- Attitude: We have to believe that what we have makes sense. Have to stop believing that the economy is preventing business. Believe in yourself and your organization.
- Activities: To build our business or our clients’ businesses, we have to be networking, talking to reporters, and doing things that we need to do to grow our business. Growing our business is our top priority – even over our clients.
- Approach: What are we doing, what are we asking, what are we telling. How are we engaging people to achieve success?
Most people don’t do it very well because we’ve never been taught. Walking into a sea of faces at an event can be awkward. You look around for someone you know or head for the three B’s: bar, bathroom or buffet. However, you don’t get business that way – there are better ways to network.
Follow the Plan:
Identify your strategic alliances – someone you meet with in your community or industry – find out what they do and whom they are trying to meet. Explain what you do and who your trying to meet. There are three types we want to meet:
- Complimentary product or service
- Someone who has the ear of your prospect. Who else is getting in front of them – who are those people?
- Mover or Shaker – figure out who those people are, but you also want to be those people. Who everyone knows, likes, trusts. If you help them, they will help you. Help people first.
What do you do?
Do you like it?
If I was to find someone who was a good referral, who would that be?
Be helpful. Asking about their favorite subject – themselves. You are looking for the 20% of people who get it. Suggest meeting outside of event to share those things – help each other. Amazing how much those relationships can build.
Follow Up: We usually walk out of events with pile of business cards which we generally ignore and eventually throw out. Follow up with everyone!!!! All the people you met – within 48 hours. Handwritten notes. Website called Follow up-cards.com – can customize and keep track. Then when you go to the next event, those people are going to come over to you….it’s about building relationships. Can put business card in there. Keep it simple.
Make Swiss cheese out of your newspaper – put clips in card and send to people. It’s not about you, it’s about them.
Givers gain – look to help other people first.
When you meet with someone on Sales side, one of three positive outcomes you should always have:
Always have one of 3 positive results:
- Have a “Yes”
- Get a “No” – so you don’t waste any more time.
- Get a Clear Next Step – has three things. Date of follow up, time of follow up and an agenda of what will happen when you do follow up.
Incident: people aren’t spending as much money
Thought: have to give discount, make it cheaper
Actual feeling: if I don’t do that I am not going to make as much money, I’m afraid
Lead action: we do it
Known result: we close less business, and what we close is discounted. Your known result is what you think. What you believe is what happens.
To get over that, here is what you have to do:
Prospecting – number one thing that you do, Activities, build your business: cold calling, networking, past clients. This is NOT an option, need to do consistently.
Pre-Qualification – you have to pre qualify everyone before you meet with him or her. Make sure that person is someone you should be spending time with and make sure they know you are not desperate. Psychology of people is that they have to feel that they earned the right to work with you. If we see if it fits, it will make more sense. Plus prospect shares issues and is selling themselves to you. Ask good questions to uncover is they are a good fit. Get that person talking.
Interview – when you are with them on the phone or in person, you are asking more questions to see if they are a good fit. Tell about your situation, your organization, what are you trying to achieve. Perception, Competition, Ask thought-provoking questions. Asking as opposed to telling leads to a self-discovery process. They think it’s their idea. Talk about budget. Set clear next step.
Follow up Email – summarize everything you talked about and send in an email. Recap what they said. Add clear next step.
Recommendation: Last Step. Proposal. Only after you have done all the other four above. Do not propose too early. Discuss issues and money range.
Guest Blogger: Phyllis Ershowsky, MBA, APR, CPRC, PKE Marketing & PR Solutions email@example.com