“Sometimes you have to fake it to make it”…Our goal, is obviously to get customers and to service these on a sustainable basis, so that they reap real benefits in this undertaking. We are fortunate to have had Flo provide us with the basic implementation guidelines. His company also provides a reference that we are a subsidiary of an already functioning business model and this carries weight when sitting in front of clients. This should give confidence in making appointments and sales.
GOAL 1 – Get momentum by making sales!
This seems obvious, but this is where the game will be won or lost.
The early days will be challenging, in that we cannot rely on references from other companies etc. So we will have to bite the bullet and hustle. This is the only way. A few months, and a few accounts down the line, we will all be in a routine and we will (hopefully) be complaining about the workload. This is good!
Make a List
I propose that you compile a list of businesses where you have a fairly easy intro. To achieve this, we need to look into our address books and come up with at least 20 names of business owners/representatives. With these established contacts, a less formal approach is needed., ie make the call, get the appointment. If your little black book is a bit dusty, look at your Facebook contacts. Look through your LinkedIn connections. Who looks like they could fit the bill?
Know whom you are looking for by creating an AVATAR.ie your typical client. Dictionary definition “an icon or figure representing a particular person in a computer game, Internet forum, etc.
We should create that person that suits our needs well. At a glance, (and you are welcome to add to this), they should be…Notice that I did not call them a company. We are going to speak to people here, so you have to weigh up the type of client that we are going to target…
Typically, they should:
- Be large enough to be paying for marketing, print/digital/direct promotion
- They should have a website, but not be masters at it.
- They should be making half hearted attempts to engage in social media. This will also exhibit a lack on confidence.
- They should be in a field that you can identify with. (You will be making marketing recommendations during the meeting and you should exhibit enthusiasm and a little knowledge)
- They should be wanting to grow and should be made to understand that the only way forward in this digital age, is to engage with the end consumer.
- They should know that Business to Business is another way of saying People to People. Ie – you are engaging the human and not the corporate structure.
The above are just a few pointers, but with the thousands of potential prospects out there, you will be increasing your chances to make the sale, if you feel that they tick the boxes on the above points.
Ok, so you’ve made the call to a familiar person and they are prepared to give you some time. This is where the work begins.
Check out their website…
Study their social media involvement.
Answer these questions:
- What message does their website convey?
- Is the website being managed and regularly updated?
- Are they coming across as a corporation, or sending out a more personal message?
- Social media FB – Number of likes.
- How do they engage with their audience?
- Types of posts
- Are their posts cool, relevant, entertaining?
- Are they using Twitter?
- What does their linkedin profile look like?
- Put together a small summary for yourself, to show that you know what you are talking about.
- Who are their competitors, and what are those doing better?
- What are they doing well?
Next week, I will prepare a summary of a pitch that will assist in the sales meeting. The trick is to make your prospective client understand that we are here to form a relationship with them, and make them look good on social. You are actually like an advertising agency that is doing a pitch for a key account. You are helping them to build their brand on huge web.
Ok, so you have the nod to come and see your prospective business person. You have combed your hair, plucked your nose hairs and clipped your finger nails. You have been shown into the waiting area by the hawk-eyed secretary, and have a brief moment to reflect on:
…questions that need answering while in the appointment…
- What is your company pitch? What do you stand for as a company?
- What is your point for social media? Is it awareness, sales or loyalty?
- What is your current relationship with your audience? Are they Critics, creators, collectors, joiners
- What’s your one thing? Ie the Unique Selling Point?
- How will we make you human? Eg. Not a business to business, but people talking to people.
- 3 metrics used to measure success?
After what seems like an age, you are ushered into the boardroom and are offered coffee or tea. If coffee makes you sweat, especially when nervous, just get some water.
During the meeting, remember to be a human being talking to another human being. Ask some questions about life. Ask about the children. Tell them about your own kids if you have. Break the ice. Speak as a human, but don’t forget your questions. Questions are the answer. By reading how a person answers questions pertaining to their need for security, recognition, connection, contribution, you will be able to steer the conversation into almost any direction.
“Jo, do you realize that now is the time to get involved in the new media? Where are those companies now, that betted their future on the fax machine? Why do you think print media is fading?” (Aimed at someone who is security minded.”
Hopefully your meeting went well enough to spur the interest of your prospective account.
You should always follow up a meeting with a letter, thanking them for their time. Also, invite them to follow your Facebook page, and see if they manage a Twitter account.
You may not have made the sale then and there, but by getting in front of them via their mobile devices, the next call will be that much easier to make if you have had interaction with them.
Well, I hope that the above outline has been helpful. I have been asked how to go about the whole process of Cold Calling. I worked on Wall Street, as a cold caller during the mid 90’s (yip, that dates me nicely) and there is a whole psychology behind a good cold call. We can look at this for part 2.