How to Turn Requests into Orders

As a seller, you want to get orders all the time, that much is obvious. And the easiest way to get orders is to go into the My Account dashboard and start replying to the requests.

Sending a reply is not the same as closing the deal though. Just messaging something like “I can do this” or “I am available” is not enough, not when there are a dozen other sellers replying to the same buyer.

To gain an edge, we’ve made this guide just for you.

Go through it section by section to learn how to answer requests the right way, gain the trust of buyers, and not only get the first order, but repeat orders as well.

The First Reply

Pre-message jitters. Some of us get anxiety attacks just getting new requests. I get it, buyers can be scary sometimes.

Or maybe you’ve gone ‘meh’ ๐Ÿ˜‘ and don’t want to spend the effort replying to a request that might not turn into an order anyway.

So first, a quick mindset reset.

  1. The buyer wants something done.
  2. You can do it. Heck, you’re just the person to do it.

So… why put yourself down by replying in a sloppy fashion? Let’s fix that.

1. Read the buyer’s request in full. ๐Ÿ‘€

Sometimes there are tiny instructions in there that you need to follow just to make sure the buyer knows you’ve understood the request. I know we shouldn’t need these things, but buyers are busy people and only want the right people to respond.

Also, some requests are also short and sweet but will take a lot of work. Videos, ebooks, websites: these are all big projects. Keep this in mind when replying later so that you can tell the buyer how long the work will take and how much it will cost.

Speaking of the cost…

2. Know your price. ๐Ÿ’ธ

It’s best we get this out of the way now, before anything else. After all, part of your motivation to work involves getting paid and you want to be paid the right amount, right?

Let’s estimate how much the project should cost:

  1. First, figure out how long it’ll take you to do the work. How many days, half-days or even quarter-days will you spend on it? If you’re having a hard time estimating this because you have no clue how to do the work, it’s better to reply to another request instead. Buyers want the right person to do the job, after all.
  2. Now, get your day rate.ย You can base this on your current income goals or how much you think top sellers charge per hour. It’s okay to start with a lower rate, especially if you’re still new. It also helps you land the job more easily.
  3. Multiply your day rate by how many days (or fraction thereof) you’ll need to do the work. This can give you a rough idea of how much you can make with this work. But the most crucial step is…
  4. Check if the amount is reasonable. A high price might fill your wallet but it also turns off buyers. A low price isn’t good as well, since you’ll be doing a lot of work for lessย  pay. What you want is the price that feels right, one where you’re eager to finish the tasksย  while making you feel that the time you spend on the job is worth it.
  5. Don’t forget the site’s fee! It’s best to include the site fee in your price quote when offering a price to the buyer, to avoid confusion.

For now, just take note of this price. You don’t need to send it right away and you can adjust it based on your conversation with the buyer. You’ll need to learn more about the work you need to do, after all, and this price might change.

But knowing your price now makes it easy to figure out if the request is worth it for you.

3. Make your offer compelling. ๐Ÿ’Œ

We see a lot of one liner replies in requests. Are you guilty of this?

It’s time to stop doing this and start standing out so you can turn that request into an offer.

So how can you make your reply stand out?

  • Can you throw in something extra that doesnโ€™t give you extra work? You can include formatting, editing or mockups if you’re going to do those anyway.
  • Can you give away some free digital items that will help the buyer? Maybe offer to include free icons, free stock photos, or free plugins.
  • Are you free to work immediately so you can deliver asap as well? This is a great offer for smaller requests, since those often need to get done quickly.
  • Can you do one small task for them for free? Some examples would be looking for reference material, providing design pegs or giving advice.

4. Ask meaningful questions. ๐Ÿ™‹

If you want to be taken seriously by the buyer, you need to ask questions. And not just any question: ask important ones that will show your expertise as well as give you insight on how you will plan out the work.

Here are some basic questions you can ask:

  • Whatโ€™s the goal for the project?
  • When do you need it?
  • Who will be reading / watching /using your work?
  • What sites / articles / graphics can you recommend for inspiration?

Of course, only ask these if the buyer hasn’t shared the information yet, either in their request or in messages.

If you want to step up your game, here are a few more advanced questions you can ask:

  • What is your typical customer like?
  • How often do you want updates on my progress?
  • How often are you available to answer questions during the project?

