1342, RE: Contract Sales -- no one wants to do this!
Posted by LisaPR, Fri Feb-13-09 08:26 AM
I have not looked at your website but I do have some advice for you. First take a look at Kudzu.com or Angieslist.com. These are site that ae big and established but are doing what you propose to do on a local scale. See how their sites are designed and think of how you can improve your site. Do they have services you don?t? Do they have an easier vendor sign up program?
Also use various social networks to talk about your business. Join your Chamber of Commerce, place ads in penny savers and other inexpensive local venues. Provide an incentive for current vendors to tell their vendors about your services. Also do an email marketing campaign. This is a good way for you to get over your shyness. Write the text as if you are talking to someone. As you hone the message down and make it tighter over the next months, try saying it out loud to yourself and immediate family members. Start networking online and offline, via phone and in person in small groups. For in person networking go to a function with a goal of talking to three people. Do not worry about pitching your business, that is not what networking is about. It is about building a relationship.
For example, after striking up the conversation with ?Hello is this your first time too??. Move on to ?Do you happen to know of any professional sales people? I am looking to hire more staff in the next couple of months.?
See you did not pitch your business but you will because their comment will be either no ?Sorry I don?t. But I know someone who may.? Or ?What type of business do you have.? Sometimes people will start tie conversation first if you look approachable. Make eye contact, look a little lost or overwhelmed if the function is big enough.
Also try your local SCORE, SBA, SBDC or other small business organization for more insight in to how you can grow your business.
I hope some of this helps you or at least limit the fear of talking with people. As a former shy person I can tell you that it can be done. By the way my trick was to make a separate business persona. That persona knew no fear, talked to people even eventually approached people first. It?s like pushing an on switch and the business side of you comes out. After awhile you will forget about the persona and do it naturally.
Remember that you are on a mission to grow your business by any means necessary (so to speak). Also try not to think it to death. Just walk into a room and say in your head that this is easy, no sweat, I meet people everyday. Relax if you keep telling yourself that you can do this, you will.
Think about this ? ?What would you do, if you knew you could not fail.?
Lisa Douglas, Inklusion PR
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