Expand Your Reach:
Making Money Helping Others Grow Online
By: JT Franklin
Business leaders read a lot of books looking for answers. Answers about
legal issues, dealing with customers and employees, and many other
matters. How many of these books give you real, point by point tips on
increasing your profits and reaching a whole new customer base? That’s
what this E-book is all about.
The reason I wrote it is because there’s not much communication between
people who own businesses online and those out in the rest of the world.
Even though everyone knows that they need to “be online”, most folks lack
understanding about all of the tools and services available to them. This
means that there are whole groups whose online potential is being wasted.
Cleaning up that waste is where you come in. We all know money can be
made when you have a product or service that meets a need. Since your
business is mastering the flow of information and helping people improve
their position in search engine rankings, you’re in the perfect position to
help them, as long as you get the help you need.
This book is that help. In these pages you’ll find:
• General information
• A breakdown of different ways to approach customers.
• Tools you can use to put your clients over the top in online presence.
• A list of resources you can refer to whenever you need to.
There’s a lot of information out there these days. Spending time sifting
through everything to find what’s useful takes time away from serving the
clients who need you. That’s why this book was put together, so that you
have everything in one place.
Why should you listen to me? What makes this book different from the
thousands of other eBooks out there today?
One simple reason: the things you’ll learn about in here are things I do
every single day. I’ve spent years making the connections (and mistakes)
that will cut years off your learning curve. No matter how many business
people I come into contact with, none of them are fully aware of the power
a strong online presence gives to their business or cause. I have found that
crafting and selling online properties to these folks provides a very decent
ROI and helps create the multiple streams of income that keeps your
No book can teach you everything, and this is no exception. What we will
do is give you solid advice, a firm foundation to build on, and essential
resources that will help you shine. A lot of business is about who you know.
Making money by helping people expand their online presence is also a lot
about HOW you know. How you know what tools to use in each situation,
where to point a marketing plan to maximize growth, and why one web
outreach will work better than another for a particular client.
This is powerful knowledge you have, and it’s very much in demand today.
Now we’re going to show you how to move it offline and into the rest of the
Integrity, Profit, and the Basics
Every business machine has an engine that runs on two things: personal
integrity and profits.
• Personal integrity means that you keep your word. When you deliver
what you promised your clients, live a balanced approach to work,
and speak well of those around you no matter what’s going on, then
you’re doing business with integrity that people can see.
• Profit is the state of having more money coming into your business
than is going out.
These two are actually very closely related. No one wants to do business
with someone who doesn’t follow through, talks badly about others, and
makes excuses all the time. If people won’t enter into contracts with you,
then your potential profit pools dry up and you’re out of business.
Finding A New Stream
You make your money online, so you’re already well versed in uncovering
and creating streams of income. The thing is, there are entire rivers of
income going untouched right outside your door. Entrepreneurs who make
most of their sales in brick and mortar establishments know they should be
online, but haven’t truly grasped just how powerful an online presence they
can create. They don’t understand the tools and methods that come almost
as easy as breathing to you.
How do you change that? What will it take to create educated, satisfied
clients out of people who could open a browser and handle email, but not
do much else? Why would you want to bother working with end users,
when there’s plenty of money to be made staying 100% online?
Let’s start with the most obvious reason to work with end users: They have
money too. Businesses of all sizes hire people to handle tasks for them,
from tracking their money to moving their furniture. If they’re not thinking
about having someone monitor the flow of their information, they should be.
Information moves so fast these days that no one can stay on top of all of
it. End users often get insulated from what goes on outside their offices.
They don’t realize that today’s consumer has gotten accustomed to fresh,
constantly updated content thanks to networking technology.
Even if they see the potential, they might think it has much more to do with
celebrity breakups and couldn’t possibly be useful for selling water heaters.
Your job is to help them see the reality behind the sparkly cultural uses of
these different media. This is about new, faster ways of moving information
around to reach people, not what types of information “belong” in one place
or another. Plumbers have as much right to Twitter away as any rock star.
