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How to get clients - Revealed

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Milton Hockman
How to get clients - Revealed
on Sep 16, 2009 at 4:59:42 pm

Hello fellow Cow's!

I've found a great resource that all of you are going to love getting a hold of!

Since you're reading this you're probably one of the many out there who are asking themselves this question, "How can I gain more clients for my business?"

Often times we think there must be some "secret" that others are using to build their businesses and gain "real clients" and are too afraid to share with us because they don't want us to take "their business" away from them.

Well, I found a book that Reveals the secrets to getting clients for your business - and lots of them!

About a month or two ago I was searching around trying to find other ways to gain clients for my own business. I search forums, talked to other business owners, but they all seemed to say the same things. But, then I stumbled across this book on Amazon.com that gave me all the advice I needed!

If you want to find out how to get more clients for your business then read this book. Its the best $10 investment you'll ever make.





Get Clients Now! lays out a very precise marketing and sales system actually designed to be completely customized for optimal effectiveness by anyone in the service industry. Employing a "cookbook model" to help readers create this individualized action plan, it first shows how to determine which ingredients are missing from current marketing and sales activities and then suggests the specific tools and tactics that will immediately get a successful effort underway.

Owner
Plus More Media Group
Website Design - VA, Corporate Web Site Design - PlusMoreMedia.com
Marketing designs and videos that do more for your business!


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David Roth Weiss
Re: How to get clients - Revealed
on Sep 16, 2009 at 5:02:20 pm

So, are you already swimming in new clients??? Inquiring minds want to know...

David Roth Weiss
Director/Editor
David Weiss Productions, Inc.
Los Angeles

POST-PRODUCTION WITHOUT THE USUAL INSANITY ™


A forum host of Creative COW's Apple Final Cut Pro, Business & Marketing, Indie Film & Documentary, and Film History & Appreciations forums.


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Milton Hockman
Re: How to get clients - Revealed
on Sep 16, 2009 at 5:17:27 pm

I've been using the methods outlined for the last month and have seen great results! It helped to learn what phase I was stuck in and taught me what I should do to fix it.

For example, I've always known what I can do, and what I can do well, but I never really had a 10 second speech. I usually toughted all my offerings when meeting someone. That's wrong. What I needed was a short phrase that says exactly what I do, and how I can benefit clients in each of my expert areas. Then you can help solve "that persons problem." They don't care about your "other services" only what they need now.

I now have a 10 second speech for each of the three services I offer: Web Design, Graphic Design, and Video production. So depending on who I am talking to I can use that introduction. Its worked well with new prospects.

The other aspect that helped me was the idea of "following up." Often times as new business owners we don't follow up with contacts that gave us a sign that they were not interested. The book talks about how a man followed up 10 times with a prospect over 2 month period before he got the deal. That's advice I needed to hear!

A few months ago, I got a website request, traded a couple of emails, sent a quote. Never heard back from the guy - figured he thought my price was too high. Sent a follow up email - nothing. Usually I would write that person off, well I decided to write one last email the other day - since his website was still not finished - guess what he said he's been busy doing end of year financials but would love to meet now!

That's the types of tips in this book. Often times new business owners want the "easy" catch, but our world operates just like other business world. And this book helps you understand them.



Owner
Plus More Media Group
Website Design - VA, Corporate Web Site Design - PlusMoreMedia.com
Marketing designs and videos that do more for your business!


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Mark Suszko
Re: How to get clients - Revealed
on Sep 16, 2009 at 7:50:59 pm

Someone "follows up" on me ten times in 2 months after I've said "no, thanks", I think I would give him a tune-up with a gobo arm.

Got any more "Cliff's Notes" from the book to share?


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Steve Wargo
Re: How to get clients - Revealed
on Sep 17, 2009 at 7:23:35 am

[Mark Suszko] "I would give him a tune-up with a gobo arm."

I'm still going with the baseball bat.


Steve Wargo
Tempe, Arizona
It's a dry heat!

Sony HDCAM F-900 & HDW-2000/1 deck
5 Final Cut (not quite PRO) systems
Sony HVR-M25 HDV deck
2-Sony EX-1 HD .

