Photo by Barry Schwartz
Things are slow. Can’t watch daytime television. Facebook is not doing it for you. You always need new clients. What to do to pass the time?
Got internet? Got phone?
Lots of places for research: newspapers and magazines (print and online); trade associations; public and school libraries (with gigantic databases, some of which you can access at home for free).
Find a company, go to their site, collect a name or two, a phone number, an email address if at all possible.
You now have a momentary advantage over your potential clients. You know more about them than they know about you.
You are about to be a telemarketer, so be nice. Phone calls are sales calls, which means you are performing. Wear a headphone so you can stay relaxed and take notes.
Introduce yourself. Keep it short and to the point. You may get a stony silence. They may send you to the right person or the wrong person. If they send you to the wrong person, ask again. Be nice.
Always ask for an email address (it’s possible your intended contact will not talk to someone they don’t already know). If you leave a message, keep it short. Be sure to send an email anyway.
Much of the time you’re not going to get anywhere, will never get a response to your call or email. Get over it. It’s not personal. They don’t know you, they are not trying to insult you, they are busy trying to make a living.
Don’t despair: the person who doesn’t answer your call or your email today might actually hold onto your contact information, but you’ll only find out about it two years from now when they contact you to bid on a project.
Rejection is a fact of life. So it doesn’t really matter how you feel about this process because there is not much you can do about it either way.
Except pick up the phone and call someone else.