One of the best things about working with offline owners is listening to their
ideas. They usually have a lot to say about how they want to get the word
out to the world about their business. Prior to meeting with you, it’s likely
that the only people who really listened to their big dreams were friends
and family. Now you have the time and tools to help channel this creativity
and passion for success into results. But they have to know who you are,
and want you to come in and meet with them first. There’s one really easy
(and inexpensive) way to build your reputation and get the word out about
your services to business owners in the niches you’re trying to reach.
Becoming The Local Expert
In real estate, the buzz word is location, location, location. When you’re
trying to build a reputation as a local expert in a particular service, your
buzz words are face time and name recognition. Keeping quality in mind,
you want to get your name out in the community as often as possible. You
also want to be seen doing what you do, or talking about it, whenever you
can. The one best time tested way to do this is to:
Set up workshops, give lectures or speak to an audience
This is an excellent way to grow your reputation as an expert. Once you
have your brand in hand (business cards, brochures, etc), set up a time to
do a small workshop. There are several places you can reserve rooms for
free or at a minimal cost. One of these is your local public library. Call
ahead and arrange a date and time. Decide what you’re going to talk about.
Now comes the part where you invite people to come. Here’s how you start
to become known to the business people you want to reach. If the
workshop is far enough ahead, say six weeks out, send them an invitation
in the mail. If there’s less time than that, drop by the office in person with an
invitation in hand. Then follow that up with an email.
The wording on the invitation is very important. You need to give the
impression that something big is happening, and inject a slight feeling of
scarcity. Using phrases like “by specific invitation”, “for successful business
people”, and “one day only” gives the impression that what’s going on is
geared to a very select audience. This makes it more likely people will
Once they’re there, you need to collect information. Having a sign in sheet
is helpful for that. Make sure it has a spot for both their phone number and
email address. An alternative would be to have people participate in a raffle
by entering all of their information on a piece of paper. At the end of the
workshop, you give away a small prize and you’ll have the information you
need to start making contacts for future meetings.
Now you hold an informative workshop on a topic. Let’s say you spent an
hour teaching people about social media in general, with a focus on what a
blog can do for a business. You gave the participants folders with handouts
in them, they asked intelligent questions, and filled out a survey rating the
event for you. A couple of them even stayed around to talk more specifically
about their situations and made appointments with you for later that week.
When you look back on this event, you realized that:
· You now have the contact information for twelve business owners you
didn’t have before.
· Teaching about social media refreshed you on the very basics again.
· Two of those twelve made future appointments with you.
· For the next week, whenever social media/blogs come up, the folks
who came to your workshop will think of you, even briefly.
Here’s something most workshop presenters overlook at first: asking the
people who just came to your workshop what kind of things they’d be
interested in learning about next. They are a great resource because
they’re still excited about the event that just happened, so their brains are
racing with knowledge and possibilities. Ask them to think of two things
they’d want to have the opportunity to learn next, and you should have a
decent size future workshop list to work from.
As you make doing the workshops a regular thing, people will see them
advertised, others will hear about you from friends, and your name will build
credibility from repetition. Soon, the events will have an increased
attendance and participation, and you’ll get a reputation around town as the
“social media lady”! Be ready for it.
Giving talks is a way to build your credentials. In some ways, it’s very
similar to running a workshop. The main difference is that you have to
actively insert yourself when you want to give a talk. It can be a bit harder
work to get yourself invited somewhere, but it’s not impossible. It's a lot
easier if you're willing to speak for free.
There are a lot of places that like to have occasional speakers. Rotary
Clubs, religious groups, and social justice organizations are just a few
places that are open to having someone give a talk. When you call to
arrange it, it usually goes something like this:
You: Good morning, my name is (_______). I run a business that
specializes in helping people understand media technology. I would like to
come and talk to your group about (______________). What is your
procedure for having speakers?
