The biggest challenge facing most sales people and small business owners is getting meetings with prospective clients.
Cold prospecting techniques get harder-and-harder every day. Even cold techniques turbocharged with boatloads of technology get harder-and-harder every day as everyone gets the technology and the arms race for a better sales stack escalates.
What has not been fully utilized by everyone in business yet are relationships.
Relationships got lost in the race to build tech stacks (obviously my opinion.) Building networks of people that will help you get in the door with prospective customers is going to be huge in the future of business development as cold technique ROI continues to dive. (Think what’s happening with GDPR and CCPA and extrapolate.)
Recruit your team
Here’s one network idea that you can use to help you get more meetings with prospective customers: Build a team of partners that have relationships with companies that look like the companies you serve.
Develop your relationships with other sales people or other small business owners that serve similar markets to you. If you like them enough, partner up. You can do them a great service by helping them get into accounts where you have relationships and they can do the same for you.
The research is that every person knows 100-200 people. If you get into an arrangement with another business owner that serves your space there’s a good chance there are some great prospects for you in those 100-200 relationships.
The difference-maker here is that your partner is trusted by the potential client. A lack of trust is why people do not respond to cold outreach. They do not trust you. If you are introduced trust is transferred. The conversion rates are completely different.
Both you and your partner winby doing this. Both of you get more leads. It’s a two-way street.
You also help your client more
If you build relationships with people that serve your typical client, you add more value. Now you can help your client solve problems that your product/service does not address. You become a more valuable resource to your client. Maybe you are system administration firm but your prospect currently needs a new lawyer. If you happen to have partnered with a law firm, you can make a trusted introduction.
Be a smarter seller
Does your product or service address something that’s at the top of my to-do list today? I rarely achieve more than three big things in a week. If I see a product or service that does not address a goal at the top of my list, it does not get my attention.
Sadly, most of us sales people are unable to read minds.
It’s really a shame we cannot read minds as it would save a lot of hassle for everyone. We would not need to send 10,000 emails to find just the one person that responds they have a need right now and is willing to talk to us. If we could just read minds, we could go to Met Life stadium and know right away who in the crowd needs a new system administration firm just now.
Building a team of partners can give you an alternative to mindreading. If your partners know what is going on at prospective clients, they can fill you in. If their client (or friend) John Jones needs a new system admin firm, your partner can let you know and you can appear with both great timing and a trusted introduction. Powerful! If you have ten trusted business partners in your network, and each person has 100 relationships, that’s 1,000 people whose minds you can “read”!
Cold prospecting gets harder every day. You may need some partners to help you get in your client’s door.
Update: If you are interested in the details of this approach and having some email/call templates to execute it, check out my free e-course here.