This can mean a lot of different things depending on what industry you’re in, but it almost always involves cold-calling a lot of people and explaining to them why they want (no, need) your services. It’s humbling, and it’s exhausting, and you’ll be rejected more times than you can count. See below…
When I was between jobs (during a recession) I thought being a freelance computer consultant would be the way to go. Fortunately I talked to people already in the business. “Do you like being in sales?”, the first one asked. Um, no, I was looking at computer consulting. “No, you’re looking at being in sales. Because if you don’t spend 50% of your time getting the next sale, nailing down the current sale, or following up for more work on the last sale, you won’t be spending time at all on what you really want to do. That is what freelancing is all about.”
I finally found a job with a regular company.
A few years later I switched to a consulting company with a dedicated sales guy. And then I was only spending maybe 5% of my time on sales.