Thank you for explaining this to me. (Confirm method and make a time to
follow up with the appropriate person).
Rotary clubs are an especially good place for this. Their emphasis is on
membership, service, and business development. Here’s a quote from the
Seattle Rotary Club’s questions about why it’s good to join them:
“Every Rotarian is expected to take part in the growth and development of his or her own
profession or vocation; to serve on committees and to teach youth about one’s job or vocation.
Rotary helps to make one a better doctor, lawyer, teacher, etc.”.
Since joining Rotary is by invitation only, speaking in front of them is a way
to get their attention as well as provide valuable information. It’s hard to
think of another organization that has a ready made audience of engaged
business people willing to listen and help other business leaders develop
their skills and leadership. This is the type of environment you need to be in
to stimulate your professional growth as well as make contacts that will
lead to contracts.
Another place that really enjoys having people come talk about what they
do for a living are schools. We’re not talking about high school career day,
though that might be a good way to help someone’s future. Specifically,
colleges and universities enjoy having alumni come in and talk to the
students in the programs about what they can do with their degree. Even if
you didn’t graduate from the local school, it’s still a valuable experience to
speak with college students about future opportunities. One side benefit to
that is that there’s usually some time for interactions with professors
beforehand and afterwards.
Your speech has to be informative and relevant, however. It cannot be a
half hour or hour long infomercial for your business. The goal is to inform
and entertain people. If all you do is make a sales pitch, the people there
will be justifiably upset. You won’t be invited back, and they most likely will
pass word along to other groups about what happened so that they don’t
have to endure the same thing. That sort of reception will undo everything
you’re working for, so avoid the temptation at all costs.
These are three easy ways to build a local reputation as an expert. Once
people see that you know what you’re talking about and are available to the
community, doors will open. You won’t be “just some guy” they got an email
from. Instead, you’ll be “that social media lady” who told them all about the
blogs. Business owners you’ve had face time with will call you when they
need you, and refer others along.
You’re The Expert…Now What?
Now, just because you’re cementing your reputation as a local expert
doesn’t mean the appointments will come flooding in to you. It’s still
important to go out and make appointments. Making appointments doesn’t
have to be difficult or time consuming. It’s just a matter of using the
resources at your disposal to forge those connections.
One of the main ways to connect with others in your field is through your
local chamber of commerce. A chamber isn’t just a membership listing.
They usually have an amazing amount of programs going on. Chambers
track legislation affecting their members, have trainings and seminars on
emerging topics as well as fundamental refreshers, and offer opportunities
to bring in tourists as customers.
You should also join a business association. There’s at least one in every
city. If you’re a member of a minority group, most cities have associations
geared to specific populations. Some of the benefits of these organizations
include listing in a directory, member events, and meetings to encourage
networking. The rates are generally affordable, and this is a base you can
make important connections from. Any monetary investment you make will
be well worth it and repay itself at least tenfold in your interactions with new
clients and contacts. Once you’ve plugged in to these different arenas, then
it’s time to begin reaching out into the community.
There are a lot of benefits to working with outside business owners and end
users. They already know they need a strong web presence, but are not
entirely sure how to start. Internet technology continues to explode almost
daily, so it’s hard to keep up. You can do a lot of educational work,
explaining the costs and benefits of different approaches based on their
business needs. Once a lot of the options are laid out, they might even be
willing to contract out to have you handle this for them on a one time or
continuing basis. It keeps them in the loop without a huge time investment
on their part.
Making Your Appointments
A lot of people hate making phone calls, but they’re a necessary part of
building your customer base. Working over the phone has gotten a bad rap.
Between salespeople who don’t understand the word no and telemarketers
interrupting dinner, the reputation isn’t entirely off base. That’s why you
need a different point of view about it. You’re not pushing for new clients;
you’re developing long term, mutual relationships.
