Sales calls are just one of the many ways freelance animators or animation studio owners can acquire new clients and work. To put it simply, a sales call is a meeting between you and a potential animation client where you promote your animation services to help grow your business.
A successful sales call can be measured by several different factors, such as identifying the client’s problems, securing a follow-up call, or even closing a deal.
In addition to closing deals, you won’t just get a new animation client and project but will also gain the opportunity to grow your relationship with them, and may even turn them into a repeat client!
Freelance animators who are just starting out may experience difficulty with conducting a sales call and securing clients. However, don’t worry, we’ve got you covered! This article will focus on eight successful sales call techniques for animators!
1) Prospect Your Animation Clients
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Before going about the sales call, it is important that you narrow down the list of animation clients that you will be calling. This can be done by prospecting.
Not all businesses or clients may need your animation services which is why it’s essential that you separate those who are able and willing to avail of your product from those who may not be interested at all.
One way for you to prospect your animation clients is via cold-calling, an unsolicited call or email sent to your potential client. Another way you can prospect potential customers is by reaching out to them through various networks such as LinkedIn.
You can also prospect clients in a different manner by utilizing a questionnaire which your potential animation clients can fill up. This gives you a rough idea of what kind of animated video your potential clients need as well as what type of clients you will possibly be getting.
A great example of a questionnaire is our Promoshin pricing calculator. All potential animation clients have to do is to fill out the form to get an instant quote regarding our animation services. This way, we can acquire a list of possible clients who we can set up a sales call with.
Being able to prospect clients will increase the chances of you closing deals during a sales call as you will have a shortlist of potential customers who are in need of your animation services. This is certainly easier than blindly promoting your service to businesses that might not need them.
2) Research On Your Animation Client
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Now that you’ve shortlisted your potential animation clients, let’s go one step further by doing more research on them. It’s a good idea to have some level of knowledge of what your clients do in order to build trust and a relationship with them.
In addition, researching about your animation client will allow you to personalize and tailor the sales call specifically to that client. You will be able to remove unnecessary portions of your pitch and focus on more important sections of your services that you believe the client may be interested in.
Some key points that you can research on are what the client or business does, what their mission or vision is, and some recent achievements that they have accomplished or attained.
Gathering information may be more work on your end, but it will surely pay off later on when your animation client notices that you put the extra time and effort to learn more about who they are and what they do.
3) Schedule a Sales Call
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Scheduling a sales call may be unnerving, but the fact that the animation client is willing to talk to you and hear you out is already a good sign that they’re interested in your animation services.
In order to make scheduling the sales call less intimidating, you can smooth things over by sending an email to schedule the call. Emailing will allow you to take your time and carefully write out what you want to say without the pressure of getting an immediate response and needing to reply.
Another way for you to easily schedule a sales call is by using applications such as Calendly. These applications seamlessly integrate all of your calendars and keep track of your schedule, eliminating the hassle of back-and-forth emails in order to plan your appointments.
Furthermore, Calendly also features multiple CRM integrations such as Zoom, Slack, and Microsoft Teams. This makes it easier for you to schedule different types of meetings such as one-on-one interviews to larger calls consisting of several participants.
4) Establish a Connection With Your Animation Client
First impressions last for a long time, which is why it is crucial that you start off the sales call with a bang in order to keep the animation client’s attention. The research you have done prior to the meeting will come in handy here as this will set the tone for the rest of the call.
After introducing yourself, talking about their business or congratulating them on a recent achievement will display that you value their time and are here to talk business. Showcasing your professionalism as an animator by talking to them about their business instantly builds trust between you and your client.
Some ways you can start off the call are:
- “Congratulations on ____! ”
- “I’ve heard a lot of good things about the work you’ve done on / with ____.”
- “Your work on ____ was very inspiring.”
- “I noticed your recent post about ____.”
By starting off the call correctly, not only do you establish a good tone and build trust between you and the animation client, but you will also be able to transition to the next part of the call much more smoothly.
5) Listen To Your Animation Client’s Needs
Moving on from the introduction, this part of the call will be about you finding out what types of animation services your client will be needing from you. Asking questions pertaining to the client’s business will be useful during this stage of the call.
Some questions you could ask are:
- “Who’s the decision maker in your company?”
- “What business challenge are you trying to solve?”
- “What product or service do you want to promote?”
- “Who is your target audience?”
- “What video style do you want for your video?”
- “Have you ever worked with an animator or animation studio before?”
- “What did you like or what did you not like about your past animator / studio?”
It is important to listen to the animation client during this part of the call as their responses will direct you to the points that matter to them the most. In addition, listening to the client will allow you to pinpoint exactly what animation service they will be needing from you.
Furthermore, studies have shown that top sales professionals who listen more are more likely to close deals when compared to those who do not.
Listening to your animation clients will display that you are actually here to help them address problems regarding their business rather than just trying to sell them your services.
