I wanted to write this blog post as I like to think I’m a bit of a hybrid. By that I mean I can handle different areas as a business owner. I think sales has been tarnished as a dirty word. I’m not one to dwell in single mindiness as I believe all of your out there who are reading this blog despite what job you do have skills in different areas. For example if you’re a business development executive or manager what does that mean? Well what it means is you’re probably the most important cog in the wheel. Think about it you realise that unless you pick up the phone and make 20-40 calls per day (maybe more but we’re assuming for the purposes of this blog post that you get through to the right people) then what is that business doing in the day that you would of made that 20-40 calls to move the business forward. I got this tip from a friend who runs a very successful telemarketing company who said “when richard branson was starting out he cold called everyone from a phone box, if its good enough for him its good enough for me!” brilliant! Here’s 5 tips to get you started:
Don’t prospect then call
You might be thinking I’ve come up with a great prospect lets give them a call and thats great. What I mean by don’t prospect then call is you need to do what I call data mining first and find the company name and telephone number in an alloted time period so that you can bang out the calls when needed. I would say to maximise your success rate. think about it if you have 2 hours alloted to call companies then the last thing you want to be doing is doing google or directory searches to find who you want to speak to.
Partner with people like you
If your business specialises in one area like mine does as a SEO Agency UK then why not speak to other guys or gals who are trying to get on in life and reach their quota. I recently spoke with a guy who was head of business development for an email marketing company. I asked him a few frank and straight up questions such as “do you recommend other companys for services you don’t offer” he said yes we recently recommended a large highstreet retailer to a Pay per click agency a big doh was going through my head but now I realise that he should be kept up to date with what I’m up to via linked in!
Do your partners a favor first before asking for one!
I had one partner that turned out to be amazing and networking and putting people in touch with each other, however as the nature of the business game is doing business with people you trust I hadn’t been able to garner her attention until I did her a favor! She runs a very successful Ecommerce design and development company and her linked in is flooding with good recommendations and connnections, clearly a lady in demand! I emailed her saying that I had a client that was looking at an ecommerce website redesign after the existing company rolled their once unique design out to several other websites. We discussed conversion rates and how when you roll over a picture it covered the “buy it now” button, hardly rocket science but something she could help with! In turned out that she has now reffered me to 2 clients that we do business with.
Keep in contact
Its important leading on from the last point to make sure you keep in contact with your partners regularly. Think about it like your friends, we all have a friend who only calls us when they want something. This is what I call taking value. Don’t get me wrong I appreciate that everyone has their own agenda however if you want to cultivate longer term relationships that are mutually beneficial you really need to think about the other person and how you can help them achieve their goals and align them with yours. Its also important touching on the later point to make sure that in a business context asking yourself once a day and every week are these contacts adding value to achieving my goals or are they sucking value? I have a partner I work with who literally calls linked in contacts that haven’t been in contact and asks them “are you likely to help me bring new business in or alternatively I may need to delete you from my network”. Some people may argue this is very cold or harsh, I would argue that the same person who is deleted from linked in needs to google “how to become better at linked in”