Pick up your list of potential contacts that you have compiled from
research, workshop attendance, and general networking. When you look
through them, there should be some people whose names jump right out at
you. They are memorable because the two of you have had conversations
at events; they contacted you to schedule an appointment, or were referred
by a mutual friend. Those are the “inner circle” you want to start with. They
will be the easiest to build relationships with.
Once you’ve put them together, go back through the list. People who have
attended workshops or other dedicated events you’ve held should be the
next circle of contacts. They took time out of their schedule to come and
see what you have to offer. You provided them with a direct service, and
they will remember that when you call or email.
The next round of contacts you want to set apart are local business owners
you’ve met face to face who work in the niche you serve. These won’t be
folks who’ve had long conversations with you. This circle will be made up of
people you’ve exchanged greetings and business cards with, but not much
else. Their initial investment in you will be based more strictly on what
services you can provide them, and they need to be approached that way.
Once you’ve got those three circles of contacts organized, you can put the
rest in any order you’d like. Since they’re general contacts most likely
gleaned from membership directories, websites, and online listings, their
purpose is strictly beginning relationship building. If a sale results from one
of them, that’s excellent, but don’t jump too directly for the close in this
Each of the groups of contacts needs to be approached in a different way.
The inner circle you have are made up of people who are interested in both
your product/service and you as a business person. This is the best place
to start for a couple of reasons. The ice is already broken, so a lot of the
courting behavior that usually has to take place with new clients isn’t
necessary. This is also really good for building confidence in yourself and
your message. When people have an investment in you as well as your
product, they are more likely to be forgiving of missteps in pitches and
Having said that, you still need to approach this with as much professional
attitude and respect as you would a new client who didn’t know anything
about you. A relaxed manner doesn’t mean any sort of behavior goes. Your
tone of voice, body language and phone manner are just as important here
as they are anywhere else in life.
*Hint…never assume someone remembers you. Always be the graceful
party. Take the initiative to introduce yourself and remind the person where
you’ve met. Some people have disabilities that keep them from being able
to retain information. They, and others who simply have faulty memories,
will be very thankful for your assistance.*
Here’s a sample phone script for contacting someone you’re more familiar
You: Good morning, is (____) there?
You: Morning, it’s (your name here), (____) how are you today? (respond to
their reply). I really enjoyed the conversation we had at (tell them name of
event and context to help them remember where you met).
You: I really wanted to get together and talk more about both of our
businesses. I’d like to know more about what you do, let you ask me
questions about my business, and see where we can go from there. What’s
the best day for you this week?
You: (If you set a day this week) Let me make sure I’ve got this written
down right. We’re meeting up on (repeat date and time). I noticed there’s a
coffee shop around the corner from your office. How about we meet there?
You: (If this week is no good) Ah, I understand that. Some weeks just sneak
up on you. Next week I have (name two days of the week) open. Do you
like to get together in the morning or afternoon?
You: Excellent! So, to make sure I’ve got this written down right, we’re
meeting up on (repeat date and time). I noticed there’s a coffee shop
around the corner from your office. How about we meet there?
You: I’m really, looking forward to this, (_____________). See you then!
Did you notice something in the language there toward the top? I want to…
let you ask me questions about my business. These days, people are
tired of being told about things. They get talked at everywhere they turn.
Television ads, internet announcements, and strangers on the bus
contribute to an overwhelming level of psychological noise in our culture.
The last thing you need as you look for clients is to just become part of the
You want to give people the chance to ask you about what you do because
it will make it meaningful for them. That doesn’t mean you sit there silent
and stone faced, but introducing people to your product or services should
be a two-way conversation. There is no way you can understand what they
need from you if they can’t get a word in.
