When thinking about the best way to get new business, it’s often good to remember that contacting a prospect directly can be the most effective tactic. However, this can sometimes seem too scary: the thought of picking up the phone, or meeting someone for coffee, or even sending an email can send a wave of fear through your business heart.
Here are some common fears you might experience when considering reaching out to someone directly:
- They’ll think I’m bothering them.
- I don’t know what to say.
- I’m not a good salesperson.
- I’m an introvert.
- I’m not good with words.
- They won’t remember me.
- I’m not sure how to make an offer.
What can you do, then, to make reaching out to people easier? Here are two types of direct contact, and pointers on how to make each one more approachable.
Often when people think about direct contact they picture making phone calls. Personally, my mind wanders to a phone bank, with multiple people making sales calls and a boss roaming the room monitoring everyone; a real boiler room type situation. Just the thought of it makes me stop breathing! Fortunately, that worst-case scenario is not the truth, it’s just my fear conjuring up movies I’ve seen. If your mind has created some type of worst-case scenario, breathe. It’s not the truth, it’s just fear trying to stop you from taking the action you know is going to help your business.
Making it Easier
In your mind’s eye, picture making a call to a prospect you’re interested in talking to. You have all the words you’d like to say scripted out, or in a bullet-point list in front of you. You’re calm and centered. You’ve gotten in touch with the value your services bring to your clients. You’re ready. You pick up the phone, dial the number, and have a conversation that flows with ease.
When you’re ready, stand in a powerful position and dial the phone. Keep breathing and start talking; relax and let the conversation flow.
Emails can be tricky to get the tone right – a word can feel inviting to one person and confronting to another. You’ve no doubt received an email from someone asking if you’d like to do business with them. Worst case scenario, the email sounded aggressive, implied that you really should take advantage of their offer, and perhaps suggesting that you’re behind the times if you don’t pursue their opportunity. These emails can conjure up FOMO, the fear of missing out, and they’re effective on many people. They can also be a real turn-off for those of us who don’t think that way.
Making it Easier
The written word is a powerful tool; this is your chance to use it wisely to communicate exactly what you mean. While you’re finding your own voice, consider borrowing the voice of someone you admire to help guide you. Study their tone, the words they use, and how gentle or forceful their overall feeling is, then emulate the parts that you like. When you write your next email, imagine you’re talking to another human who has a different filter than you do. Choose your words accordingly, being kind, clear, and direct.
Direct contact is an effective marketing strategy, and with a little practice your fear can give way to mastery! Who would you like to contact this week?