In the last post, we covered negotiating with your big fish and how to nurture and build on the relationships you are creating. Today, we’ll explore the power your fish has and how to utilize that for your benefit.
One of the most important aspects of this is to keep your cheerleader cheering. This refers to the champion you created in the company. He or she needs to stay loyal to you so you can continue a profitable partnership with your fish. You can keep your ally going by offering or doing a number of things to show appreciation. Examples include:
- Share the limelight.
- Help them thank their company with new products and services.
- Emotionally connect them to your company.
- Know when to leave them alone.
- Keep your “family” happy.
- Stay on the front lines.
Now that you have some ideas on how to build solid relationships, you need to seek out people with whom to cultivate these relationships. These alliances will help you get bigger clients that stay with you forever. You can often get in the door by offering them something in exchange for something they need, such as:
- Better work experience
These are all great ways to feed your alliance. Additionally, you need to go into a relationship considering the things a big fish can offer you besides money. These can include:
- The opportunity for your business to expand.
- The opportunity to learn from the experience and find ways to grow.
- The opportunity to improve your processes, systems, and other means of doing business.
These are some of the best ways to keep your alliances going strong and your partnerships fresh and content.
Lastly, thank you for your continued readership of the RevSherpas Growth Academy blog and for diligently following along our blueprint and extended case study and blueprint for pursuing, landing, and partnering with the big fish.
Don’t forget to also follow our other blog on our main company page, too!
Continuing with our case study of how to land the “big fish,” we are now about to enter our first face to face meeting with the”Larger than Life” prospect. First, there are a few things you need to do and consider to be as prepared as possible:
- Make a list of what you want to accomplish during the meeting.
- Anticipate potential concerns from the prospect.
- Check to make sure you are completely prepared.
- Listen more than you talk.
- Bring support staff with you.
- Use and respect the prospect’s format.
- Always follow through.
- Ask for what you need and seal the deal.
- Simplify your prospect’s life.
- Find ways to boost your credibility.
- Build and nurture relationships.
- Learn from “no”. Find out what didn’t work so you know how to change it for the next time.
These are all important things to do both before and during your presentation. With confidence behind your company and product, you will catch that big fish.
The next step of the process is negotiation. This can seem a little intimidating, but with a few tips and tricks, it can become natural to you.
Here are some tips to help you negotiate successfully:
- Build a pricing strategy and stick with it.
- Prioritize what you plan to offer. This should include what really matters to you and what you are willing to give in on.
- Don’t give in too quickly.
- Negotiate with a person, not a “company”. Don’t let their answer be that they would like to, but can’t.
- Don’t sell yourself short.
- Mitigate your pricing. If you go to low you won’t be able to raise it back up and you need to make a profit.
- Don’t sacrifice quality for the deal.
- Your services should always count as costs.
- Boost margins with add-ons.
- Handle requests for proposals (RFPs) with the utmost care.
These are the ways you make sure that both parties are getting the best possible buying experience and outcome from the partnership. Once you start meeting or working together, it’s important to continue to build your relationship so that that the representative becomes a big ally of yours. That way, he or she is more likely to vouch for you and build on the partnership you have with their company.
We like to call this person a “champion.” They are a champion for your company and can bring a stronger, brighter future to your company. Typically, a great champion exhibits the following characteristics:
- Respected by supervisors
- Socially networked
- Thinks in the best interest of the long run of her company
- Able to quickly navigate through the company to get things done
- Willing to give credit to another person
- Shares the same business philosophy, values, and vision as you
Now, that you know how to negotiate for what is best for both parties and leverage that relationship with your champion, we’re going to talk about how to best use your fish’s power to your benefit.
If you need help with any of the negotiation or courting processes, take a look at our RevSherpas Growth Academy E-Learning Marketing platform to get access to a wealth of great tools and resources to help you grow your business and be more successful. Many consider it to be an “MBA in a box” and there is no other offering on the market like it.
In our previous blog, we talked about successfully reaching, meeting in person, and making a tremendous first impression with your “big fish” prospect. Now, we’re going to explore how to uncover the personality of your prospective big fish so that you can quickly and properly match the right salesperson with the prospect.
To do so, you need to follow two steps:
- Profile your salespeople’s personalities.
- Match the right salesperson to your target fish.
Essentially, there are three different selling personalities:
- The Sage
- The Pal
- The Pit Bull
This salesperson offers knowledge, experience, comfort, and trust. He or she can make a concerned customer feel at ease. In order to be successful, he or she needs plenty of information, a demo of the product/service, references, and case studies, if possible.
Much like it sounds, this is a sales rep that shines at building relationships. This type of salesperson can instantly relate to the prospective client and make them seem like old friends in no time. He or she works best with clients who are looking for friendship, information, and in a similar peer group as the salesperson. This can include anything from age and culture to hobbies and nightlife.
While sharing experiences can be beneficial to creating a new relationship, your salesperson must always keep it professional and dignified. Once this personality match is found, it will be important for sales management to provide ample entertainment (or schmoozing) budget and product/technical support to appropriately meet the client’s needs.
The Pit Bull
Clearly, this personality type is a little more aggressive than the others. This salesperson is all about business and the bottom line. While this may seem harsh to a lot of people, there is a set of business people out there that want the same thing. They respect someone who can get down to business and the benefits of a partnership. This salesperson will need to be trusted with a little authority as they will likely be closing deals on the spot. They’ll need plenty of resources and access to products and services. They are best placed in environments where they can work independently, exercise their authoritative discretion, and seal deals quickly.