Now, contacting the people who have attended workshops or other events
you have held is going to be similar in terms of respect and
professionalism. The actual conversation will be adjusted slightly for
context. Once you’ve said hello and reminded them where you met, the
rest of it should go something like this:
You: I was going over the list of people who have attended the events I’ve
held in the past. You attended the (name event), and I’m getting ready to
plan another one like that. When would you be available to talk more about
what you found helpful and what you want to learn more about next time?
You: (if interested) Great! I have (name two days this week if it’s still
Monday or Tuesday. If it’s Wednesday, name one day this week and a day
next week that’s not Monday) available. Do you like to get together with
people in the morning or afternoon?
You: (if not interested) I can understand that. Schedules fill up before we
know it sometimes. Can we talk more about this over email? Since you’ve
already been part of a workshop, I do value your opinion and input.
If they make an appointment with you, follow the script from above for
confirming and setting up the meeting at a spot near them. If they’d rather
talk over email, confirm their email address, thank them very gracefully, and
let them get off the phone. Then send a follow up email that afternoon. That
lets them know you’re serious about including them.
Now you might wonder if they’re a lost cause if all they want to do is talk
over email. Not at all! What you will end up with is a small email group of
“expert advisors” you can talk to about workshops and events you want to
hold. This is a long term investment of their time that relationships,
referrals, and business connections grow out of. While not strictly speaking
an “income stream”, these people will be a wealth of knowledge and advice
for you that other things will grow out of.
Next come the folks you’ve done the standard business meet and greet
with. Exchanges of business cards at events really don’t mean as much as
they did before the dot com implosion, unfortunately. What needs to
happen here is a little reversal of situations. Usually, people who are newer
to the game approach more established business owners and try to pump
them for advice, contacts, and help.
You’re not going to do that.
Instead, pick four of those contacts out and call them up. What you want is
to ask them for time to take them for lunch or out to coffee. When they ask
why, tell them that you would like to interview them and ask them more
about their business and what it is they do. Then that is exactly what you
do. You don’t jump in while they’re talking about a problem and tell them all
about a solution your business can provide. Above all, do not feel them out
for referrals or contacts, not even subtly. I promise, no matter how subtle
you think you’re being, the person you’re with is seeing right through you.
At the end of the appointment, thank them for their time and say that you
enjoyed learning more about what they do. Then hand them one of your
business cards and let them know that if there’s anything you can ever do,
they should call or drop by. That’s how the time should go, along with you
paying the check at the end, of course.
Why do this if you’re not going to talk business? Remember, the goal is to
build relationships. You do not want to be one of many who come looking
for nothing but referrals. One of the things you need to do since you’re
coming offline to work with people is be as classy as possible. Remember
the stereotype that is out there about people who make their money online.
A lot of people think the only reason we do it is because we can’t interact
with real people, so we live in our parent’s basement and build a fortune in
between fantasy gaming sessions. Whether it’s fair or not, you have to
keep it in mind and work around it.
You’ve Got An Appointment…Now What?
Looking at your calendar, it looks like it’s going to be a good week. Outside
of some online things, you have three appointments with people you talked
to last week. Now it’s just a matter of dressing up nicely, listening, and then
making the sale, right?
No, not quite.
The first thing you need to do is some research about the company.
Nothing says unprofessional like showing up and having no idea about
what someone does because you couldn’t be bothered to look things up. It
used to be a minor issue, but with all the information available online now, it
really is inexcusable (and rude) to be uninformed. Especially if your
business revolves around providing and handling information.
Apart from being polite, one reason to do some preliminary research is to
being to see where your services or products might be helpful. You can’t
get stuck there, of course, because the client might well have different
ideas. But it helps to have a place to start. Once you get to their office, your
main job is to listen and gently direct the conversation. If you’re talking with
the people you’ve already had significant contact with, there’s going to be a
lot less they need to know about your business to begin to jump in and start
figuring out what they may need.
