened he found out that most of the leads the client gets don’t even look at the website. Furthermore, the client couldn’t handle the increased sales even if he wanted to, and had no interest in scaling. In short, my friend was trying to solve a problem that the client didn’t have!

Second, it helps people feel valued. I met with a lead once, and at the start of the meeting she was agitated. She said “I don’t want to be talked down to because I am a woman.” She continued to mention that some contractors have told her that “you don’t know what you is talking about”, or that “I’m the only contractor that can do the job, so good luck finding someone else.”

But during our meeting I listened to her. I asked questions and then let her speak. Then, towards the end of the meeting she said “Thank you. This meeting was wonderful. I felt listened to, respected, and valued.” So not only did I help someone to feel valued, but I gained a client that trusted me and respected me. All because I listened to them. And how much is that worth? Well, the client has at least $24,000+ worth of project work they want me to do, so I say it’s worth a lot to listen.

Third, as you listen you’ll find opportunities to make the ‘right’ choice. There will be times where it is actually a ‘bad call’ to work on a project for a client–even if they have the money.

For instance, I know of one advertisement agency that setup facebook ads for a client. The client was egar to spend their advertisement budget of $25,000 and the agency helped them do it. The problem was, the the client’s website didn’t convert. So, out of thousands of clicks the website brought in zero leads. That’s right. Sure, the website was pretty, and all the technical parts worked just fine, but the messaging and layout was off.

In the end it was bad for the client, the agency, and for me. The advertisement agency should have started off slow and tested the sales funnel. But now they have likely lost that client for good. Then the client wasted $25,000 and had their hopes dashed. For me, it decreased the web work I could do for them because they exhausted their budget.

So, sometimes the right choice is to say no. In this case, the right choice was to start slow, and make sure that everything was converting well. Then the client would be making more money that they can spend on more projects.

Closing Thoughts

In short, you’ll do well if you listen to your clients.

Don’t jump in. Let them do the majority of the talking. Ask thoughtful questions, listen, and seek to understand.

Then, you’ll find that your profits will increase. You’ll spend your time solving the right problems. Your clients will be happy. And as a result both you and your clients will profit.

-Stephen Godfrey

P.S Do you scramble to find more work every month? Are you tired of low-paying work? Well, let’s change that. I consistently make over $10,000 a month freelancing, and I can show you how I do it.

So, are you ready to invest in yourself?

If so, take a little training that will give you huge results down the road. And I recommend you start with this course. In there you’ll learn how to find more clients, how to raise your rates, and why you need to specialize. In short, you’ll be put on the path to make over $10,000 a month like I do.

And you can do this! You just need a little more training and to improve your skills.

See you on the inside.

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