Whenever I work with entrepreneurs I ask them: “What is your first and most important responsibility?” The popular answer is “make money”, and of course this is vital. But at the top of the priority list is … letting your target market know you exist. The emphasis is on target market because when we spend time connecting with people who will never be our customers … we can create some serious damage. Here’s an example from my long-time colleague and friend, Linda Daley of Daley Progress.
What was Linda’s experience in a recent phone call? And how did she react?
Recently I received a phone call that went like this: “Hello, I’m just calling to speak to the person who makes decisions about your exterior signage.”
Having learned from The Phone Lady that using the word “just” is a no-no because it diminishes our message, it always jumps out at me when someone uses it on the phone. My first thought was, “Oh, too bad,” and I felt pity – and yes, a little scorn – for the caller.
Equally sad is that I shouldn’t have even been on the calling list and received that phone call. I work from home and that’s easy to find out with a little online investigation. Not only that, but I’m known to the company owners. With a little care, I should not have made it onto the calling list.
Then, only a few days later, I received an email from the same company that started like this:
Some days it’s better to stay in bed. Would you trust your signage to a company with such disregard for their own marketing?
And again, I should not have received this email as I had previously unsubscribed. After a few years of not hearing from this company at all, suddenly I became part of a new campaign. And my experience has not been good. What they’ve ended up sharing with me is:
- an untrained or inexperienced salesperson
- poor vetting of their prospect list
- poor management of email contacts (leading to CASL violations)
- lack of care with their own marketing
This combination of events has made that company stand out in my mind as one I would never recommend. And I’ll remember it for a long time as I share this story with other small business owners as an example of what not to do.