During these appointments, your purpose is always twofold. You’re looking
to bring in customers for yourself, as well as help the client understand
things a little better than they did before. One good guideline to follow is
what’s known as campground rules: leave your customer in slightly better
condition than they were when you got there. That means even if you didn’t
get the sale or contract, they still end up with more knowledge than before
Once they’ve committed to having you help them, then you can get to the
business of setting up an intentional, crafted plan. Every plan is going to be
not only business but outreach specific. Some of your clients will want to do
a more general exposure campaign. Another company might be looking to
bring in a certain target demographic, and they’ll require a more focused
effort. Every client you will work with has a different way of introducing
themselves to the world.
As an example, sports and real estate don’t have much in common, except
the need for clients to keep buying their product. However, a real estate
agent wants people to look at things online and then offline. The majority of
sports products are sold in a hands on manner. The sales are made from
different pathways. That is one of the biggest lesson service providers
need to learn, and often don’t. All businesses want customers, but they
don’t want all their customers to do the same thing.
This means that you can’t give each business the same product and expect
it to work miracles. You are looking to get these people to listen to you and
understand what you have to offer them is essential for their particular
business. When I go out into the world outside the Internet, I am looking to
educate my business owners about the value of a website, branding,
having their own path different from the others. Maybe it’s a website or a
piece of software. It could even be a web based interface that will serve two
purposes: enhance their business by exposure and have people inquiring
what and how they can get their hands on it.
No matter what, it has to fit their business, and the marketing plan you have
drawn up with them. It’s a lot better to be able to sell a company several
small things that fit them perfectly than sell one item at an amazing profit
and never be given another chance. Let’s say I had just finished developing
a real estate product. The first thing I’m not going to do is pick up the
phone and call one of my health and wellness contacts to tell her all about
the great new invention she’s just got to have! The product has to match
the market. With that in mind, I get in touch with one of my real estate
clients. The pitch goes like this:
Me: Hi, my name is ( ). I want to sell NYCHighLofts.com. Along with it, I
have a ready made list of clients and decorators you can access to make
getting units ready faster and easier. The site also comes with an
application that enables each customer to decorate the unit to their
specifications. I wanted to offer this to you before anyone else.
In those simple sentences, you have let the realtor know
1) What the product you have is and why you’re offering it.
2) What about your offering is different from something she’d buy
3) That there are relevant bonus goodies involved.
4) That she is getting the first shot at buying this.
Anyone can buy up a web domain and sell it back, and people do make
some money as domain investors. The real products come from putting
together as complete a package as possible. In this case, the package
takes into account some of the behind the scenes needs some realtors
have. In order to sell, properties have to look nice, and no realtor likes to do
that work themselves. The listing of decorators saves him a few steps and
several hours time turning over units. The virtual design software can be
used both to get a unit ready for a new resident and to increase a sense of
“virtual ownership” in a potential buyer by letting them design their dream
Yes, No, or Maybe
You and your client have been working together. Over time, you’ve
developed rapport, exchanged ideas and tips, and really had a mutually
beneficial effect on each other. Now you have another product you’ve
brought to them in response to a problem they’ve emailed you about.
They’ve looked it over, discussed it with you, and just can’t seem to decide
if this is an investment worth making. How do you talk to someone who’s
neutral about what you have to offer?
Don’t take this as a sign of failure, especially if they’re asking questions. It
means they’re almost there. They want to buy this product or service that
you’re selling. They just need one good reason to do it. Here are some tips
to help them discover why they want to buy:
1) Listen to their questions and write them down. There’s a reason
they’re asking these things. Ask for clarity when it’s needed, but do your
best to let them talk. Sometimes a client will come up with their own
solutions if given the space to work through it.
2) Don’t answer a question if you don’t know the answer. The last thing
you want is to unintentionally mislead a client. It’s much better to write
down questions they have, promise you will have answers for them at your
3) Don’t be pushy. This may seem counter-intuitive to some of you. You’re
thinking that with a little push, the client will tip over and buy, right? Wrong!
