How to sell when you hate selling

How to sell when you hate selling

Freelancing women gathered in London on 5 October to hear an expert talk on the art of selling.

“So many women are choosing to become a freelancer, and we must support one another and create a sense of community.”

These were the words of one of the founders of the Women in Freelancing Network (WFN), Caroline Morgan, as she opened the event on 5th October. The WFN was founded in 2014 by IPSE, and continues to support and enable the UK’s rapidly growing population of freelancing women.

As Caroline went on to say “It’s always great to hear success stories and practical ways to improve your skills”

On this occasion, a masterclass in selling skills was given by the highly experienced founder of The Sales Divas, Kim Duke. Kim is a Canadian entrepreneur who has spoken at events for up to 2,000 people. She has over two decades of experience in the field (although really doesn’t look it) working with all manner of impressive organisations, and gave a rousing and personable talk to the crowd.

We chatted to her afterwards and asked why she thought it was so important for freelancers to go to events just like this one. She had this to say: “You will turn into a raisin if you never have outside influences. You will dry up, your creativity will dry up, and business will dry up. The moral of the story? Don’t be a raisin. Get out there and meet people.”

Kim’s friendly – and often hilarious – approach to the talk gave the crowd a reason to remember the facts, as she kicked things off by injecting confidence into each audience member with bold statements of “You’re the BEST shortcut” she strolled around the room and looked into our eyes, and made us believe it.

The talk was so succinct and informative. It made for a memorable and very useful experience which sometimes also turned into a discussion.

Some of the information Kim shared was eye-opening:

“Email marketing has a conversion rate forty times higher than social media”

“On average, it takes five to twenty seven touch points to secure a client”

These sorts of punchy facts took some of the crowd by surprise.

As Natasha Plowman, founder and director of Spinning Red Ltd mentioned after the talk “I definitely learned a lot. It reminded me of the things you know you should be doing but just aren’t.”

One of the more important parts of Kim’s talk was perhaps a painful reminder “you’re all not charging enough”, she said. The importance of knowing what you’re worth struck a chord in the room. Kim continued by saying that too often we tend to charge what we end up negotiating, rather than first thinking what we’re worth, and then negotiating that instead.

This was very relevant advice, as research out last month revealed the gender pay gap in the UK will not close until 2069. However Kim’s advice seemed to speak to any freelancer, regardless of gender. Indeed, guest men in the room were equally enthralled to hear the confidence with which Kim spoke on this subject as she repeated “you’re all not charging enough”.

Freelancing is a fantastic way of living, and gives you the freedom of choice in all aspects of your work. But it can have drawbacks in that you’re acting alone more often than not. But as Kim mentioned after the talk, the positives are huge: “I am 100% in charge of my success. I love having freedom and flexibility without someone breathing over my shoulder.  And there is something magnificent about working while wearing your fuzzy PJs on a snowy winter day when everyone else is stuck in traffic.”

For future events, keep an eye out on the events page of the IPSE website or on our social media channels @teamIPSE @WomanFreelancer

And finally, what did Kim love so much about this event? “The people! Creative, whimsical, hard-working people who are looking to create a lifestyle for themselves that doesn’t rely on some dude-in-a-suit telling you what to do every day. I loved coming to London and meeting everyone!”

Join us for the next one and share in the knowledge, advice and support.