ELTABB Journal Volume 1 - Page 22

, 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 Know So Evan, you’ve been working as a freelancer for over twenty years. What does every freelancer need to know? 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 selling. 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 training. 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 corporate world. 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 client. 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. 22