The revenue you seek is under your nose.
Right there on your computer, in a stack on your desk and right there. Look, now!
Oftentimes, from a sales and marketing perspective focus is put on raising awareness to people and businesses that you do not know yet.
This is not wrong. You need to keep on ‘filling the funnel’, right?
However, more often than not, businesses have assets in the form of contact information right in front of them. Piles of business cards, excel lists, CRM databases, address books and just about any other place where a name and contact details can be written.
You wouldn’t be the first person to have a ‘messy’ database full of contacts that have fallen into the depths of the unknown and are being neglected like a pair of old socks in the bottom of the draw.
People often ask me how I grew a business unit by 400% in 6 months. Truth be told, it started with looking within the business, what we already had and who we already knew. Other activity was a part of the strategy but I needed a starting point.
You don’t start training for a marathon by running a marathon first to see how well you do, or if you will survive. Right?
There are plenty of businesses that will take your money in exchange for the opportunity to generate leads and interest in your product(s)/service(s). Prior to engaging in the activity that while enticing, exciting and ‘glamorous’, start with assessing who you know.
“Information is at the heart of any marketing activity. Not only that: it’s also the basis on which a company’s marketing either succeeds or fails“. Regis McKenna
How to Turn Who You Know Into Paying Advocates for Your Business
Regardless of where the information came from or where it is stored the system remains the same. And, yes, it involves processes that can be repeated and scaled to help your business move towards predictable success.
I know. Processes. ‘Yuck’. Hardly the glamour of sales and marketing that you might expect from watching Mad Men!
I break this systematic approach into three sections.
1. Refining To Define
I suggest starting by addressing what you want to achieve. Hopefully dollars! In addition, a platform for future success. Areas to review include:
· Goals and Key Performance Indicators – Be realistic in your goal setting. I’m sure the ultimate goal is early retirement and a life of sipping fruity cocktails out of coconut shells on the beach (or is that just me?!). Be rational and set a goal(s) that are within reach. Then set out identifying the factors that contribute toward achieving the outcome. This is your key performance indicators (e.g. number of appointments) that are leading measures meaning you are in a position to proactively modify behavior in line with real time results.
· How you use CRM – Using CRM as a strategy, a hub for sales, marketing customer service and more, empowers you to have the information important to you and your business at your fingertips. Sure, personalization of fields and the information tracked is your decision. Ultimately, it will help you define who you know into segments of qualified prospects.
· The Sales Process – Ensuring you have the materials and resources to hand, a linear sales process and robust follow up process is a key component to moving these people from names to paying advocates.
2. Who You Want To Know
Just because you have a gazillion names on a piece of paper doesn’t mean you necessarily want to know them all. Clarity on who you want to spending valuable time with in sales conversations is the desired outcome. Areas to address in this component include:
· Your ideal client and target market profiles – Be clear on what these people/businesses look like and what common characteristics they share. Having transparency on this, and being ruthless, will afford you the opportunity to pre-qualify prospects before taking them too far through the sales process. When I say pre-qualify, I suggest noting what attributes they must have to be qualified targets.
· Maximizing your assets – It is likely that you may have uncovered additional businesses that could become assets to your business as partners. In identifying your network you are in a position to build better relations with those that can help you reach your goals.
The importance of qualification can’t be emphasized enough. When I ask someone the question; “Who is your target market?” I hear all too often; “Anyone”. I don’t know anyone, but I do know someone…be specific.
3. Hunting & Gathering
No, I’m not making references to prehistoric culture. It’s reference in how to distinguish between how to have relevant compelling messages that will resonate with your defined market(s) of interest AND how to maximize the opportunities of success from sales conversations.
In gathering prospects that have shown an understanding of your offer AND indicated a desire to learn more create a message that is Relevant Interesting Timely and Entertaining (R.I.T.E), state clearly the BIG offer you’re making and the subsequent features and benefits.
In hunting, well, this is a HUGE topic. However, given the people you will be having sales conversations with are those that you know in some capacity think about how best to convert them to clients by asking the simple question; “Are you ready to move forward?” If everything else has been done well, their questions answered and they feel comfortable then this question is all that is should take to get a verbal buy in.
Now it’s Your Turn
This in approximately 100 words is an overview of parts of a complex system that has been tried, tested and refined over the last 10+ years for businesses across different industries and different continents.
The power of information and the value attached to a single email address means that your assets can be converted into dollars. Dollars that you wouldn’t have had otherwise.
See if you are sitting on some un-cashed revenue.
Michael has lived and worked in four continents, done business all over the world through a 12 year sales and marketing career. During this time he has helped launch new business units, lead and train sales teams and been responsible for growing businesses through front line sales and marketing. He is a self-proclaimed dog lover, wine appreciator and out of practice musician!
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