People want to know that their opinions and hesitations are honored and
respected. That builds trust and makes them more ready to do business
with you once their issues are addressed as fully as possible.
4) Leave something with them if possible. If you have something that
will keep their meeting and the product in front of their brain, ask to leave it
with them. If a client can pick something up and handle it, they will be
reminded of their interest in doing business with you.
Clients like to feel like they are leading the decision making process. Your
job is to answer their questions, not push them into a corner. When people
feel forced to decide, they usually default to no. Remember, the whole point
of this is to make money by supplying products that help them build their
business. If you’re too focused on getting the sale, you’re not listening.
Listening helps you learn about what they need. Knowing as much about
their situation as possible is what will allow you to bring them a product that
fits just right. That’s what creates a relationship that builds trust and repeat
The Other End…When You Hear No
You’ve worked your tail off packaging your product, and it’s ready to be
presented. An appointment’s been made with a business owner through a
mutual connection. You have half an hour to lay it all out for them. After the
presentation is made, you’re smiling, and they’re scowling. They proceed to
tell you every single thing they think is wrong with your proposal and the
item or service in question.
Taken off guard, you start trying to engage with them, hoping to find more
specific positive feedback, but before you can do that, you’re asked to
leave. After you’ve been shown out, you go over the meeting for hours in
your mind. Analyzing every detail, the conclusion is that there was nothing
you would have done different. A followup phone call leaves no doubt that
there is not even the slightest hint of interest in a repeat engagement.
What do you do now? Where do you go from there? How do you work your
way back in the door with a client was has so firmly communicated their
displeasure and lack of interest?
The answer is very simple. You don’t. You fire the potential client and go
about your day.
Some sales specialists would disagree. They would advise you to corner
mutual acquaintances to try and arrange another meeting. That, however,
is only going to hurt your relationship with those particular people. Others
might tell you to let things cool off for a month or two and then go back to
that person. If you follow that line of thinking, that person will take up space
in your brain the whole time you’re waiting. That’s valuable space that could
be used for problem solving, product creation, and even time with family
This person has made their distaste for you and your service clear. There is
no reason for you to focus on it, wallow in it, and devote time and resources
you’ll never get back to fretting over it. Business leaders sometimes talk
about the need to fire problem clients because they cost more in money
and effort than you ever actually get from them in return.
I believe the same holds true for potential clients and sales leads. When
the door slams in your face, it’s no longer your problem. You are released
from ever having to worry about that person again. Devoting time and
energy to trying to romance them back robs you of time to help clients who
want your business or are almost certain they do. Those are the ones who
want and deserve your attention.
Another rule is to never ever speak badly of a person who does not want
your product. It builds up resentment in you and about you among other
people. If anyone asks why you didn’t get the sale, simply say that George
didn’t find the product suited his needs, and leave it at that. No one ever
built their own reputation by trying to tear others down.
The Sound We All Want To Hear…Yes
The appointment is nearing its end, and everything’s starting to wrap up.
After all the work, research, and time you put into building this package,
you’re anxious about what kind of decision your client is going to make.
They are amazed at the product itself, impressed with the care you took in
presenting it, and ready to sign up for it. Congratulations, they said yes!
Now is the time for you to stay gracious and grounded. Even if it’s not true,
act like getting a sale is a regular happening for you. It’s okay to jump up
and down inside, but save any actual jumping until you get back on your
own turf. Stay focused on all of the wrapping up that has to be done. Make
sure you understand all of the paperwork, especially if there are deadlines
involved. Once that’s all taken care of, it’s time to go celebrate!
Sometimes the situations you find yourself in are not that cut and dried. A
client might really want to buy something you left a demo for, but they still
don’t understand how it works. One appointment may go so badly that you
shelve all hope of working with that company, only to be called back the
next week with an offer. Another person may enjoy coffee get togethers and
mutual problem solving, but never actually buy anything from you. Real life
is kind of messy like that. Here are a few suggestions to help you along:
· Don’t take it personally. Unless they actually say it’s about you, don’t
make it about you.
