When ‘busy’ Equals Bad

Hitting the right mark between competent and experienced and overworked and desperate can be difficult. But, when you are marketing business-to-business services, your public relations success depends on striking exactly the right balance.

Recently, a client came to 5WPR complaining that “she was awesome” but “just couldn’t get any new clients.”

After speaking with her for some time, it became obvious that her problem was not one of skill set. Her issues gave the impression she was leaving with prospective clients. The agent working with her asked to see one of her “ice breaker” sales pitches.

Here are the essentials:

I own and operate my own social media service business. I currently represent five other clients as well as maitain my own social media sites and services.

The marketer was concerned because she felt this introduction communicated active expertise and engagement. What our agent advised here was certainly a shock. Her clients likely did not doubt her expertise. They doubted her ability to stop time.

The agent broke the news to the discouraged marketer. “This communication makes you appear too busy. There are only so many hours in the day, so with all this to do, how will you fit in another client?”

Her answer was a bit defensive:

But all my competitors have at least that many clients, perhaps more!

The 5WPR agent’s answer was a watershed for anyone out there who leads with their resume. “When you talk first about your workload, that is what your prospect will focus on.”

People can only respond to what you offer them. If you talk first about all you have on your plate, they will assume that is at the forefront of your thoughts. The natural response to this is simple: “Will they have time for me?”

That is exactly the question this marketer’s prospects were asking. Before they even got around to her expertise – which was solid – they were turned off by the worry that she would be difficult to reach. That she may miss deadlines and rush to finish work. People don’t want those sorts of problems. Particularly with an untested, unproven new contractor.

We helped the marketer revise her communication to include her current successes, but so that they were communicated as a feature and benefit, not a detriment.

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