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Blinking In The Dark

OK, you’re really excited. You’ve taken the plunge and set up shop. You’ve got the business cards printed up. The letter head. Maybe even a brochure. Three colours. Bet that cost you a bundle.You’ve evne ought that fancy new all-in-one printer/ fax/ copier/ kitchen sink gadget. Sent out 3000 announcements about your services, and even favoured specially targeted companies with your beautiful three-colour brochure that cost you a bundle. Already, it’s cost a fair amount, and not one billable hour in sight. You have yet to factor in the mailing costs. Now you are waiting for the phone to ring. And it’s not. And it won’t. Well, not likely anytime soon.

Basically all you have done is keep the printers and Canada Post happy. And annoyed everyone else with your junk mail. What you are doing is the equivalent of job hunters sending out a thousand unsolicited resumes and complaining that no one is even acknowledging their letters.

Lest you think I am being insufferably opinionated about this subject, I should tell you that I learned this, like most of us, the hard way. I once put together a package of materials – a resume, client testimonials, a few writing samples in a very pricey binder and was very careful to target a very select group of clients. But I was smart, or so I thought. I knew it was presumptuous to expect them to go through my package and then take time out to even acknowledge my wonderfulness. So what I did was to include a self-addressed stamped postcard. It contained three lines each, with a check box. One line said “Sorry, this doesn’t meet our needs”. Another said, “Nothing now, but keep in touch.” And the third “Please give us a call”. All they had to do is put a single check mark by one of those lines, and throw the card in the outbox. How hard could that be?

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