· Set some limits. If someone wants to talk forever but never buy, you
have to set boundaries. If you enjoy spending time with them as well, shift
things to a friendship setting. Otherwise, cut your time with them back.
More time with them means less time with people who want to buy from
· Offer to sit down and walk someone through what they don’t
understand. Yes, it takes time out of your schedule. But so few people get
hands on help these days that it will set you apart.
· Give them more options. If a customer can’t buy a complete package
from you, is there a way to break it apart so they can have the most
essential pieces? Will item B & C do the same thing for them that product D
does? Can they sign up for a monthly email about blogs from you before
you get together to talk about putting on on their site? Flexibility is the new
standard in service, especially in media.
Some Words About Cold Calling
Cold calling is not a topic most people want to talk about, but it doesn’t
have to hurt. You just have to find ways to set yourself apart from the other
callers. When you reach out to businesses, figure out who you’re supposed
to be talking to before you call. Just because you’re selling something, it
doesn’t mean you’re going to talk to the sales department. A look around
the website or some judicious phone calls should yield a name. If it doesn’t,
call the department and work from there.
Calling doesn’t have to be cold. If you don’t sound like you’re reading from
a script and have to say it all in under a minute, there’s a much better
chance the person on the other end will want to listen to you. There’s a old
training theme for young ministers that I’ll pass along here. It goes like this:
Tell them what you’re going to tell them
Now tell them what you just told them.
Since we make our living managing information, we’re actually at an
advantage in calling over someone who manufactures an actual product.
We can find the best items for our clients, and aren’t stuck trying to force
our round widgets where they just don’t fit.
This means when we “cold call”, we can tell someone that we are in the
information management field and would like to come hear about their
business and the challenges they are facing to see if we can help. Doesn’t
that sound much better than trying to force an appointment to push a
Those old cold calling scripts need a lot of tweaking for people in our line of
We’re not “wanting to come talk about a new product”
We’d “like a chance to hear about your business and its challenges”.
We don’t “have a must-see widget”.
We have “a flexible stream of things that can be crafted just for you”.
It’s not a “limited time offer”.
It’s a “offer just for you”.
As you can see, the internet lays out exactly what shift profiting from
information has made in our society. Things are crafted with flexibility, out of
nowhere, with the client’s needs in mind. Instead of bringing products to
businesses that they can sell to customers, we come around their desks
now, help them turn on their internet, and spin webspace into money.
Sometimes it’s hard to figure what to do or where to go to get your clients,
but my best solution is to set yourself up in the areas that you need to have
the most exposure.
Some links and why I choose them.
Yelp.com - It links businesses and rates the service but most businesses
don’t have a website linking or if they do, it’s poorly maintained or not as
visible as one may like.
Manta.com - This is a GREAT site that enables you to be able to search
businesses by keywords and links. So for example, you can type in
doughnuts for cars. It’ll link you straight to the patrons that might have the
LinkedIn.com - This is a major portal to connect with people who are
looking for opportunities and something outside their comfort zone. The
cool thing that I have gained from LinkedIn is the partners, people who
were GENUINELY interested in what I was out to do. It is a concept that is
very lucrative and honestly takes little to no money whatsoever. The
method described here can be scaled to a whole new level to where you
are making a serious amount of cash.
Meetup.com - People, again are looking for opportunities and you get the
opportunity to meet them in person. Networking is a beautiful word that
needs to be emphasized greatly.
Biznik.com - A great resource to finding people who are like minded and
looking to expand what is out there.
Start Up Nation - Did you know there are a lot of investors that lurk on
these boards looking for the next best thing? Or something that they see as
a money tree.
Yellow pages - Sounds obvious, but if you aren’t scared of cold calling; then
I encourage you to try the phone book. There are many businesses that
don’t have websites but rely solely on people going through the phone