Things have changed radically for me in the past few years. A new business has meant a new way of finding customers. I thought I’d write a little about the experience.
I’ve worked as an HVAC engineer all my working life. A job where I can no longer predict when my money will arrive. 30, 60, 90 days. How about six months. This isn’t good for any business, but if I’m honest I needed a change. A newfamily has meant I don’t want the long days traveling either.
For the past few years, I’ve been working as an engineer while also setting up a new business. A website and app-building platform that even the most IT-phobic person can use. I’ve been waiting for the best time to switch to the new business for quite a while. To leave the world of elastic payment terms behind for good. Today, I had a realisation which came as a bit of a slap in the face…
It will never be the right time…
There will always be a reason not to do it. So, I guess today is the day to make that leap and focus on my new business.
So, where do my new customers come from? I need hundreds of them. Not half a dozen, hundreds. And I need them as quickly as possible. I don’t have a huge pot of cash for an inbound marketing campaign that will generate a steady stream of leads. That comes over time. So, what do I do in the meantime? I need to start conversations with as many people as I can right now. That means picking up the phone and calling new people [shudders].
To be honest, I’ve done a fair bit of that over the past few weeks. Not enough, but enough to settle into the role of salesman rather than geek and engineer.
But I have one bugbear and I need to get it off my chest. Rudeness. It’s really getting my goat.
Being Polite Costs Nothing
I can’t tell you the number of people who have taken my call and then asked “What are you selling?”. Sometime with a surprising level of agression. To those people, I have a simple message. Civility costs nothing. If you’re too busy, don’t take my call in the first place.
You don’t know who is on the other end of the line, or why they’re calling. It may be someone in a huge call centre who doesn’t care about you. But it’s probably someone like me. A normal guy trying something new to provide holidays and cake for his daughter. If I’m talking to you it means you’re quite senior in the business and so you were that person once.
Definately Don’t Presume
Don’t presume I want to sell anything to you either. I’ve not got to that bit yet and I’m calling to start a conversation. Perhaps an interesting conversation that will lead to good things. Perhaps not. I don’t know after 15 seconds.
You may be being rude because you’re stressed over a problem I can fix.
The Prat List
But at the same time remember that I’m measuring you against my own standards. It’s not a one-way street, and I’m not desperate for customers. Being rude is probably the quickest way to get yourself onto the f**king prat list.
Anyhow. Now I’ve got that off my chest, where is that call list…
If you’re IT phobic and want to know about my new venture check out the resot fo the site.