Ask me how to Market Yourself using Send Out Cards


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Richard Cooper
Re: How to get clients - Revealed
on Sep 17, 2009 at 6:05:38 pm

Sure... once a prospect says "no..." but in my experience, people are busy and sometimes just need to be contacted several times AFTER they express an interest in a project. I have been using some of the advice about following up with a phone call rather than a text or an email and it has been effective. Potential clients that, at first I thought were ignoring me, ultimately are glad to hear from me and have just been busy with other things. But I certainly agree, once you get the "no thanks" its time to move on.

Richard Cooper
FrostLine Productions, LLC
Anchorage, Alaska

Everyone has a story to tell.
http://www.FrostLineProductions.com


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Mike Cohen
Re: How to get clients - Revealed
on Sep 16, 2009 at 7:58:36 pm

I guess it depends upon what you are selling. If you are selling a service, it is less black and white than selling, say, merchandise SKU's to a retailer. When selling products for sale, it is usually about price and features vs the competition. When selling a service, often you need to first convince the potential customer that they need the service you have on offer. This is for either cold calling or warm calling.

On the other hand, when a potential customer contacts you looking for your service, because they have heard about you or they looked up your service in the phone book or google/bing/dogpile/altavista/mandy etc, the hard part is done, then it is often a price discussion.

Regards followup, an e-mail is not followup. A phone call is followup. If all you do is send emails and wonder why you have not heard back from the guy, you are not doing your job. If the tables are turned and this person is trying to sell you something, you can be sure you will get phone calls on a regular basis until you either buy something or tell him to stop calling you.

A few years ago when I was renewing my music contract, I sampled the offerings of a few vendors. One in particular did not have exactly what I needed, but the sales guy called me weekly with various offers to try his product. While I started to get annoyed, I took it as a lesson in direct sales techniques, and now follow a rule of frequent phone calls with occasional emails, within tolerance levels, when trying to get new business.

The best advice I have taken from sales books and my boss - learn about the customer's needs then tailor your pitch to match those needs. Customers tend to have some idea of what they need, or what they think they need, but a Chinese menu of services is not what they want to look at. They want you to understand their needs and tell them what you can do for them, but they don't always know that.

Mike Cohen


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Ron Lindeboom
Re: How to get clients - Revealed
on Sep 16, 2009 at 8:28:02 pm

[Milton Hockman] "The other aspect that helped me was the idea of "following up." Often times as new business owners we don't follow up with contacts that gave us a sign that they were not interested. The book talks about how a man followed up 10 times with a prospect over 2 month period before he got the deal. That's advice I needed to hear!"

Like Mark, I would take GREAT offense at this, and if someone did this to me, I would be less than courteous to them and would ask "How dense is your skull? I ask as it seems that scientists may be wrong that Neanderthal Man is extinct" -- or some such retort.

But hey, ideas are always valuable and there is no perfect answer to this subject, so the more arrows you have in your quiver, the better.

After all, an art like sales is that, an art. But when you understand more of the science that can be applied to it, the better.

Just don't become Neanderthal in the process...

Ron Lindeboom


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Milton Hockman
Re: How to get clients - Revealed
on Sep 16, 2009 at 9:54:43 pm

I think i exaggerated the numbers in that quote. But what I meant by it was the fact that it took 2 months for the client to come through.

You can't give up on a client that isn't pulling out the checkbook on the first meeting. Things happen, people get busy, etc. That's the point the book is making.

So disregard following up 10 times and focus on the 2 months to the close aspect.

Follow up, follow up, follow up.

I just did that to 3 clients today and I now have 3 new jobs!

The other parts of the book are great as well. It teaches you to find out what part of the "cycle" you are failing in and how to get out of that rut.

Give it a read - its got great reviews! I'm reading another book right now too and might critique on here if it goes well.

Owner
Plus More Media Group
Website Design - VA, Corporate Web Site Design - PlusMoreMedia.com
Marketing designs and videos that do more for your business!


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Bob Zelin
Re: How to get clients - Revealed
on Sep 17, 2009 at 12:01:12 am

BUT WAIT - if you order right now, we will send you our followup book - HOW TO GET PAID IN UNDER 30 DAYS. That's right folks, no more waiting around for your paychecks - no more cash flow problems. Those pesky clients will sent those checks out in a jiffy, after reading this new amazing book, and send thank you notes, and invites out to dinner with their families !

