Obviously I get a lot of emails concerning start-up related questions. Many of them revolve around reaching out to people and or companies and trying to get their business.
One of the main issues people have concerns writing a cover letter, letter of introduction or simply how to “break the ice” with potential customers.
And out of that group of questions, many people worry about “being new” and how the potential customer will perceive that. I understand that particular worry, as I was in their shoes once. But REST ASSURED, your “experience level” rarely if ever comes up on small to mid-sized accounts.
Sure… every once in a great while someone will ask you for some references, but that was never the norm for me. It only happened once in a great while. So my point is… RELAX. The only way anyone will know you are “new” is if YOU TELL THEM.
Now let me define a little better what I mean by this. When you are just starting out, it is a GOOD (correct that, GREAT) idea that you promote the fact to all you know PERSONALLY that you just started a business. The people you have known over the years… it’s OK to tell them you are “just starting out”.
When you do that, it helps SPREAD AWARENESS about you and may get you an account or two. What I’m talking about with this post is the concept that you don’t want to PROMOTE the fact you are new when meeting everyone else (those you don’t know/potential customers). Just stick to the basics and LISTEN to what their needs are then come up with a plan to address them.
If for some reason your experience level gets raised during the interview process, then by all means TELL THEM THE TRUTH. With that said, going around making mention that “you just started” a business is best left unsaid. It would hurt you more than help you in most cases.
On a side note, the best two ways to avoid looking “new” are easy to pull off. First, come across as “confident”. After all, there is no reason not to be, as you are only interviewing to take out their trash and do light cleaning in most cases. And secondly, make sure you “look the part” by dressing well. Appearance matters as it helps to make a POSITIVE IMPRINT in the customers head. Don’t be afraid. You can do it!