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By Robert Middleton – Action Plan Marketing

When I started marketing my business many, many years ago , I remember a response I got to a follow-up call I made: 

"Robert, I have no idea what you're offering, what it can do for me or why I should talk to you. When you're clearer, you're welcome to call me back!"

This kind of reply can put you off making follow-up calls or doing direct outreach marketing forever. But I didn't give up. Instead I learned how to master this sometimes tricky process. I got really good at it and discovered approaches I've been using and teaching for years.  

You've now read my four recent articles on this topic and you have the hang of it. If you haven't read them yet here are the links:

8 Steps to Creating New Clients

A Marketing Strategy That Works

Reach Out and Touch Someone

The Simple, Consistent Ways to Get More Appointments

In these articles I talked about how to create an outreach plan, what words to use in your emails and calls, and how to implement your plan one day at a time. 

But you're still resisting. You know all you need to do is one outreach minimum per day to get things moving. And you're aware that these are not cold calls, but making connections with past clients, people you're met at networking or through a speaking engagement, etc. 

Here are five things that will help you get into action.  

1. Be clear on your purpose

When you're reaching out to a prospective client, it helps if you are clear on your purpose. It's not to manipulate someone to do business with you, is it? No, it's simply to discover if what you have to offer can be of benefit to your prospect. 

Your purpose is to find a fit and to start or continue a business relationship. When you think of it this way, it takes away the pressure to make a sale. When you're clear on your service it will come across in your voice. You'll sound sincere, caring and interested. 

2. Be honest

You don't want to trick someone into making an appointment with you or be mysterious about your intentions. That only annoys people. It's OK to be direct and straightforward. When I follow up with someone who's attended a talk I say, "I hope you got some valuable tips for your marketing. I'd like to speak with you about how I can assist you in growing your business. Do you have a few minutes to talk?"

There is no mystery, no hidden agenda, no promises I can't keep. It's just a normal conversation between two human beings. After you've done a lot of outreach like this, it actually becomes fun. 

3. Be authentic

You Don't Have to Rehearse to be Yourself, is the title of a book by Steward Emery. As funny as it may seem, many people feel that's exactly what they need to do. We work hard at "making a strong impression" or "dazzling with our brilliance." 

Give me a break. That's just too much work. Of course, you should be prepared to ask questions of your prospect, explain the benefits and details of your services, and have good answers to the questions a prospect asks you. But you can do that naturally, normally without any pretense or effort. 

4. Make the game fun

Vince Lombardi, the football coach for the Green Bay Packers was famous for saying "Winning isn't everything, it's the ONLY thing!" If you play marketing like that, you might end up winning a lot and be very successful. But I doubt you'll be very happy. 

I make it a game to create strategies, reach out to people, communicate effectively, set up conversations and then convert prospects into clients. I love that process. It's fun and it's easy to do as well. Get good at this process and play the game. But don't make it life and death. Instead, make it fun. 

5. Don't listen to your mind

Your mind is a wonderful tool. You use it every day to get the things you want. And intention followed by purposeful action, is a beautiful thing to behold. But, strangely, we also use our minds to keep us from getting what we want. This is the main reason we avoid direct outreach. 

We make up stories about how we might get rejected, sound stupid, do it wrong, or fail completely. Then, we believe those stories and act accordingly. As a result, we avoid talking the necessary actions to achieve the success we want. 

Here's a simple recommendation: Start ignoring those kind of thoughts. Just don't pay any more attention to them. They are lying to you. Their intent is to keep you safe and comfortable. But they are wrong in almost all cases. You are perfectly capable of following and succeeding with my direct outreach approaches. 

Don't even try to process these thoughts or fix them or change them. Simply be aware of them and then thank them for sharing and just get on with it, already!

I hope you've found this article useful. Learning and mastering direct outreach marketing methods can help you attract many more clients – the clients you've always wanted to work with. Go for it!

Cheers, Robert 

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Robert Middleton, the owner of Action Plan Marketing, has for 30 years, been helping Self-Employed Professionals attract more of their ideal clients.  He offers the online membership site, The More Clients Club, and individual coaching and consulting through his Marketing Action Coaching. If this is your first visit to the More Clients blog, make sure to get a copy of the Marketing Plan Workbook and join the Marketing Club Forum for free.