AND if you order right now, we will send you "how to record uncompressed HD on the internal hard drive of a MAC Book Pro" - why spend all that money on expensive hard drives when you can just use your MAC Book Pro to do ALL of your work.

Bob Zelin




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Steve Wargo
Re: How to get clients - Revealed
on Sep 17, 2009 at 7:25:23 am

[Bob Zelin] "AND if you order right now, we will send you "how to record uncompressed HD on the internal hard drive of a MAC Book Pro" - why spend all that money on expensive hard drives when you can just use your MAC Book Pro to do ALL of your work."

Do you take credit cards?



Steve Wargo
Tempe, Arizona
It's a dry heat!

Sony HDCAM F-900 & HDW-2000/1 deck
5 Final Cut (not quite PRO) systems
Sony HVR-M25 HDV deck
2-Sony EX-1 HD .

Ask me how to Market Yourself using Send Out Cards


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Chris Blair
Re: How to get clients - Revealed
on Sep 17, 2009 at 12:11:42 am

I've read dozens of books like this over the years. Before starting my company (with a partner) 14 years ago, I must've read 15 business start-up books, a couple small-business accounting books and a handful of small business marketing and PR books.

My conclusion? If you're half-way smart, your instincts are often better than the majority of stuff in these "how-to" books. I'm not saying I didn't learn a few things from a few of them. But I found many of them to be almost insulting. The idea of following-up with clients to me is a pretty basic tenet. Probably half our current clients took literally years of "courting" just to get them to try us. After that first project, it would sometimes be another year before we'd get another nugget. Eventually, most of them brought more and more business our way until they became regular clients. We also have several clients who would use us for a few years, leave to try a "new kid on the block," for a year or so, then they'd come back to us after realizing the work we deliver, the prices we charge and the service we provide are hard to beat in our area. So even when clients leave, we stay in touch and continue to "follow-up" with them.

Maybe I'm old and cynical, (I prefer to call it experienced and wise), but I've found few business, marketing or sales books that claim to possess new secrets to be all that ground-breaking. I do see the author of this book wrote the original guerilla marketing series of books and I will say those have some good ideas in them for promoting your company without spending money.

Certainly reading books like this can't hurt and can generate some new ideas and methods. But you can find a lot of this same stuff by spending a couple hours googling and reading various blogs and informational websites. Like anything, you have to use common sense when it comes to all the "sales" advice out there. Most people hate to be "sold" to and they can smell a "pitch" from a mile away. I'd rather approach potential clients with ideas on how to save them time or money and solve their problems. Of course, you have to know what their problems are first to do that, and that takes time and effort to figure out before ever approaching them.

Chris Blair
Magnetic Image, Inc.
Evansville, IN
http://www.videomi.com


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Tim Kolb
Re: How to get clients - Revealed
on Sep 17, 2009 at 1:01:31 am

Maybe for someone starting out, this book would be helpful.

Honestly I wouldn't still be doing this after 20+ years if i didn't understand that the objective is to solve the client's problem.

I've turned down plenty of projects where the client wanted my service to solve his/her problem and it wasn't going to...they needed something else.

Sales 101 says sell benefits not features. The customer doesn't care what you've put into it, they only want to know what they'll get out of it.



TimK,
Director, Consultant
Kolb Productions,


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Jeff Bonano
Re: How to get clients - Revealed
on Sep 17, 2009 at 3:42:13 am

I dunno, but I read a book called the little red book of selling and it tried to teach me how to be a good salesman without the feeling that I'm being too pushy. I know my customers appreciate me not being too pushy and they feel like they are talking to someone who is more down to earth and care about solving their needs.

Jeff Bonano
http://www.bonanoproductions.com

"I want to have a cool quote at the bottom of my signature, just like everyone else on the cow forum!" -Jeff Bonano


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Milton Hockman
Re: How to get clients - Revealed
on Sep 17, 2009 at 1:58:17 pm

This topic I posted has become very interesting to me. The way everyone is reacting.

I posted about the book I read to "help" those on the COW that are starting out and need some advice on how to "get clients." You see posts on here all the time about how to get, keep, or revive clients.

This book offers solid advice on what you "should be doing" to solve those problems. Either you need to fill your pipeline, give better presentations, follow up better, close the sale, etc. Whatever you are faulting in, the book gives you ideas on how to improve in that area.

