Maggie hesitates, the cursor hovering over the send button.
Her heart hammers as she rereads the last sentence in the email.
“Here is a link to book an initial call.”
For many that simple sentence is just that… simple. For Maggie, it’s terrifying.
The thought of having a call with a potential client fills her with dread and anxiety. But how can she get clients without doing so?
“I need someone to get clients for me” she mutters, not for the first time.
Maggie has thought about this a lot.
The stress of communication and sales leaves her drained, unmotivated and anxious. So outsourcing would be the perfect solution, right?
If you relate to Maggie, keep reading and find out if this is the right step for you.
A Fear of Marketing and Sales
For many, marketing and sales is the scariest part of running a business. That’s because it involves communicating with people.
Jumping on a call, sending emails, posting on social media, sending a private message; all these things can cause stress and anxiety.
Most introvert business owners find these activities draining.
But for some there’s also an intense fear of rejection or judgement, or debilitating social anxiety to contend with.
For someone who constantly feels fear when putting themselves out there, it might seem impossible to grow a business.
They may feel like they aren’t capable of running a business and give up, or like Maggie try to avoid the things that cause anxiety by outsourcing it.
So the question is, should you or shouldn’t you outsource marketing and sales? Is this the right solution?
Should You Outsource Marketing and Sales?
There are varying opinions on this.
Some feel that outsourcing marketing and sales works well and allows them to get back to doing what they do best.
Others believe you should always be in control of your marketing and sales, because if you give it to someone else they control your business.
I see both sides. There is a time and place for outsourcing elements of your marketing and sales.
But if you’re doing it solely because of fear and anxiety then outsourcing is not the right solution.
The Pros and Cons of Outsourcing Marketing and Sales
Let’s start by looking at the pros and cons of outsourcing your marketing and sales.
Pros of outsourcing marketing and sales
- You won’t have to spend time doing marketing and sales activities
- You spend less time with people, and may have more energy
- You get to spend more time doing what you enjoy most
- Some things may get done quicker
- You may feel less anxious
Cons of outsourcing marketing and sales
- You’ll need to spend time working with your marketing and sales person
- You lose control of your presence
- You don’t get to know your clients potential problems
- You’re not building trust in you
- You lose authenticity
- You are not qualifying clients – you don’t get to decide who you work with
- It will cost you more to get clients
An important thing to note here is there is no guarantee that outsourcing will bring you more clients. Meaning the pros boil down to saving some time and how you may feel.
However, outsourcing comes with a cost and for those in the early stages of business the budget my not be available.
Outsourcing Your Marketing
The biggest issues with outsourcing your marketing and sales, especially in the early stages of your business, are not building authentic authority to attract clients, not getting to know your potential clients problems and issues first hand, and not having control of who you work with.
So when should you outsource and what could you outsource to maintain enough control.
When could you work with others?
1. If you’re too busy with clients
If you find you have no time to work on getting new clients, then this is a sign that you need more support. However, this could be outsourcing in other areas before you outsource marketing and sales.
2. If you need more insight and strategy
If you feel you need help to create a marketing or sales plan, then you may seek out someone to help you develop them. This would help you get more focused and clear but you would still do the work and be in control.
3. You want to work with a specialist
You may want to work with a specialist in a specific area of marketing, for example Paid Advertising. I would first consider training in this yourself if you feel it is fundamental to your strategy. But having someone to oversee things could also help.
What could you outsource to maintain control?
You are the person with the knowledge about your craft. That means you are the best person to create content, speak to potential clients and understand the needs of your people.
If you’re at the stage of needing support in any of the above areas you could work with others such as:
- Virtual Assistant or Administrator – They could help you arrange client meetings, handle emails, schedule your diary etc.
- Coach or consultant – They could help you get clear on your plan of action, keep you accountable and give you ideas and insights.
- Social media management – They could schedule content, create posts from other content and support you with graphics creation.
What you shouldn’t (or can’t) outsource
There are a few things that you shouldn’t or can’t outsource which are fundamental to growing your business.
1. Building Your Network
Connecting with people and creating business relationships is a crucial part of growing your business.
In the Introverts Edge to Networking, Matthew Pollard explains how we should be developing two types of connections through our business journey; Champion and Momentum Partners.
Champions are respected and recognised high achievers who can open doors for you, momentum partners are connections who may introduce you to others and collaborate with you. I highly recommend reading Matthews book!
2. Social Media Engagement and Connection
As the one with knowledge and insights, it’s important that you are the one who is seen as responding to your audience and creating that connection.
In time, you may get support for this but as you are building your authority, it’s your insight people need.
3. Sales conversations
Sales might feel like the most difficult element to having a business.
It begins with reaching out to prospective clients, arranging a call to discuss the problems, transitioning into sharing your solution and proposing you product or service. Then perhaps sending a proposal and arranging a follow-up call, all the way to finally landing the client.
It’s exhausting… but necessary.
The thing is, you need to be the person that someone talks to, because they are buying into YOU.
Otherwise, it comes down to price and perhaps convenience. You want someone to want to work with you.
But what about if you feel fear and anxiety around doing these things, what can you do?
What do you if you have fears and anxiety around marketing and sales?
When you really struggle with fear and anxiety, marketing and sales may seem impossible. Outsourcing it might feel like your only option, but I assure you it’s not.
If you are able to work through your fears and overcome anxiety around this, it will not only lead to better results, but also give you confidence and happiness in life.
A coach could help you understand your fears and reframe your thoughts, connect with your purpose and find the courage within you.
If social anxiety is impacting your life, then talk to a counsellor or therapist who specialises in social anxiety. They will help you develop methods to begin to overcome it and live an anxiety free life.
Ultimately if you are only outsourcing because of fear and anxiety, then you should not be outsourcing.
Invest in yourself for long term change that brings happiness to your life.