Do Your Research!


Okay, from time to time I get solicitations from service businesses trying to entice me to use their services, and that’s great; most of the time I answer – thanking them for their information and truly, I save it in case I need it in future, or in case I get an inquiry from someone looking for that service. (Nice long sentence, eh?).

But…every so often I get an inquiry from a service that is entirely wrong for my business and I have to wonder what the heck?

For example, many of you know I own and operate a pet services business in Bakersfield,  Whole Earth Pets – which provides in-home petsitting, dogwalking, behavior training, and solid waste pick up services.

I got the following email (contact info and business info stripped to protect the clueless) to me in my Whole Earth Pets account:

Dear Natalia,

Hi there! My team found your business online, and I thought you might be interested in a sales calling campaign. We’ve got the best appointment setters on board — they can help you meet the right people in the market to get those deals coming in. If you’re looking for business leads and appointments to kickstart sales growth, I think you might want to learn more about generating sales leads with us.

I’d like to see if our rep can contact you and tell you more about how our service works. Please write me back about a good time to talk!

Many thanks, Sadie

Now clearly, if these folks had seen my website and read it – they would know that in-home petsitting, dogwalking, etc is not the kind of business that would benefit from cold-calling and appointment setting.  Let alone, have the money for that kind of marketing.

So either they have an application that spiders the information from business websites and auto-emails form letters (which is highly probable and still clueless) or they have a staff of researchers who have no idea how to target potential clients or some weird combination of the two.

The moral of this story – DO YOUR RESEARCH!

Many small businesses, solopreneurs, freelancers do this kind of cold-call marketing.  Some buy lists, some buy services to do the calls, but all of it depends on correctly targeting your market.

Don’t just answer the question “Who is most likely to need your services”?  But also answer “Who is most likely NOT to need my services”?

Targeting is not only figuring out the who the right client is, if you are thorough, you determine who the wrong client is, too.  It saves you lots of headaches later on…I know, I know, you are thinking that if you identify who is right, the rest of the universe is wrong – and that isn’t exactly so…you don’t need to identify the universe…but there are always fringe businesses that look like they are right, and aren’t. THOSE are the ones you need to be sure you can identify.  It may be as simple as saying: revenue less than $100K per year; or businesses with the words Pet, Paws, Pups in it.  Or reminding the service not to target companies that might be in competition with you.  You know (or should) the parameters of your biz.

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