Yet, everyone is bashing the book and the advice given within and "have not read a single page."

This forum (is of course) to help those with Business and Marketing and that's all I'm trying to do. I read a book that opened my eyes to things I was doing wrong and wanted to share it.

It's less than $10 bucks or Free at your local library. You should check it out.

Owner
Plus More Media Group
Website Design - VA, Corporate Web Site Design - PlusMoreMedia.com
Marketing designs and videos that do more for your business!


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Mike Cohen
Re: How to get clients - Revealed
on Sep 17, 2009 at 3:00:39 pm

Milton - we are a sarcastic bunch.

Personally I have a stack of a half dozen sales books at home. Nearly all of them make promises of sales success by following the author's rules or guidelines. But most of them repeat the same things we have been saying: know your customer.

Mike Cohen


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Jeff Bonano
Re: How to get clients - Revealed
on Sep 17, 2009 at 3:03:00 pm

It just seems a lot like a heavy sales pitch. Looking at the reviews on amazon also look like a heavy sales pitch. I could be wrong, and I'm not one to say that it's bad until I've tried it myself, but I start questioning something when I only hear "great reviews" over and over again. Are there any other sources other than amazon that has user reviews for this book? Before I ever consider buying a product, I look at reviews good and bad from multiple sources. Maybe if you like this book so much you can list where else can you buy this book that allows reviews online?

Jeff Bonano
http://www.bonanoproductions.com

"I want to have a cool quote at the bottom of my signature, just like everyone else on the cow forum!" -Jeff Bonano


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Milton Hockman
Re: How to get clients - Revealed
on Sep 17, 2009 at 3:43:17 pm

i go to amazon for all my books. cause of the reviews and cause of the prices!

i love when i can get a great book for less than a buck!

to be honest, I read the book for FREE online. My library has an online ebook website and that's how i accessed it. i did order a copy though because it has worksheets and such that i couldn't print.

Owner
Plus More Media Group
Website Design - VA, Corporate Web Site Design - PlusMoreMedia.com
Marketing designs and videos that do more for your business!


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Ron Lindeboom
Re: How to get clients - Revealed
on Sep 17, 2009 at 4:11:09 pm

Milton,

I don't think anyone is truly "trashing the book without reading it."

What some of us responded to, was your comment that it teaches you how to follow-up 10 times in two months to close the deal.

You later said that was wrong but that the point was to follow up.

On that we agree.

But when you yourself exaggerated the methodology espoused in the book, pardon us if we take exception to something that you helped foment with the points that you yourself stated.

If your original premise had been true, I was going to suggest the writer change the title to "Stalking Your Prey: How to Draw Blood When Dealing With the Elusive Buyer." Or something equally appropriate.

Pardon us if we misunderstood you.

Ron Lindeboom

PS: But as I also said in one of the comments I made in one of my posts in this thread, "But hey, ideas are always valuable and there is no perfect answer to this subject, so the more arrows you have in your quiver, the better."

Translation: Buy the book, it likely has something of value.


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Bill Davis
Re: How to get clients - Revealed
on Sep 17, 2009 at 9:18:47 pm

Personally, there's only ONE criteria I use to decide whether to recommend any book on sales.

Does it represent FRESH new thinking. Or not.

Your public library has a THOUSAND books on how to sell stuff.

Why should I believe this book has special wisdom for me that all the thousands of others who've already written books on sales do not?

Dale Carnegie's How to Win Friends and Influence People is often cited as the greatest "sales" book ever written - and it's time-tested wisdom is 72 years old!

Got something to say that all the other authors missed?

Great. I sincerely hope yours finds space on that crowded shelf.

But, IMO the world does NOT need more sales books. It just needs more people who understand that selling is fundamentally about building human relationships. Always has been - always will be.





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Mark Suszko
Re: How to get clients - Revealed
on Sep 17, 2009 at 11:34:18 pm

One of the more popular books in this area these days is "Made to Stick".

Can't miss it: the front of the book is swathed in silver duct tape.


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grinner hester
Re: How to get clients - Revealed
on Sep 17, 2009 at 9:10:07 pm

Milton, don't take it personal. It's just that your post sounds like a bad commerical for a product that gives poor advice. Ironicly, your signature sells marketing tips. That kind of quacks me up like a freakin duck.
lol
but again, don't take it personal.



