Archive for the ‘Networking’ Category

PostHeaderIcon Telemarketing – Love it? Loathe it? Just DO IT!

Yesterday I attended a training workshop on Telemarketing. I went along to this because I do quite a bit of telemarketing for various clients, so I thought it would be prudent to hone my skills, and learn some new techniques.

What a fantastic day! It was really interesting to see people walking into this workshop with quite negative feelings about telemarketing, and walking out 3 hours later eager to pick up the phone and canvas for new clients.

It was also really interesting to see different perspectives that people have with regards to telemarketing, as there are a lot of stereotypical attitudes towards it. Don’t get me wrong, I hate the 7pm cold calls right during dinner just as much as the next person, and find them a real invasion of my privacy and life, however B2B telemarketing is a little different. It is a very strong, powerful and legitimate business tool, which, if done correctly, can result in vastly increased sales / clients. And it doesn’t cost the earth! After Word of Mouth, telemarketing is probably the cheapest way of getting your message out there. And you get an immediate, measurable response. Sounds great, doesn’t it? So why do so many people hate it so much?

Personally, I quite like telemarketing. Like everything else, there are good days and bad days, but I love to have a chat, so being on the phone talking to people doesn’t phase me too much. And because I’m telemarketing on behalf of other clients, I don’t take it personally when I get rejections, as it’s not my heart & soul that’s gone into the product or service I’m trying to sell, it’s someone else’s, so I can maintain a professional distance and attitude.

It is a very intimidating thing for some people to do though. You are putting yourself out there to total strangers, allowing them to judge your products or services, and exposing yourself to rejection, which many people take personally. As human beings, we crave acceptance – it’s natural. So setting yourself up for rejection is not something that many people like doing. It affects our self esteem, and our self worth. Which is why we find it so hard to keep picking up that phone after multiple rejections.

Telemarketing isn’t for everyone. It takes a certain kind of person to be a successful telemarketer; someone with bucket loads of personality and a good sense of humour, as well as the ability to not take the rejections personally. After all, why should I care what a total stranger thinks of me. It’s not like I’m going to be dealing with them again. So I’ll end the call with a smile, a thank you, and move on to the next one.

If you can see how your business could benefit from telemarketing, but you just don’t have the drive or the time to pick up the phone and make that first call to a potential client, pick up the phone instead and call ME instead!

Till next time,

Lia…

PostHeaderIcon A Nice Change

One of the best things about working from home is just that – working from home. It gives one a huge amount of freedom and flexibility, and allows us to work around our family to ensure that we can really achieve that “work / life balance” that people these days so desperately strive to achieve.

However, working from home can also get a little bit lonely at times. At least, it can for me. Whilst I am generally very busy on my work days, I am also a very social person, and I do sometimes miss the social environment that is readily available if you work outside the home. I find that I use my online networks to fill this social void for me, but this can often result in a lot of time not being used quite as effectively as it should be.

This week, I found myself working for a new client, and it involved me having to work offsite for 2 days, assisting with a few seminars that my client was running. What a lovely change it was! I met literally hundreds of people, and had an opportunity to talk to so many of them. I had a blast! The work was rewarding, the client lovely, and the chance to get out of the house and ’socialise’ whilst working was a really welcome change for me.

Whilst I wouldn’t change my job or my working conditions for the world, I think it’s important to ensure that as a ‘virtual’ worker, I don’t put myself into a pocket that means I only work inside my home. Sometimes it is really rewarding to be able to do something a little different, and it gives our clients confidence in our ability to be flexible enough to meet their occasional ‘non-virtual’ needs.

It may not be for everyone, and I know that some people specifically do not offer their services if it means travelling to a clients’ location, however for me, I think it was something I needed to re-invigorate me and shake up my routine a little bit. It is also very empowering to know that even though I have chosen to work from home to allow me the flexibilty to always be in a position to support the needs of my family, that I also still have a viable and important place out in the face-to-face world.

Till next time,

Lia…

PostHeaderIcon Networking – Taking the plunge

Last week, someone asked for advice on the best way to approach their very first networking meeting. It’s a very daunting thing to do, as we generally find ourselves in a situation that is WAY outside of our comfort zone.

The question made me remember my own first networking meeting. It was terrifying! I stood outside of the venue for about 10 minutes, having a massive internal debate with myself about whether I should actually enter or not. I finally decided that I had nothing to lose, so took a deep breath and walked in. I was greeted by some very nice people, who took my money, gave me a name tag and then cast me adrift into a sea of total strangers, who all seemed to know one another, leaving me as the only “newbie” in the room.

One of the reasons I chose this particular event to attend was because there was a guest speaker that day who I was very interested in seeing. So instead of trying to mingle (that was just too scary) I took a seat, and pretended to look busy, going through my bag, making sure I had lots of business cards.

After what seemed like an eternity, someone came and introduced themself to me. I could have hugged that person, I was so grateful! And so I started ‘networking’. The session began with a game of ‘network bingo’ which, as cringe-worthy as it seems, was actually a fantastic ice breaker. By the time it was over, and the guest speaker began their presentation, I had made some ‘friends’ and didn’t feel anywhere near as uncomfortable as I had done only 30 minutes prior.

As a result, I have since joined that particular group, and I attend their functions regularly. I always make an effort to seek out any “newbies” and introduce myself to them, so that they don’t feel quite so uncomfortable. It’s such an unusual situation for us to put ourselves into – voluntarily entering into an environment that is so foreign to us, exposing ourselves to the scrutiny of total strangers, and yet we find ourselves going back again and again. After you get the hang of it, networking can become quite an addiction.

I’m yet to gain any clients from my networking efforts, but I am confident that with time and effort, I will forge relationships with my networks that will result in referrals and clients. Till then, I’ll keep putting myself out there!

Till next time,

Lia…