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Creating a Reputation

Want to shorten the sales cycle for your ... ... Want pre-sold ... who need fewer or no ... meetings before hiring you? Create a ... Recently a room full of consu

Want to shorten the sales cycle for your professional
services? Want pre-sold prospects who need fewer or no
face-to-face meetings before hiring you? Create a

Recently a room full of consultants agreed that you had to
meet with potential clients at least twice -- better, three
times -- before winning the business. "Then how do you get
business outside the area?" someone asked. The consensus:
Forget it.

Yet I've been hired by companies in Australia and elsewhere
without even phone calls, much less a face-to-face. Like
nearly all my most congenial clients, they weren't choosing
candidates to compare with one another. They weren't
shopping, weren't engaged in a systematic search. If
hunting, they stopped when they found me. Or they hadn't
thought of spending money on their problem until my
reputation gave them the idea.

Publishing books, as I've done, is just one way to establish
a reputation that pre-sells prospects on what you can do for
them. For image consultant Mary Lou Andre of Needham,
Massachusetts, a reputation-building tool has been her Web
site. In addition to descriptions of her services, her site
at chronicles the media
publicity she's received and highlights her approach to
fashion through profiles of prominent individuals and
corporations that she's helped.

"Last fall I closed a national retail chain that found us on
the Web and e-mailed us in June," says Andre. "When I told
them I was about to give birth, they said they'd wait. In
September, they signed the contract. We never met face to
face! They modeled the entire project after the work I did
for Bose Corporation, which is featured on our Web site. I
firmly believe our reputation (and Web site) closed the

For translation industry consultant Sarah Pilgrim of
Wilsall, Montana, a reputation-building tool has been a
half-page ad she's run for years in a trade journal for
translators. A signed testimonial in it from someone in the
business and a credential of having been in the business
herself for 20+ years gives her high credibility with her
target market.

"When translation agency owners read my bio, they recognize
the name of the translation company I founded and sold,
which has a good reputation," Pilgrim adds. "When they call
to find out more, they can tell I know the business. And
therefore when I've gone to visit clients it's always been
as a paid consultant, with the client footing the bill."

Whether you use publishing, the Internet, advertising,
promotional newsletters or media coverage to build a
reputation, it takes time. Each piece of visibility
reinforces previous effects. With a reputation, you get
more inquiries like "Do you do...?" and fewer along the
lines of "We're looking for a _____ who does..." With a
reputationArticle Search, pre-sale meetings drop to one or zero. E-mail
or phone exchanges can suffice. Powerful stuff!

Source: Free Articles from


Marcia Yudkin is the author of the
classic guide to comprehensive PR, "6 Steps to Free
Publicity," now for sale in an updated edition at
and in bookstores everywhere. She also spills the secrets
on advanced tactics for today's publicity seekers in
"Powerful, Painless Online Publicity," available from .

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