Rick Meekins is the Managing Partner at Aepiphanni, a Business Consultancy, an Atlanta, GA based small business consultancy that provides Management Consulting, Implementation and Managed Services to business leaders and entrepreneurs seeking to improve or expand operations.
Going Around the Mountain | Extraordinary Business
Taking the Indirect Route to Increase Business Development Performance
Business and consumers are constantly being bombarded by offers to purchase goods or services that they may or may not need. Regardless, many business leaders focus on the direct sales approach – going directly to the end user and trying to pitch those goods or services and are often pleased with very low turnover rates. This might be through direct emailing, advertising, networking or leveraging social media.
The reality is that many times, taking a direct approach puts people on the offensive. Decision-makers don’t want to be bombarded by sales calls and don’t want to plan their days around people who are simply trying to set up pitch meetings with them. As a result, it appears that the direct approach to sales may not work with every business model in every arena.
If you are consistently experiencing very low conversion ratios and a very ineffective pipeline, you will want to begin to think differently about how you approach business development. Using an indirect route to your business development activities means that you are no longer going to focus on the direct hard sales approach, but rather planning your business development activities out over a longer period of time.
This is the same approach military leaders would take in order to take objectives. They use the element of surprise. They know that the direct approach results in many casualties and is not nearly as effective as using – in their case – the element of surprise.
Traditional business development suggests using a seven (or more) touch approach to getting your prospect’s attention. Wisdom suggests that this is only the first step in the business development process. It must be followed by creating a level of interest, a level of desire and getting them to take action. Nurturing your prospect through the sales process means that this process will take a bit longer and be more involved, but it also means that there is a good fit, and you are not limited to pricing limitations you might experience when using a direct sales approach.
As a result, creation of the indirect route is creation of a business development strategy.
- How can your company use an innovative approach to help your audiences reach their goals or get what they want to get?
- What steps can you take to move prospects from casual observers to taking action to doing business with you?
- How can you increase your close ratio and make your business development activities more efficient?
Aepiphanni Business Consulting: The Business Strategy People is an Atlanta, Georgia based Operations Management and Business Strategy Consulting Firm dedicated to serving the needs of small to medium sized business leaders. We help business leaders DESIGN| CREATE | BUILD extraordinary businesses. We support our clients with financial management, product and service production and delivery, outsourced services management, sales & marketing and business growth. We provide them with a number of flexible solutions to help them reach their goals.
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