6) Pitch Your Animation Services To Your Client
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Now that you’ve heard your client’s needs and problems, it’s your turn to present the solution. This stage of the sales call will have you pitching your animation service to the client. Be as thorough as possible when pitching your services so that the client will know all of what you can offer to address their problems.
Outline the details of your animation service to your client to make sure that you are as transparent as possible. Details that can be included in your pitch are listed below.
Animation Video Styles Offered
Offering a wide variety of animation video styles will not only allow you to showcase your flexibility as an animator, but will also allow the client to pick a style that matches their brand and voice.
Here are some animation video styles you want to offer:
- 2D Character Animation
- 3D Animation Video
- Motion Infographics
- Whiteboard Sketch
- Demo Screencast
- Mixed Media Video
- Live-Action Product Videos
Turnaround Time for Videos
Having a quick turnaround time for your videos will be advantageous for you especially when an animation client is in need of rush services. Aside from that, being able to deliver a well-made video quickly will give the client a chance to make changes to the video before the final output is actually needed.
Pricing For Your Animation Services
A competitive price for your animation services will work towards your favor. However, you may add additional services down the line such as retainer videos and other upsells once you’ve built enough trust between you and your client.
Upsells And Cross-Sell Offers
Aside from the main video project that you’ll be offering, you can also mention your upsells and cross-sells.
Upsells and cross-sells are a great way for you to maximize your profits while also adding meaningful value to your animation client’s video. These add-ons will also strengthen the trust between you and your client as these types of offers mainly focus on meeting the animation client’s needs.
Here are some examples of upsells and cross-sells you can offer:
- Short commercial cuts
- Source files
- Different video output sizes
- Custom illustrations
Video retainers are another way for you to maximize the work you can get with clients. Instead of working on a one-and-done project with them, you can get them to pay you a flat rate in exchange for your services.
An example of a video retainer is Promoshin’s unlimited video plan where clients can pay a flat monthly fee for the studio to create as many ongoing videos as they want. The production of these videos will include scriptwriting, storyboarding, voiceovers, production, and more.
However, keep in mind that video retainers may only work once you’ve built enough trust with your animation client.
7) Close the Deal With Your Animation Client
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You’ve presented your case to the animation client. Now it’s time to attempt to close the deal with them. Keep in mind that even if you did everything right, some clients may still choose to decline or think it over.
Closing deals with clients is by no means an easy feat, but there are some steps you can do to inch closer into landing that project.
Make sure to summarize the animation client’s needs and the services you will provide in order to ensure that both of you are on the same page. This will lower the possibility of issues arising from miscommunication between you and the client in the middle of the project.
Another way for you to increase the chances of landing the project is to have a clear call-to-action. These can be in the form of scheduling a follow-up call or a simple email to remind the client about the project.
You can also ask whether you and the animation client should sign a contract so you can get to work as soon as you can.
These call-to-actions will not just lead the client towards making a deal but will also further your relationship with them down the line.
Lastly, make sure to thank your client before ending the call. Remember that these animation clients are not obligated to hear you out, so thanking them for their time is the least you can do.
8) Evaluate Your Sales Call To Identify and Address Problems
Remember that not all sales calls will be successful even if you did everything to the best of your abilities. Despite this, take each call as a new lesson for you to get better regardless of the outcome.
Evaluating the sales call will allow you to take note of what went well and what didn’t. Some possible points to bear in mind are as follows:
- Did I do enough research on my client?
- Did I listen to the client enough?
- Were the animation services I provided aligned with the client’s problems?
These are just some of the points that you can take into account. If you do find any problems or weaknesses, you can be mindful and adjust accordingly for future sales calls.
You should also be aware that you will only get better with practice and the more you participate in sales calls.
Knowing the different techniques can only do so much, and the best way to get better is by making several more sales calls. This will not only help sharpen your different skills, but will also give you the experience to adapt to various needs of different animation clients.
Sales calls are a useful way for you to find new animation clients and drum up work for your animation business. Therefore, being able to conduct a sales call can be an effective tool for freelance animators and animation studio owners.
Aside from selling your animation services to potential clients, sales calls are a good way for you to jumpstart your relationship between you and your animation client.
Having a good relationship with a client will be greatly advantageous for you as these can lead to more work in the future, or even potentially open the door to new clients who you can work with.
There is no cookie-cutter way for closing deals due to the various needs of different types of clients. This can make a sales call daunting to animators who are just starting out.
Despite this, there are a few ways animators can prepare for a sales call in order to make it easier when dealing with the client.
Animators can set themselves up for success prior to the sales call by prospecting and researching about the animation client, starting the call off with a bang, listening to the client, presenting a great pitch customized to the client’s needs, and always evaluating every sales call.
For more information regarding animation and its business side, consider signing up for our free masterclass and downloading a copy of our free marketing handbook.