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Ron Lindeboom
Re: How to get clients - Revealed
on Sep 20, 2009 at 1:29:40 am

[Tim Kolb] "Honestly I wouldn't still be doing this after 20+ years if i didn't understand that the objective is to solve the client's problem."

That, and a whole lot of other things that you have likely learned in the last 20 years, Tim. ;o)

I'd agree that successful businesses are built on relationships and solving a client's problems. Unfortunately, finding people you can work with that appreciate the value of relationships, is not always a given. It isn't automatic and so, when people send the kinds of signs that shows us that they place little value on relationships, we cut them loose. We toss 'em into the Grinder File -- that receptacle wherein you place things that need to be composted or taken out to the dumpster.

Some businesspeople feel that they have to tolerate everyone and anything in business. We don't. We have a standard in our business and when people fall outside that standard, they need to find someone else to work with. It is why there are many service providers in every industry.

Over the years, Kathlyn and I strove to work with the kind of people that understand what we bring to the projects on which we work -- fortunately, we have won many more times that we have lost, and in doing so have formed many wonderful business relationships. Most have lasted for years.

But you don't always win and we once had a company negotiate a contract with us and then within four months, we watched as they broke each and every one of the four major points of the contract. Their word proved absolutely useless.

Did we keep them? No, there is no point to that in my opinion. Some would argue that you have to kiss some backsides to get along in business, me I have found that real clients neither kiss posteriors nor do they want you to kiss theirs. The ones that do, they are customers that belong to someone else.

But fortunately, we have been successful more times than not and it continues to afford us opportunities to explore expansions to our way of doing business -- such as the new record company we are launching. So far, the artists that we have signed are shocked at the pay-scales and contracts that we are giving them. Once again, we are breaking with industry norms.

We work with a music attorney that used to be the head lawyer with Sony Digital Music and she was delighted when we told her how we wanted our contracts worded, how the percentages were to be set up, and how the publishing rights should be handled. She told us that we were breaking all the rules and that she loved it. "Too many people only think of themselves," she said.

We heard the same kinds of things from publishers when we made our DVD series the highest paying commission in the market -- easily three to four-times the industry standard and tradition -- but as you say, we want to solve a problem and build a solution. The problem is that few publishers want their people to make much money from them. The solution? Money.

We have seen a recurring problem over and over in the COW. That is music licensing. And so one of the mid-term goals of our new music company will be to assist producers and directors, etc., to conveniently and quickly license scores and music that is original and fresh.

Bessie never quits growing and changing, and we are always adding new things and removing things that proved to be failed experiments, or that became too costly or onerous to continue.

Business is an experiment and you have to know where to build and where to do a little demolition and renovation to allow something far more fruitful to come along.


[Tim Kolb] "I've turned down plenty of projects where the client wanted my service to solve his/her problem and it wasn't going to...they needed something else."

Hear, hear! You really do have to know when and where things do not really line-up, and where the match up just really is not a match up. Busy is not always profits, as I have said here many times. You have to find the things wherein things allow for mutual benefit. That is something that not many businesspeople learn easily. We all have hard heads but hopefully we learn it eventually.

Ron Lindeboom


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grinner hester
Re: How to get clients - Revealed
on Sep 17, 2009 at 9:03:47 pm

lol
Are you sure this appllies to this industry? Sounds more like yellow page ad sales.
I'd never pester/chase off a potential client...especially if I felt they could be a potential client.



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Milton Hockman
Re: How to get clients - Revealed
on Sep 17, 2009 at 9:35:44 pm

here's what i remember....and a good point about the book.

guy wants client. calls hims explains services. after another email or so, agrees to a presentation. does presentation, "real boss" couldn't make it. lower level boss is sold. so book another presentation. gets canceled day of. so gets another presentation. big boss likes it says he'll get back to him. blah blah blah blah. finally 2 months later, big boss says its a go. booked him.

so the point is, not to be annoying to clients but to learn that sometimes it does take "time" to get a big client. people are busy, things happen. imagine if the guy blew off the client because the big boss was never around.

its all about follow up. not annoying follow up, but soft follow up.

another example. not all contact with clients should be "give me more money!" the book talks about becoming "valuable to your clients." as a resource.

for example, randomly send your clients links of interest. Got a client who sells cars? send him a link to a local car show - maybe he didn't know about it. read an article in a magazine about a new hot rod?? cut it out and mail it to them.

those are types of tactics i got from the book that are valuable to any business. it shows your clients you are looking out for their interests, not just for more money.

do you get what I mean?

