, I have subscribed to lots of podcasts so finding a suitable one isn’t too difficult and then I just mail them a link.
Pitching To Companies: What
Every Freelancer Needs to
So Evan, you’ve been working as a freelancer for
over twenty years. What does every freelancer need
If you are pitching to a company then you’re not in
teaching, you’re in the sales and marketing business.
It has nothing to do with language teaching.
Language teaching is simply the service you are
Dale Coulter Talks To Evan Frendo
I think most of the questions will be about you proving
that you are credible. Experience, qualiﬁcations, that
sort of thing. I also think you need to ask questions.
You have to have done some research. You should
know what customers the company has, its products
and services, its main markets. You should certainly
have a rough idea why they might need English
In many ways, it’s similar to a job interview
First of all you have to be credible. This means that
you have to look the part and give the impression that
you know what are you doing. If you don’t look
credible in the ﬁrst couple of minutes then it’s over.
You need to show that you understand what incompany training is all about.
You need to see yourself as a business partner. Your
client will be paying you to take work away, to solve
problems, not create work. That’s often the biggest
problem for a lot of companies. They see freelancers
are creators of work. They don’t turn up every week
because of illness, holidays etc, but there is no
guaranteed replacement. Freelancers are not
accountable to anyone; the company needs to ﬁnd a
way of checking them, which again creates work.
Many freelancers don’t even submit bills correctly. Put
yourself in their shoes. Would you choose a
freelancer or a school?
In a nutshell what would you consider as
accountability? I want to take the ﬁrst step into the
First you agree some sort of objective with your client.
You then need to agree on criteria so that you and the
client can both evaluate whether or not the objective
has been met. You are accountable if you take
responsibility for meeting or not meeting those
objectives. Accountability is basically answering to the
What kind of questions would you expect to face?
Exactly like a job interview, you are selling yourself.
So you need to do some research before hand. When
you turn up, you need to show that you are inquisitive,
asking intelligent questions. Partly it’s about active
listening. One of the key things you want to ascertain
is that you are speaking to the right person because
you might be speaking to the wrong person and
wasting your time. Find out if they have the authority
and then ﬁnd out what they think they want from the
training. That might start a discussion of what is
possible and doable in a set time for the money.
Before you even talk about making any offers,
arrange to speak to as many stakeholders as
possible. This word needs to be in your head at all
times, stakeholders. Speak to the learners as well as
expert insiders (people who can do it already) and
ﬁnd out what they think the training should involve.
Speak to people who inﬂuence (HR managers, other
in-house trainers, department managers). It’s like a
puzzle. You need to put the pieces together.
Whatever you do, don’t make an offer too early, and
certainly not at the end of the ﬁrst meeting. Go away,
think about it, and come back with your offer because
things will occur to you afterwards. Don’t commit
yourself too early on. There probably needs to be at
least one other meeting on the scope of the training
so that everyone is clear on what you are offering and
what you are not offering. Don’t promise the earth and
then not deliver.