I thought I’d start 2015 with a new occasional series answering some of the questions that clients ask. Here’s a funny one that came up recently. My client asked: “Don’t you like Skype?”
Apparently, the client thought I didn’t use Skype much because I’d failed to respond to a contact request. And he was right – I didn’t. But (though I’m not into playing the blame game, it was totally his fault). Here are two questions his initial contact request didn’t answer.
#1. What Does Your Skype ID Say About You?
When I got the contact request, I couldn’t tell whether it was from a real person, or someone trawling for Skype users to spam (it happens). The client used his company name as the username and it looked, as Brits say, dodgy.
#2. Where’s the Person Behind Your Business?
Not wanting to give up, I did some more research. That’s where there was another failure. When I Googled the company and went to the website, I couldn’t identify a person behind the website. That’s why I ignored the contact request.
2 Lessons on Contacting Prospects
Like many people who have done business online for a while and who have been spammed, I am paranoid about sharing contact details with someone who’s trying to sell me something I don’t really want. That’s why if you want to do business with someone, it’s wise to:
- identify yourself as a real person.
- be clear and specific about the purpose of making contact.
There was a happy ending for this client. He made a second request, addressing me by name and providing his name and other information. I accepted the request and we did some work together.
Keeping It Real
The lesson for any business is that people want to do business with real people. Whether on a social media site, a messaging site or a forum, including your name and where people can find you helps to establish those credentials, making it more likely you can work together.
Of course, there’s another reason why I’m not always on Skype. If I’m chatting, I’m not writing. The more I write, the better I get and the happier you will be with the final product.
However, you can’t deny that Skype is a great tool for connecting with both business contacts and friends. That’s why I’m happy to make appointments for Skype meetings. The rest of the time, I check in to make sure I haven’t missed anything, but basically stay offline. That keeps me both connected – and in control.
How do you use Skype in your business?