I’m writing this post for you at a wine bar. It’s 12:30 in the afternoon. This is one of the great benefits of being a freelance audio engineer! Freedom to do what I want, work from anywhere, and make my own work schedule. I have clients later tonight recording with me so hopefully I won’t get too hammered on this sunny day in Florida.
Today I’m going to share with you an insider tactic to help you get clients. This will be for the engineers that don’t have that much confidence to sell your service. For the engineers that don’t want to be annoying when approaching potential leads.
There’s a way I get potential clients into my studio and sales funnel to pitch them my audio engineering service. It’s a guaranteed way to get the sale and earn that precious income. And so far, since the 5 years I’ve been using this tactic, I’ve had a 97% closing ratio. Nearly everybody that I pitch my engineering work to with this strategy ends up hiring me.
Free 30 Minute Consultation
What is it?
The 30-minute consultation is getting your potential client to a private meeting with you or your associates and finding out what problems they face and how you can HELP solve it for them.
It’s designed to increase your income, and get more clients.
It’s a one-on-one meeting. You ask the prospect questions and you LISTEN. Talk LESS. Build rapport and figure out what their biggest dreams, goals, hopes, and fears are.
Once you know what the prospects pain points are, you can customize your pitch catered to their needs, wants and desires, and close them on the sale.
This is sales 101 at it’s finest. And the BEST businesses and audio engineers know this and use it everyday to stay booked and earn a living.
Before we get into the tactics and mechanics on how this works, let’s first touch base on the most important takeaway from the consultation:
-This is all designed to EARN INCOME.
-The only way to earn income in this biz is to get your customer to TRUST you 100% that you can solve their problems.
What are some common problems of audio engineer customers?
I mainly work in the indie music business and here are the common challenges my customers have:
- Getting their name out there
- Creating a BUZZ
- Sounding great
- Building a fan base
- Direction and guidance on what sounds good
- How to record and structure their song arrangements
These are just a few common problems most artists face. Notice it’s not that technical. It’s more abstract.
They don’t care if you have the greatest engineering know-how. Recording artists are creative people. And creative people need help with direction and what to do with their art.
So a deep understanding of their needs, wants, and fears will instantly set you apart from everybody else and get you paid more because you’ll know exactly what they need and how to help them.
Engineering these artists is only half the work. There’s lots of psychology and people skills involved with this.
How can you help them?
To begin with, you’ll need to customize your pitch for every consultation you do. It’ll never be the same. But having templates, systems, and guidelines in your supply to help you streamline the process will make things hassle free.
The top performers have systems.
Some common scripts and templates I’ll use:
“I understand how you feel. Most of the clients I work with face the same challenges. I can help create your buzz by helping you make amazing, professional sounding music you can share, promote, and sell.
You’ll be able to connect with and build your fan base with this music project. First, we’ll brainstorm your project and lay out a game plan for the production process. Second, we’ll start production and I’ll help guide you every step of the way on what sounds good and throw in some creative ideas to help make an excellent recording.
Having a professionally recorded project will help you get your name out there because people will take you serious when you sound like the pros. I suggest we start by booking a 4 hour recording session and then go from there.
After recording is done, I’ll mix the songs and make them sound the best! It’ll cost you (your pricing fees) and what you get is the studio, engineer, recording, editing, mixing, burned cd, mp3s, pro tools files, and 3 amazing songs you can promote, etc? I have times available this Saturday and Sunday.
Which day works best for you?”
This is my exact script on what I’ll say based on the consultation.
Notice the wording, how I talk about THEM. And notice how I tell them everything my price includes and what they can expect from me. (This creates high value when customers know exactly what they’re paying for). Notice I give them options on which day to book. Always give them choices: “This or that”
When I started implementing this tactic my business skyrocketed. I went from being afraid to pitch my service, to making it easy to win and using a system with word scripts to help deliver value and close more clients. And I’m able to close 97% of the prospects I give consultations to.
This one little thing you do can increase your income immensely!
This is the magic approach! The hassle free way to get new audio engineering jobs and not be annoying.
I guarantee this will work for you. I’ve been teaching this to friends, students, and studios and they’ve been getting huge success.
