Posted by Wendy on July 28, 19100 at 12:29:11:
In Reply to: Shyness and Marketing - What to do? posted by Karen Cooper on July 24, 19100 at 07:48:58:
I operate an office service providing administrative support to small businesses and HR departments. Marketing was and is my weakest skill. In fact, for the first ten months I was in "business" very few people even knew who I was, because I simply can not pick-up the phone and cold call. I'm not shy - at least, most people consider me outgoing - but I do have a strong case of "stage-fright." Once I'm on the phone and talking, I'm okay, but those initial two minutes or so of shaky voice make potential clients uneasy and very unlikely to hire me.
So, instead, I found ways to make contacts that did not involve my having to cold call potential clients. My most productive marketing technique has been to look through the help wanted ads in the newspaper. I look for companies or individuals who are looking for employees, and send them information about my company, or I call them on the phone and talk to the person who is doing the hiring. It's easier to call someone who is looking for an employee and explain why my services would be more cost effective, than it is for me to call a business that may or may not need administrative support. At least I know from the beginning that they need someone to do the job that I do. I found my biggest client in this way. He contracted 25 hours a week for an indefinite period. I've been working for him for almost two years.
I also contracted a six month advertisement in my local paper. In addition to having a business card-sized message every week, I'm also given two feature articles.
Research has proven that cold calling is the fastest way to find new clients, but I know that any calls from me may do more harm than good. As a result, I had to find other ways to market and promote my services. I don't like having to make phone calls, and so, I just found ways around it.
For the most part, it's worked.
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