5. Help the buyer make an informed decision. ๐Ÿ“ฐ

These days, people can look up anything and everything online.

But you know what? Getting the same info from a person directly still add more credibility than anything Google can show you.

So share your knowledge so that the buyer sees you as an effective authority on the topic. Here’s what you can do.

  • Give them bird’s eye view of how you will do the work. This helps the buyer know your plans as well as visualize how the final output will look like.
  • Give them alternate options for accomplishing their project goal. There’s more than one way to reach a goal, after all. Sharing options shows the buyer that you’ve got problem solving skills worth investing in.
  • Do your research on the topic and share your insights. While everyone has access to Google, no everyone has the unique insight you have. Give helpful advice by combining the research with your own experiences. Who knows, this might just let you sidestep potential problems or even better, find an easier and better way to accomplish the buyer’s goal.

6. Do the first task for a low starting price. ๐Ÿ”ฐ

Before you close this tab, hear me out.

I’m not saying you should lower your price. That would go against what I said in #2 after all.

What I’m saying is you need to first, build trust with the client.

Give them a taste of what it’s like to work with you by doing the first task of the project for a low price. Not free of course and not cheap, but at a price that’s lower than expected. It’s a low-risk way to get started and a perfect fit for an initial P199 job.

It goes both ways as well. A small task lets you feel out your work dynamic with the buyer. Is the buyer easy to talk to? Are they easy to reach? How much experience does the buyer have with the site? Or does the buyer have experience doing this type of work?

Once you’ve built up the trust and proven your worth, that’s the time to ask for the complete project.

7. Donโ€™t reply like a robot. ๐Ÿค–

Chatbots are all the rage, but you’re not one and buyers don’t expect you to be one. While I’m a fan of using templates myself, don’t just send canned replies to every request.

Use a template as a guide, not as your reply.

It might even be better to ditch the template entirely and just create an outline. You can also jot down some guide questions instead, and answer those when sending your reply. You can use tip #4 as a basis for your guide questions.

Sending a Follow Up

80% of all significant sales occur only after a minimum of five continuous follow ups โ€ฆ yet only 8% of sales people ever ask for the order a fifth time!

For most creative types, we take non-response from a buyer to mean “no”. But I’ve learned that a getting no response simply means… getting no response.

The buyer didn’t reject your offer or aren’t interested just because they didn’t reply.

People become busy all the time and sometimes forget to message back. It’s how online communication works these days. So sending a follow up message is totally alright. Here’s a way to make your follow ups less “spammy”.

8. Share a helpful discovery.ย  ๐Ÿ’Ž

Instead of nagging the buyer to death, send them one interesting thing you’ve discovered lately.ย  Something related to their request, of course.

It can be a new tool, a new process or even some new insight you’ve learned. Show them that you’re still thinking about the project even if they haven’t made the order yet.

9. Ask more questions. ๐Ÿค”

We talked about asking questions in tip #4 above.

If the buyer didn’t answer your questions before, it doesn’t hurt to send them again.

And if they did answer but you need to follow up, you can ask the other advanced questions, too. Or just ask something relevant to their last message.

If they had to do something first before ordering (like funding their credit card), ask them if they’ve accomplished that already.

Seal the Deal

Studies reveal that 60% of those who make pre-purchase inquiries go on to buy the product.

If you’ve already made it clear that you’re the right person for the job, then it’s time to ask for the order.

One clear indicator that the buyer is ready to order is if they actually say that they will order. But there are times when this isn’t the case, and that’s when you need to step forward to seal the deal.

10. Ask the buyer to order. ๐Ÿ›

It sounds simple but being “pushy” sure gives a few of us panic attacks. But don’t forget that this is the reason they posted the request in the first place.

You’re just guiding them along to do something they want to do in the first place.

But if you still feel that straight-on asking for the order is a bit out of character, there are a couple of options for you:

  • Allow them to make a decision, instead of asking for the order. Reduce the friction of a sales-y message by giving options to the buyer. For example, ask them if they want to go with 10 pages or 20 pages when ordering an ebook from you.
  • Ask for information you’ll need after their order. It’s might sound a bit “assuming” but it also shows that you are thinking about their needs. Another example: ask about the kind of stock photos they want for their ebook.

11. Give the buyer easy to do next steps. ๐Ÿ‘ฃ

You know why we like fast food? It’s not about the food really.

