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Mar 19, 2005, 23:07 #1
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Examples of new, small web shops prospecting nationally, not locally?
I've invested 10s of thousands in my biz (at this point it will be life savings invested in the next couple months) and you all can't even imagine how much your impute from your experience can help. My monthly expenses are too high at this point unless the way in which I find new clients improves.
I own a web design, development, and markeing firm (AKA "interactive agency") with 12 employees in the Philippines. In the US (I'm an American), where I spend most of my time, I work out of a home office and run the US office for this company with no employees.
I am lucky to pull cream of the crop salespeople from the thousands that work for call centers in this offshore call center meca.
Both companies were started from scratch with almost zero clients 4 months ago. My approach has been that the sales guys "find interest" and pass the hot leads on to me for in person or phone follow-ups. Our target is my regional area (Maryland).
Now I'm wondering if dealing with clients nationally-- who'd I'd never meet in person-- might make more sense? This would allow me to work physically side by side with the sales team more often and take the phone once they've talked to someone and really sparked interest. It won't limit who we reach out to. I won't have to do expensive in person meetings.
How many of you that do web "service" work for clients have tried to reach out with your marketing on a national level instead of just local? One big benefit is going for small niches, so for example you could be one of the web design companies/freelancers that designs sites for only downhill ski manufacturers.
But I don't have a niche yet. I'm simply finding that MAYBE meeting in person is not so very important-- especially when I have such an effective phone sales group that I would like to be WITH.
And what about the fact that my company is not very established yet? I'm sure companies like Agency.com or Modem Media could care less the location of a prospective client. If a salesperson from their company picks up the phone and does a pitch they can close 40K contracts without showing their face.
But will people shell out 1-5 USD for web services to a fairly new company located 400 miles away from them in the US? I think so if they have enough assurances, and I'm about to try this, but it is risky for me to rock the boat in mid-stream.
Thanks for sharing your experiences!
Eric Van Buskirk
[URL=http://www.border-cross.net]Independant World Travel[URL]
Mar 20, 2005, 07:52 #2
Well, as a competitor in you region, I encourage you to focus completely on national, downhill skiing resorts.
In all seriousness, I have both local clients and clients 3000 miles away. Right now, I'm also the one doing sales. With my local clients, I still don't meet face to face with all of them. It depends on their comfort level. Some clients just want the work done, and will check in when it's complete. Others need to have constant interaction, whether it's over the phone, email, or in person. Also, some clients are ok with no interaction, but I go meet with them anyway, especially if there is potential for more work.
Some quick advice I have is to stop worrying about companies like agency and modern media. Chances are if your company ever gets to that point, you won't be around as the VC's would have kicked you out, lol. Your market is different than theirs. You have to start somewhere. Most of these companies, or at least the companies that spun off these companies, started with either a niche market or a local market.
Now, if you here my company is up for the same bid as yours, don't bash me too hard, lol.
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