- I know what problems and challenges my clients face
- I customize how I can specifically help them fix their problems.
- I use a call to action (ask for the sale) with 2 options, now or later. (make it easy to choose)
- It’s also a good idea to have multiple pricing options so clients have choices based on budgets
The biggest challenge most audio engineers have is they’re afraid to ask people to pay them. Don’t be! You are the doctor that can help the sick. Customers have pain. They need you. You can fix it. And you’re gonna charge for it! 🙂
This is getting deeply inside the head of the client and figuring out EXACTLY how you can help them.
How do you get potential clients to your consultations?
You ask people. Or you can put the free consultation ad on your website, email, text message, etc….
Here’s what I use on my website:
This is a couple of snapshots from my website. When clients find me they’ll see options to book the free 30 minute consultations. And I usually do the consultations first before I ever ask them to book time with me. This helps me qualify clients and ensures we are a good match financially and personally to work well together. The free 30-minute consultation will make your business easier by working with the right clients, and kindly turning down business that is not good for you.
And remember this, when you’re asking people to come to the consultation, never talk about money or pricing. What your selling is an appointment. If they insistently demand for price quotes, give it them. But you’ll have a greater success rate if you get in front of them first. If they ask for pricing right away, I’ll say things like “I have several pricing options based on individual budgets, let’s meet first and figure out which pricing option will work best for you”. I have different rates for pay by the hour, booking block time, and doing full albums. It’s really hard to give them an accurate quote unless you know what they need first, hence the free consultation.
A lot of times clients will call you and ask for price quotes and then compare you to the other engineers and go for the cheapest. But what we want to do is find out what they need first, tell them how you can solve their needs and deliver value with the best quote like how I did in my script.
The 30-minute consultation is always free. And psychologically, it’s something concrete that clients will get. They get 30-minutes with an expert engineer..
Sometimes you have to customize your pricing. But when you do it in this manner, you demonstrate high value. In the clients head, they’ll know you can help them do what they want. You tell them you’ll solve their problems. And at this point, they will pay whatever your fee is if they trust you and like you.
The smart and serious customer pays for value. And they usually won’t negate your fees when you start the sales process with a free 30-minute consultation. Getting high paying customers that don’t whine and complain is the Smart Audio Income philosophy.
Here’s a guideline on what kind of questions to ask clients in your consultation:
- Tell me a about your project.
- What is your greatest challenge?
- What do yo think the solution is?
- What is your ultimate goal?
- How do you think you can reach that goal?
And you want to make this a relaxed interaction not an interrogation. Have music playing in the background. Offer snacks and beverages. Use a notepad and take notes.
Tell stories on how you helped similar customers with the same problems. This will put them at ease. The best trick I know is to smile. Smile a lot. It’s infectious. It’ll lighten up the mood and you’ll earn their trust. And when you earn trust, they’ll pay you. You have to be a great salesman.
Who do you know that’s a great salesman or is really outgoing and everybody loves them?
Most of these people types are like puppies that are excited to see you when you get home from work. They smile, they give you tons of attention, and they make you happy. Be that puppy in the consultation. These puppies are the engineers that get the most work. Clients love them.
I recommend you read some books on sales, human behavior, and self-improvement. Invest in yourself. It’ll pay off HUGE!
One book I read a few years ago that resonated with me was:
It’s a great easy read that’ll teach you how to be likable, get more friends, get more business, and make living a good life easy.
In summary, the Free 30-Minute consultation is a psychologically-engineered tactic to turn potential leads into paying audio engineer clients. It doesn’t matter what field your in. It works for all types of audio engineering jobs.
And remember I have a 97% closing ration using this.
If you want to increase your income, book more business, and get more audio engineering jobs, then you should implement this tactic into your daily regimen.
- Create a 30-minute consultation pitch and use it on your website, emails, etc.
- Come up with 5-7 questions (or use mine) to ask your clients.
- Make a list of 3 potential customers you can offer free consultations to and contact them today.
- Remember to talk less and listen more. Then customize your sales pitch tailored to THEM and their needs.
- ASK FOR THE SALE!
- Rinse and Repeat.
- Go grab a beverage and celebrate!
P.S. Got questions, recommendations, success stories? Comment below. I read every single one.