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August 26, 2008

A sale isn't complete until you've got your next order

A gentleman called Roy Law, a freelancer from the UK, recently posted this answer on one of my LinkedIn questions about how freelancers generate cash.

What a great statement, it ties into something I've riffed about here previously regarding where the next purchase order is coming from. As a one-person operation, or even a small band of assassins, many of us neglect, due to time considerations, where the next job is coming from.

Then the job ends, and we suddenly find that the cash flow dries up and we suddenly need to invest funds in searching for work rather than growing the business.

Roy's statement says it all. Your best opportunity for the next check is the current job. Start to work on it as soon as you get in the door. Where is the next logical step for the current project and how can you fit into that. Expand your contacts into other departments, relationships lead to opportunities for you to discuss the value that you offer, or start to suggest additional work as soon as the additional value becomes clear.

But - always wait until the value you offer is starting to become evident. Others consult differently. I prefer to have a strong story behiond me before we start to look for other areas where I can help a client.

In what I do the benefits are often relatively easy to get (for me, but I've been doing this for a fair while...) so my consultants nose sniffs them out, then we work out the best way to achieve them rapidly, then we prove it publicize it, and make sure that everyone knows the dramatic and rapid return on investment that they have achieved.

Then we can talk about the next purchase order with some additional comfort.

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