There’s a line that says where you should line up. The person at the counter recommends food. You even get someone to bring the food to your table sometimes! It’s the convenience that makes us come back.

So give your buyers a convenient experience, just like ordering fast food.

Show them what to do next to make the ordering process comfortable and pain-free.

  • Share your job + addon link and ask them to click it.
  • Ask them commit to a date, if they aren’t going to order yet.
  • If they need to gather their funds first, ask them to click on the Buy Store Credits link to place an order for Store Credits. This way, they will be reminded to fund their account and buy from you.
  • If they have a question, send them the answer from the Buyer’s Common Questions. Almost all of the answers to their burning questions can be found there.
  • If they ask you how to pay, send them to our How To Buy guide.
  • For questions that are a bit complicated, tell them to message us and we will handle their questions for you.

12. Make buyers trust your ability to deliver. ๐Ÿšš

Buyers come to us to get work done so make sure they don’t second guess your abilities. As you end the pre-order discussions, leave a positive impression on them when it comes to your skill and cooperativeness by doing the following:

  • Invite them to visit your job and profile and show proof that you do great work. You do have great feedback, many orders served and a high rating on your job page, right?
  • Reply quickly to buyer messages. It’s the best way to assure buyers of your reliability.
  • Share a work sample thatโ€™s related to the request and show actual proof that you can do a good job.
  • Offer to give some support after the order is done. Often, this leads to more orders too!

Practice, Practice, Practice

Only 7% of sellers (with at least 1 order) become top sellers.

Getting orders is a skill, just like writing and graphic design. And like any skill, you’ll get better the more you do it. So if you don’t get the order today, don’t sweat it! It’s an opportunity to tweak your technique to close the next sale. And if you do get the order, well that’s even better!

13. Practice how you reply, not just what you reply. ๐Ÿ‘”

I’m guilty of replying with just the facts and nothing more. While this might send the message, often it doesn’t communicate your emotions or intentions.

So make sure to choose your words when replying to a buyer. They should see you as someone helpful, patient and worthy of their respect.

  • Stay professional, even if they seem irritated. You might be driven to respond emotionally, whether it’s out of sheer joy or utter frustration. It’s okay, we’re human. But in this case, give yourself a short time out before hitting Send Message to avoid any untoward incident. One neat trick is to think of yourself as a hotel concierge: reply to the buyer calmly and respectfully.
  • Look at the situation from their perspective. Sometimes buyers just feel neglected, embarrassed or confused. Think about it: what would you feel if you were in the same situation? How would you act? When you look at the situation in this way, you often get a flash of wisdom that allows you to respond to them better. For me, this solves 80% of the problems related to online messaging.
  • Use good writing techniques. Since messaging is also writing, you can use what you’ve learned in writing articles here as well. Short sentences, using bullet points (I am partial to using ‘+’ symbols myself) and subheadings will make your longer messages clearer to the buyer.
  • Use emojis and cheerful words help. It’s rare for someone not to like emojis and positive words. So sprinkle your messages with a few of these and show that you’re here to brighten their mood.

14. Always check for new requests and respond quickly but thoughtfully. ๐ŸŽฏ

One study said that buyers who receive a message within an hour of their request are 60% more likely to lead to an order versus those replied to 24 hours later. They were even 15% more likely to order compared to those messaged between 1 and 2 hours after they post their request.

But it’s not just about speed. You also need to reply something with substance if you want buyers to respond in return instead of ignoring your reply and moving on.

Review tips #4, #5 and #7 above and use them to craft your responses.

15. Keep learning. ๐Ÿ“ˆ

Knowing how to get orders is great. But to truly succeed, you need to finish more challenging requests like creating videos, infographics and websites. This means upgrading your skills so that you work better each day.

  • Test out new tools that help make your work easier. Don’t be afraid to discover and try out new apps and sites that boost your productivity.
  • Read often to discover new techniques for doing your work. Subscribe to blogs about productivity, creativity, and self-improvement.
  • Go deeper into your niche and learn more through books, courses and videos. The time you invest will be worth it, especially if you put what you learned into practice.

 

 

I hope that the tips above will help you improve your ability to close requests.

If you’re new to the site and used this guide to close your first order, let me know. I’ll give you an awesome gift in return.

And if this guide helped you in any way, let me know in the comments below. I’m also open to answering your questions about turning requests into orders.

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