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Do not swim

10 Marketing lesson for leatherworkers, photographers and small companies learned from a received cold call

Selling a swimsuit to some one in the desert is not very vise. Neither is trying to sell sand to Sahara. Through a phone call today, I learned a valuable lesson in marketing and what not to do regarding marketing effort. This call had nothing to do with leatherwork but gave me a useful lesson.

I had arrived at work and was preparing a day of production when the phone rang and it was a number I did not recognise. Not expecting a cold call at 10 in the morning as they usually try their luck with me after work ours, I was ill prepared for this but he still managed to get my attention. This was for one special reason only.

Usually when I get a cold call from some overly happy and eager salesperson I swipe them out of my phone faster then a fly from my beer. Despite having blocked most of the companies doing this type of marketing they keep changing numbers and my blocking list keeps growing so they get through to me. This time though I decided to listen in as what he was trying to sell interested me and his lack of understanding in my answers interested me even more.

Despite me telling him repeatedly that I was a photographer my self and that he would better save his energy and spend it on some one else, the guy on the other end kept on trying to sell me a free photography session in some portrait studio and to top it I could bring friends or family.

Telling him that I had no friends changed nothing. This after telling him that I was a professional photographer. Telling him that my family was faraway in an other country did nothing either, he still wanted me to come and use this free studio time to get pictures of me and any one I wanted to have with me. No matter what I said, he was not listening.

The failure he did right at the start was not only that he did not listen to what I was saying, he had no understanding of it because if he would have understood the nature of photography he would have stopped as soon as I told him I was a pro my self.

Not listening to the potential customer is bad, but not understanding what you are selling and to whom is even worse. Not only for the sales and promotion company but also for the client that bought their service.

The valuable marketing lesson learned from this is therefor very simple and can be applied to leather and leatherworkers just as images and photographers.

1. Know what you are trying to sell and why.
2. Know whom you are trying to market to.
3. Set your goal for achievement in the marketing campaign and build from there.
4. Few personal carefully selected cold calls can be much more effective than massive fishing trip with out a hook.
5. Do research. Try to avoid making the group so big that non relevant and non interested calls are minimized.
6. When doing marketing campaign through an agency check the knowledge of the marketing firm.
7. Make sure the marketing person knows what is being sold and to whom.
8. Check the reputation of the marketing firm and its aggressiveness in sales.
9. Do not just buy into any campaign and promo offer from marketing companies.
10. Do a thorough research of your potential clients and tailor your campaign to different groups.

It can be better and give stronger effect to find few potential clients in your neighbourhood or in your town and give them a personal call and make them remember you later, rather than them being irritated by dumb or ignorant over eager sales reps that can hurt your reputation with his ignorance and manners.

What marketers are selling is not only your products but also your reputation. 

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