In the first article in this series I showed you how to create a list of 100 Ideal Clients.
Now we are going to focus on the second part of the equation…
… How do you get in to see decision-makers at your Ideal Client?
You have a choice of 10 different prospecting tools (a.k.a. The Prospecting Pyramid) that you can use to get connected with decision-makers at your Ideal Clients.
We’re going to talk about 4 of the 10 in this article.
1. REFERRALS THAT WORK
Referrals are one of the absolute most effective ways to get into see decision-makers at your Ideal Client. We teach our clients a whole range of referral strategies because it is such a great customer development method. Let me share a very simple framework you can use here.
Specific Versus General: Do not make the mistake of asking your client if they know anybody that they could refer you to. Those type of general queries rarely result in referrals. Instead, use research to identify a specific contact you want to meet.
Use LinkedIn to identify who your customer knows that you would like to know. Then, ask to be introduced to that specific customer.
Help Versus Sell: When asking for the introduction, let your contact know that you think you can help the person you want to be referred to. For examples, say something like this… “I think we could help John improve the results they are getting from their marketing campaigns.”
Zero Pressure Request: When you are making the request for the referral, take all of the sales pressure out of conversation. Say something like this; “I’m happy to call John myself, but as you know him already, I was wondering if you’d be open to making an introduction on my behalf?”
FUSION PROSPECTING (DIRECT MAIL + PHONE + EMAIL)
If you want to fill your sales pipeline with new sales opportunities, this is a very quick and effective way to do so.
You execute this strategy to small segments of your Ideal Client prospect list at a time. For example, every two weeks you may run this campaign to 10 – 20 of the contacts on your Ideal Client list.
Here’s how it works
2. 3D MAILER
Each prospect receives a three-dimensional item in the post from you. A 3-D mail piece is also known as lumpy mail. In simple terms, it’s an envelope containing your sales message / value proposition and a physical item. (Visit http://3dmailresults.com/ to see a broad range of examples)
For example, I have sent an envelope with fake money to a very targeted list. The headline of the sales message went something like this; “If You Want To Make More Money Selling Value-Added Services, Then This Message Will Interest You.”
The sales message in the letter should focus primarily on the value you deliver and on the problems you solve. (You can modify the email text you see later in this article and use it for your letter)
It’s less about the product and service… and a lot more about what your product or service actually does for your client.
Every mail piece is followed up by a phone call within 24 – 48 hours.
3. PHONE FOLLOW-UP
The purpose the call is to create a conversation about customer issues and NOT about your capabilities (your company / your products / your services). There are 5 parts of the phone call which I’ve summarised below with two different examples.
Hi John, this is Kate and I head up the special projects team at TPC (OR The Print Coach). Have I caught you at a bad time or can I steal a minute? (GAINING PERMISSION TO TALK)
We are a Business Growth Training And Advice Company in the print, packaging, wide format, and marketing communications industry. We specialise in helping our private clients land large, high-margin accounts using a unique system that we have developed in-house. (WHO YOU ARE AND WHAT YOU DO)
We have recently been doing a lot of work with our clients in the areas of winning new key accounts, margin protection, value proposition development, and hiring sales superstars. (WHAT ISSUES YOU SOLVE)
Some of our clients include Client 1, Client 2, and Client 3. The two most important results they all experience are winning large new accounts and winning at higher gross margins. (PROOF THAT YOU CAN SOLVE THEM)
The purpose of this call is to see if you’re open to a conversation about different perspectives on winning large new accounts at premium pricing/without having to discount excessively? (REASON FOR THE CALL)
Hi John, this is Nick Devine and I’m a project manager with the ABC Company. Are you okay to talk for a couple minutes or have I caught you at a bad time? (GAINING PERMISSION TO TALK)
We are a multi–award-winning UK packaging company. (WHO YOU ARE AND WHAT YOU DO)
We specialize in helping mid-size retailers launch new products in their stores 15% faster than they are currently doing it. Many of our clients tell us they’re missing out on revenue opportunities because it is taking too long to get new products launched in their stores. (WHAT ISSUES YOU SOLVE)
Typical clients that we work with in this area include Retail Company 1 and Retail Company 2, where we produced X results. (PROOF THAT YOU CAN SOLVE THEM)
I was wondering if you’re open to a more in-depth conversation about your own situation to see if we could potentially help you. (REASON FOR THE CALL)
4. EMAIL FOLLOW-UP
Your email is essentially another version of your phone call / letter. You will use the email if you are unable to get hold of your business contact on the phone.
Stay focused on the issues you solve and not on the product you sell.
When you focus on product issues you will get commoditised.
When you put the problems you solve before the products you sell, you can easily increase your selling margins and boost your bottom line profits.
Here would be an example of an email we use in my own company. Clearly, it is very focused on the issues that our Ideal Clients are continually trying to solve.
This focus on the issues we solve starts with the subject line and continues through the complete email.
Subject Line: Dave, large new account opportunity?
HI Dave, I was wondering if you had the capacity to deal with three new high-margin accounts in your business? If so, maybe we should talk.
We are a business growth training and customer development company specializing in this sector. We help companies like ABC, XYZ, and CBA land large new business accounts at above-average profit margins.
We typically work with our clients in three areas:
- Develop and implement a sales strategy with all the tools and processes to land big accounts…which we call Elephants.
- Develop and install the sales framework and sales training so the sales team is effective when in front of Elephants.
- Build out your sales management and sales bandwidth capabilities so you have enough of the right people doing enough of the right things in the right way.
The reason for this email was to see if you are open to some new ideas and different perspectives in relation to landing large new business accounts at higher-than-average profit margins.
If it makes sense to talk, how does your calendar look? If not, who is the appropriate person to speak with?
In part 3 of this series we will focus on how you sell value when you get face-to-face with your buying influence in your ideal account.
FREE Resource: I produced a special CONSULTATIVE SELLING CHEAT SHEET that I give my private clients to use. It will help you to have better prospecting conversations with potential new customers. You can download it for free using this link.