Owner
Plus More Media Group
Website Design - VA, Corporate Web Site Design - PlusMoreMedia.com
Marketing designs and videos that do more for your business!


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Jeff Bonano
Re: How to get clients - Revealed
on Sep 18, 2009 at 2:56:18 am

I get what you are saying, but I learned that tactic elsewhere (something I used to do all the time as a corporate sales recruiter to be exact) because it's one of many basic courtesy ideas that has been around for a while. Which is what a lot of people are trying to explain here. The book would be more exciting if it had a new spin on it or a different and entirely new way of doing things that would revolutionize the sales world as we know it..

I certainly wouldn't want to spend 28 days or whatever the course length is, to just do over what I already know. Give me something new that pops!

Now, if you say that this is new stuff that would change the way we get clients, I am certainly interested in buying this book so I can stay ahead of my competition. If it's another book that has old tactics but might be great for those just starting out and don't know what to do to make a sale, then just say so. People who already close sales and book clients know this is not for them, but can recommend it to their new co-worker who still can't sell water to a thirsty man during a drought.

Jeff Bonano
http://www.bonanoproductions.com

"I want to have a cool quote at the bottom of my signature, just like everyone else on the cow forum!" -Jeff Bonano


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grinner hester
Re: How to get clients - Revealed
on Sep 18, 2009 at 6:57:57 pm

I don't guess so. Who has time for presentations? They call, I let em know if I'm available, we agree on a rate or price then it's booked or it aint. If I scheduled a pitch meeting with a network and the power that is doesn't show up, I know I don't want to do business with em and they are properly weeded.



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walter biscardi
Re: How to get clients - Revealed
on Sep 18, 2009 at 3:07:46 am

It's pretty easy to get clients.

1 - Do really good work.

2 - Charge a fair price

3 - Build a relationship with your clients instead of milking them for every last dime on each job.

4 - Keep reinvesting money into your facility to keep up with technology and your client needs.

Word of mouth has built my entire business using this exact model. That's my secret to get clients for the absolutely free price of free!



Walter Biscardi, Jr.
Editor, Colorist, Director, Writer, Consultant, Author.
Credits include multiple Emmy, Telly, Aurora and Peabody Awards.
Owner, Biscardi Creative Media featuring HD Post

Biscardi Creative Media

Creative Cow Forum Host:
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Read my Blog!

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Doug Collins
Re: How to get clients - Revealed
on Sep 18, 2009 at 4:34:14 pm

I just read an article on msn.com. "7 tips on keeping customers" It didn't have any advice that I haven't already seen on the Cow, including 'nuturing lifelong employees' and 'be picky about your lifelong customers'. (AKA treat your employees well and watch out for grinders.)



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Chris Blair
Re: How to get clients - Revealed
on Sep 19, 2009 at 1:42:57 am

Milton,

People really aren't bashing you or the book. They're just pointing out that a huge part of sales and getting clients is treating those potential clients just like you'd want to be treated.

Which means, don't be too pushy; keep you name and face in front of them often enough that they remember you, but not so often it truly annoys them. And most certainly follow-up when it's called for.

Walter's points about how he built his business is very similar to how we've built ours. We do some marketing, like a quarterly E-Newsletter, a few ads in business journals etc. But the majority of our clients have come by word of mouth from the work we've done for other clients. Naturally, we make phone calls and send brief emails to a long list of potential clients a couple times a year. Occasionally we'll get a job from this work, but nothing sells better than a satisfied client. A client that feels like we have THEIR interests in mind and not our own. And like Walter says, a client that doesn't feel like our only goal is to milk them out of every nickel we can.

Marketing yourself or you company is certainly an ongoing process and I don't think anyone was trying to say "don't read this book." I myself pointed out I've read dozens of these types of books over the years (and still occasionally do). We're just trying to provide perspective and balance to what sounded like a sales pitch for the book. For me that's what forums like this are all about. Getting many perspectives about an issue or problem.

Chris Blair
Magnetic Image, Inc.
Evansville, IN
http://www.videomi.com


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