3 Simple Strategies To Win New Business
About a month ago, had a potential client reach out to me (and about 78 other speakers) regarding a motivational keynote speaking opportunity. Okay, he really did not reach out to me, it was more like a blanket call for speaking proposals, a rather impersonal request. He was a member of an association planning their annual conference, and they needed an opening motivational keynote speaker and one to close the event. Now, truth be told, this is the type of request I typically ignore, because it is a lot of effort to be put into a pile, where there is a slim chance at best you may be chosen.
However, this even intrigued me for a number of reasons. The association was one I had not spoken for before but I worked quite a bit in the industry, the audience was my target market, I love the position of opening or closing keynote speaker, and to top it all off they were holding their meeting in an amazing city. So, without hesitation, I filled out the request for proposal and threw my hat in the ring.
Then the waiting began, and I waited, and I waited and I waited. Two weeks down the road, and truly no surprise, I had not heard a thing; no email saying thank you we are reviewing your information, no call to set up a time to talk, not so much as a thank you we are not interested. Now, I have to admit, while on some level I expected this, and this was exactly why my gut told me not to apply, I was feeling a little frustrated, a little rejected and a little disappointed that I did not get as much “we chose another speaker” email.
I went back to the proposal to look for a contact name, thinking perhaps I could send a follow-up email, give them a little nudge that I am interested. No such luck! I looked all over the proposal request, and there was only a generic email and the contact name of the person (no phone or email) of the person sending the request. Thank goodness for Google; taking the contact name I started searching for any and all contact information on him, as he related to the association, that I could find.
After about an hour I found what I needed. While I found no email, I did find the name of his business and his phone number. Searching further, I faced the fact that his email was nowhere to be found; not on his LinkedIn profile, his business website, not on the association site.
Now I have to stop here and admit something embarrassing for a sales coach and business expert to admit: I do not like the telephone, I am one of those people who is perfectly comfortable emailing, sending direct mail, and oh so comfortable talking to people in person, but the phone that is a different story. For some reason I feel like, with the phone, I am bothering people, being pushy and intrusive. With that said, I may not like it, but I do it. Why? Because a simple phone call yields far more return on investment than an email or direct mail, and can accomplish in a quarter of the time what in person meetings can do.
Truly interested in this job, and armed with my contact’s phone number, I picked up the phone and gave him a call. As luck would have it (really I was happy), I got his voice mail, so I simply left a message letting him know who I was, why I was calling, and that I knew he was busy, but I just wanted him to know I am interested and would love to talk about the opportunity. I was shocked–within 15 minutes he called me back.
And while that was impressive in and of itself, he went on to share that he was so glad that I had called, as he was overwhelmed with speaker applications, and being that I called I was now at the front of the pack. Editorial note here: I was now at the front of the pack simply because I had called. We went on to have a great conversation. I learned a lot about him and the organization, what they were looking for, and the speakers they had used in the past. We laughed a lot, connected on some important issues, and we closed the conversation with his promise to put my request on top for his committee to review.
Within a week, I got the call that the job was mine! The reason he shared was “because you made this so, so easy when you called.” Wow! Now while I am sure that they reviewed my website, looked at my speaking topics, and reviewed some of my videos, all I could think about was Woody Allen and his definition of success, that “80 percent of success in life is just showing up.”
Simply because I “showed up”, reached out and followed up, I went to the head of the line, and closed the deal. In today’s economy you have to be good at what you do, or you don’t even get to play in the game, but that is not enough. If you want to win in this economy, you have to show up, you have to take action. Kind of makes me wonder, how many more jobs could I win, how many do I lose, and how often does it come down to simply showing up?
3 Strategies You Need To Simply Show Up & Win New Business
- – Personal Touch – showing up is really just about taking action, being willing to go that extra step and do what others are not willing to do. In today’s crowded marketplace, it is all about standing out and getting above the white noise. Emails are great for contact, follow-up and nailing down meeting times and details, but a phone call or meeting gives it that personal touch. A phone call allows you to connect in ways that other technology does not – tone of voice, energy level of and quality of conversation.
- – Energy In – this is your first impression taken to another level. When you make the call or hold that in person meeting, you give your proposal, resume or sales pitch personality. So take the time to think about who you want your prospect to meet, how you want to come across and what impression you want to make. Then think about how you will make that meeting about them, not about you. Talking about our prospects infuses energy in; talking about ourselves sucks their energy out.
- – Never Close the Door – follow-up and showing up is not a one-time event, it is a never ending process. Just because your prospect does not respond on the first go round, or you do not win the business does not mean the end of the relationship. Never close the door on a good relationship, because you need to remember that timing is everything. Sometimes you are not the right fit at this time, or the product you offer is not the most urgently needed, but that does not mean the relationship ends or is over. It means that you need to continue to simply show-up!
What kind of strategies have you employed to win new business? Leave a comment and let us know.
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