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When starting a business, or more precisely, a service, how does one engage with those potential clients?

April 27, 2011 Leave a comment

In my industry, making contact with businesses is vital to generate custom. I have read articles, posts and discussions from people on various web platforms, about this very topic. However, is there that perfect way to engage people?

Is the only way for businesses to use your service, through meeting face-to-face or recommendation from someone that knows you? This seems to be the message that comes across. So all those nicely crafted marketing letters and the daunting follow-up calls, are simply a waste of my time?

I know that my service is required by all business with premises. And, that everyone wants to save money, essential in the current economic climate. So why are they reticent to read my letters, or speak with me? Why do we hear the receptionist say: “I’m sorry, Mr. Jones won’t be interested in this service” and this coming from an accountancy firm?

Amazement! An accountancy firm that isn’t interested in helping their new business start-ups or existing clients to save money. You don’t know whether to laugh or cry! Would we be anymore successful by actually rolling up at their office and asking to speak with the said accountant, face-to-face?

Obviously face-to-face communication is important, but surely business can be done without having this interaction. Ebay would be a fine example of this. Alright, so there are seller/buyer ratings, but this doesn’t always account for much, besides, we still buy from someone without having met them.

Perhaps it’s just me, I have a service that I believe in, I enjoy what I do helping people attain savings. Helping people resolve issues with their energy bills; meter changes, change of tenancy assistance, invoice assistance, capacity demand issues and energy assessments. All of which can be provided without having to meet the client, although I am happy to do so.

Are we all more savvy to the cold-caller these days? I can empathise when a cold-caller tries to get you to buy their product or service over the phone. However, when you are simply informing them about a service, asking if it maybe of benefit to them and to leave it with them to think about and possibly meet or call back, once they have had time to review it at their own leisure, is this a reason to not give you the time of day?

Whose loss is it? The cold-caller for not acquiring their custom, or them for dismissing this hard-working person from wanting to help them save money? Nowadays, is it all about networking and referrals rather than letters and telephone calls?

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