Saturday, June 11, 2011

Contacting Potential Clients and their Responses

Recently I have been really putting myself out there to potential clients. Law Offices, Contractors, Medical professions, etc. I am not limiting myself to one area because I figure, I can definitely learn anything I need to. That is how confident I am in myself. I can learn with the best of them!

However, I have been getting just a tad bit frustrated lately. I know I shouldn't, but, I can't help it. My confidence has been slowly and surely going down and out the window. I know I can do it if someone, anyone, will just give me a chance. However, I came to the conclusion, it is not always me they are saying no to. Yes, some of it is to me directly, but, other cases, not so much. Companies really don't know what Social Media is. There is the fear of the unknown. What happens if people leave negative comments about my business? What if they accuse my business of poor quality/service? This is a completely logical and rational fear. Without Social Media, companies, for the most part can keep complaints underwraps. Except for that issue with Taco Bell. Remember that? Not fully a meat taco? However, how they handled it, was fantastic! They came back with not only a written argument of what is actually in the taco's, but, they also came out with their TV Ad. The lawsuit was dropped less than 3 months later due to Taco Bell fighting back and proving that their meat is up to FDA standards. They didn't trash talk, they simply stated their case and that was it. It leads back to the initial statement that most companies can keep complaints from getting out to the public if they are made via phone or mail. With Social Media, no, this is not the case. It is put out there for everyone and their mother, (should they be on Facebook and Twitter) to see.

This is one of the best things that could happen actually. This gives the businesses the chance to shine. This will show customers how they respond to negative feedback. Encourage the potential client that this isn't a bad thing. Granted, not everyone is going to be happy. That is a fact of life. But, if the companies show other customers how well it is handled, they will be happy that businesses they like are capable.

Now, another thing that has been happening, and to a person trying to provide a service to businesses, I find this extremely frustrating. The absolute lack of response. I call the businesses and leave a message with a brief summary of what I am offering and then leave my phone number. One day passes. Two days pass. 20 days pass and still nothing. I usually wait 48 hours or two business days and then do a follow up call to the business. I will then do a final follow up at 20 days.

I am now wondering. Is this the way to go? Voice mails are one thing. Very easy to delete and forget. I think for those companies that I have emails or mailing address, I am going to start sending letters with pamphlets indicating my services and rates. Will this work?

However, for companies that I do contact, I am either a current customer, or a potential customer. How does that look to customers when the companies do not even respond? What kind of Public Relations or Customer Service is that? In my own opinion, regardless of what calls are made, some sort of response is expected. It is highly rude I think and will make me think twice about using their services. As stated in a comment posted here before modifying this post, even if the company says, you know, I don't want to go this route at this time. Or heck, even a "h--l NO!" will suffice! Just show that your company has some courtesy. Yes, that is what it boils down to. Common courtesy and not letting people wait and wonder.

Have you found something that has worked for you as a Social Media Consultant? Do phone calls work for you or do letters?