Have you ever found yourself knowing exactly what you need to do about marketing your business… and then not doing it? You are not alone. Many self-employed professionals and creatives find that the hardest part of marketing isn’t figuring out what to do. What’s hard is actually doing it.
When you look at your marketing to-do list, do many of the items on it look all too familiar? Have entries like “call Dolores Sanchez” and “follow up with Wallingford Corp.” been copied from a previous week? Putting off unappealing tasks may be human nature, but for a self-employed professional, procrastination can be deadly.
Delays in contacting a prospect can lose the business to the competition. Failing to get the word out about an upcoming event may forfeit dozens of opportunities. When prospects don’t hear from you for a while, they forget you exist. Wasted marketing time can never be recovered. By the time you realize you might not make your sales goals for the month, quarter, or year, it may already be too late.
Never underestimate the power of a thank you. I thanked someone a while back for helping me solve a technical problem. She replied to my note of thanks by inviting me as a guest speaker for a group she chairs. I didn’t even know she chaired this group and I had never considered speaking there.
"I don't like to sell." "Asking people for business makes me uncomfortable." "Selling feels manipulative and sleazy." "I'm good at what I do. Why don't clients just come to me?" If any of these thoughts seem familiar, you may be hanging onto an unhelpful perspective...
As a professional selling your own services, you may believe that your discomfort about calling prospective clients on the phone is because you’re not a “real” salesperson. But studies reveal that up to 40% of full-time salespeople experience episodes of call reluctance that are serious enough to threaten their careers.
Responding to an inquiry, placing a follow-up call, or having a sales conversation are all situations where you can expect your prospects to ask questions. Preparation is the key to a confident response, but unfortunately, sometimes we prepare only for the questions we want to hear, and not for the tougher ones clients often ask.
In the old pre-COVID days, we self-employed professionals went to local and global gatherings to meet people -- mixers, professional meetings, conferences, community events, cultural happenings, and more. To follow up with our contacts, we scheduled coffee, lunch,...
One thing I’ve noticed regarding networking during the pandemic is how people are connecting, or more accurately, not connecting. During more “normal” times, networking had a certain forgiveness built into it. For example, if you went to a networking meeting and met several people, you’d connect with some more than others, and that would feel normal.
Meeting new people, in person, is consistently rated as one of the most effective ways to find new prospects for selling your professional services. After attending just a few networking mixers or industry meetings, you will quickly end up with a daunting collection of new contacts. But what do you do with them all?
Remember Why You Are Networking
The whole point of meeting new people is to give you a starting point for developing relationships. New contacts almost never become clients as the result of a one-time meeting.
It’s easy to let things slide, especially when they feel difficult. Unfortunately, sometimes in business, following up with clients can feel that way.
Why is that? It’s not as if your hands are broken and you can’t type, dial the phone, pick up a cup of coffee, or you don’t know how important following up is.