Lee Frederiksen has posted a worthy article/video: Why your clients are stressed, and why you should care. He touches on a fundamental challenge for anyone seeking to develop new business — as a rule, the potential client has many higher and more challenging priorities than to listen to a “pitch” for your product or service.
This leads to the vital test you should apply before approaching or communicating with anyone — either in a marketing or direct sales approach. Does your communication truly add value for the person you are seeking to reach.
The last thing anyone wants/needs is intrusion when you aren’t welcome. And yet, as Frederiksen suggests, “pleasant persistence” is important — just creating a blip and disappearing won’t do much for you, when you are working in a circumstance where the potential client may not have yet identified the need for your service, or simply has other things on the plate and isn’t quite ready to answer you affirmatively.
It really pays off. I’ll give you an example. I get a lot of emails from people soliciting and wanting to work with us. There are so many that I can’t respond. It’s impossible to reply to each one. But those people who are pleasant and persistent and offer something of value and explain in their emails are much more likely to get my response.
Don’t get flustered if someone doesn’t respond, just recognize that they are under a lot of time pressure and a lot of stress. Be part of the solution rather than making the problem worse.
These observations suggest a quality than quantity approach may be most effective with your marketing and business development work. Thinking about real needs and truly understanding your potential clients’ goals takes time and effort, and you cannot simply pull the “solution” out of the can and read from your standard script.
I agree however, that this observation carries a double edge — if you spend all of your time researching and little time in front/with potential clients, you’ll not get far in developing relationships and uncovering opportunities. The solution to this challenge: Connect with your community, either through non-profit or client-focused association activities. This puts you in a positive place with your current and potential clients and you can hardly be considered a pest when you are working together for the common good.