I was trying to upload some documents to my son’s college web site to finalize his financial aid and pay his tuition. But the upload had a problem.
The student I spoke with in the financial aid office suggested I send it via email.
I suggested that I wasn’t enthusiastic about emailing my tax returns in the clear. I asked if there were another way.
He couldn’t think of one.
Around and around we went, until I finally asked for his street address and told him I’d snail-mail it.
Question: Do you think he would have been as unenthusiastic about helping a customer give him money if it were his own business he was representing?
When your paycheck arrives regularly regardless of what you do every day, it’s easy to forget where the money for the paycheck comes from.
As small businesses and solos, that awareness is one of our advantages.
He benefits, because he gets in front of people he doesn’t already know.
I benefit, because I receive a commission on any sales made.
Readers benefit, because they learn of a product they otherwise wouldn’t know about; because he let me offer them a 10% discount; and because my endorsement gives them some comfort that the man and his product are of quality (they are).
Even if you love working alone (me too), it doesn’t mean you can’t partner selectively with friends to help each other.
Note as well that you don’t need to have your own products to make money from products. (Just make sure you are confident in whomever you are promoting.)
One from six years ago.
One from I don’t even remember, it’s been so long.
In both cases … they contacted me.
In both cases … there was zero need for me to prove my capabilities.
In both cases … the “proposal” consisted of a few informal emails back and forth.
None of this happens, though, if you don’t invest at least some of your time in maintaining connections with past clients.
Actually, it was my son Evan and me, for our copywriting business, CopyKatz Creative.
Do we do good work? Sure.
Do we have an unusual niche? Absolutely.
But our biggest differentiator, the one that clients and prospective clients recognize and appreciate the most, is that we offer unlimited revisions of any work we do: We’re not done until you love it.
Here’s something to notice: The thing that makes us stand out the most has nothing to do with the service itself … the appeal is in the experience of buying.
If what you’re selling looks exactly like that of the competition, how you sell it can make all the difference.
It was from a telemarketer who opened with, “Hi, is Harris there?”
Here’s the trick: They ask for somebody with an unusual name in the hope that it’s a wrong number.
As soon as you inform them of that, they say, “Well maybe you can help me…” And they are off and running.
I’ve received enough of these in the past to see it coming, so today I said, “Sure, hang on.”
Long pause on the other end, followed by a surprised, “Uh … OK.”
Here’s the point. If your opening salvo to a prospective client is to trick them, you’re going to spend a lot of time looking for new clients.
P.S. It’s possible I may have left the caller on hold for a couple of hours.