So you have to appreciate those folks that simply believe that most every prospect, yes, every prospect, wants them (or at least their products and services!).
You know these folks, don’t you? They’re the ones that:
- Introduce themselves and provide minimal detail because hey, doesn’t everyone know WHO I AM
- Appear somewhat supercilious and uninterested in any sort of real dialogue (it’s all about me)
- Attend networking events and functions and act as if they aren’t there for the same reason as everyone else (i.e. making contacts and connections that lead to real business opportunities because hey, I know you want me!)
Sure you can adopt that mindset and embrace the mantra of every sexy teenage girl (I know you want me) but really, is that approach any good for your business? (I should be hearing a resounding NO.)
So if you KNOW that not everyone wants you, that not everyone needs you, that not everyone even knows who you are, well, then here’s the nitty gritty on business development and sales:
Business development is a process that requires incredible diligence and patience.
Much like gardening, you plant seeds and if you don’t nurture them they simply die. And much like gardening, not every seed will grow. Your sales pipeline must always be filled with prospects and referral sources that are in various stages of readiness and “willingness to buy”.
Staying on the grid with prospects and referral sources during a lengthy sales cycle might be the most difficult part of sales.
Don’t check in or touch base with prospects and referral sources. Those phrases are clichés that spell doom for your sales effort. Instead, add value to the business relationship BEFORE there is a business relationship by using the three I’s (information, invitations, and introductions). Connect with people and deploy one of the three and you will most certainly be welcome in their world.
Remember that if what you are providing doesn’t equate to an improvement in your prospect’s situation then why the heck should they even think about doing business with you?
Too many folks are so intensely impressed with what they are bringing to the table (I know you want me) that they forget that the prospect’s situation must be improved in order for them to give a damn about whatever it is you are providing!
Don’t expect any ONE methodology to do the trick.
The key to sustainable business growth is the deployment of an integrated sales and marketing plan.
Network like crazy. Of all the tactics out there networking can often provide you with a terrific ROI. (Be warned, networking must be executed in a highly strategic manner in order to be effective. Do it incorrectly and you will be wasting your time and money).
They want you, huh? Apply these techniques and see just how much more new business you can generate!
Adrian Miller is a Business Growth Architect. She provides sales consulting and training blog and newsletter writing as well as marketing and social media strategy and execution. Adrian is the author of The Blatant Truth: 50 Ways to Sales Success. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit her sites: www.adrianmiller.com and www.adriansnetwork.com.
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Category: Startup Advice