These can all be successful when each is used in the right selling environment. You can easily see how matching the right salesperson for the client can secure larger and longer contracts. Failure to do so will result in the prospect becoming overwhelmed, dissatisfied, or dazed and confused, and potentially lead to lost deals.
If you need help figuring out which of your sales personnel fit into these three areas, please contact us to schedule your initial complimentary business development strategy session. We’ll help you kick it into high gear and get your big fish plan in action!
Our last post detailed how to learn about your “big fish” and prepare for the first contact you’ll make with them. This first contact is essential to your success. You need to instill confidence in them. They need to know you can fulfill exactly what you are offering on time, at a good price, and at the high-quality level you promise.
Today, we’ll dive into the big approach and how to make that perfect first impression. Before you put together your approach plan, you need to choose which big fish you’re going after. Take a look at your notes and the research you’ve done about prospective fish. Then decide which one will be the easiest approach to start out with.
There are a series of things to go through in choosing which fish to start with. They are:
- Compile Your Hit List
- Select the Best Target
- Position Your Business
Compile Your Hit List
Start with a list of all the companies you’ve been considering. Then, narrow it down to the ones you know could use your products or services. Don’t overlook obvious choices, whether they are big or small. Remember, even small companies could be big fish in the future.
Select the Best Target
Once you’ve got your list narrowed down, you need to decide which one is the best fish to start with. You need to consider a couple of things:
- Which have the most purchasing resources to spend?
- Does their company vision complement yours?
- What are their employee incentive programs as they relate to your products/services?
- What’s the company’s real need for you?
- Will the partnership lead you off-course?
Position Your Business
You need to be crystal clear on your market-dominating position, your USP, how you intend to prioritize and serve the larger client(s), and what everyone’s role is on the deal pursuit team.
The more prepared you are for the upcoming calls and meetings with the big fish the better. Lack of preparation at any stage of the pre-sales or sales cycle will immediately cause the larger prospect to think, “That don’t impress me much!” a la Shania Twain in the late 90s and eliminate you from contention. It is 2020 after all, so get in the game and get after it…
Assuming you now have a target prospect in mind to pursue and you’re approach is locked in, it’s time to execute your plan.
Here’s the step-by-step plan to help you make a good first impression:
- Build and analyze your database. Divide your leads into three different categories: hot leads, great fits, and secondary leads.
- Send out introductory mailings to your target to introduce yourself and your company’s services, products, and vision. They need to be short, clean, and concise.
- Follow up with your first phone call 2-3 days after they would have received the mailings. During the phone call, find out whom you need to be speaking with in the future and try to set up a meeting with the right person.
- Follow up your phone call with another mailing that thanks them for taking the time to speak with you and offer more details about your products/services. Use this letter as an opportunity to set up a meeting to do a presentation.
- Follow up the letter with another phone call a couple of days after they would have received the letter. This phone call is to help you further develop your relationship with the prospective client. You should also be able to set up a
presentation meeting with them.
- Call again a week later if they haven’t agreed to a meeting or presentation. Ask if they received your creative letter (the second one) and if they have a minute when you can stop by and introduce yourself in person.
Now, don’t be upset if you don’t seal the deal right away. Some people simply take a little longer to woo. This can all be a little intimidating at first, but when you know you are offering a quality product/service, you can’t go wrong. Once you’ve gone through this process and make the first contact (and hopefully a good first impression) it’s time to put your best salesperson or team forward to seal the deal.
If you need help putting together your approach to make a good first impression, our customer experience strategists and revenue growth acceleration coaches can help you formulate your initial prospecting and ongoing follow-up campaigns. Additionally, the RevSherpas Growth Academy gives you and your team access to a wealth of innovative business growth strategies and industry-tailored advertising tools and templates to streamline your sales processes, shorten sales cycles, and boost revenues.
What are you waiting for? Land the big fish TODAY and elevate your business or practice to the top with RevSherpas!
In our previous blog entry, we touched on how to bring the big-company mindset to your small business and your team. This will help you overcome the mental obstacles that will impede you from being successful.
Now, that you’ve learned how to overcome that, we’re going to talk about who your ideal “big fish” or client is. It’s important to know about the fish you are pursuing before you put a target acquisition plan together.
We’re also going to take a moment to discuss the potential “red tape” you may encounter along the way.
The most important thing to know about your fish is their purchasing habits, preferences, timelines, and procedures. On that note, there are four main areas of their procurement cycle you need to focus on in order to be successful:
- Responsibilities: You need to know who has influence over purchasing, who does the actual buying, and who can destroy a deal if they want.
- Get on Their List: You need to know how to get on their preferred vendor list. Your name needs to not only be on this list, but also at the top of it and in as many categories as possible to increase the odds of more sales opportunities and conversions. Be sure to ask about a procurement program and what you need to do to go through the preferred vendor application process.
- Lingo: You need to learn the company’s unique language and communications methods. These could include report names, buzzwords, and even the nicknames they have for their employees.
- Fiscal Budgets: It’s essential that you know the fish’s fiscal year-end and allotted budget, so you know exactly when they are planning their expenses for the year.
Now that we’ve talked a little about what you need to know about your fish, let’s a quick look at the “red tape”. Bureaucracy might as well be a four-letter word with the negative emotions it stirs in all of us. Red tape is a necessary evil, but one you can use to learn from. There are two ways to learn from their system:
- Analyze their activity.
- Review their correspondence.
Being an outsider looking in can have its advantages too. If you hate dealing with the “red tape”, imagine how their employees feel dealing with it. If they need to crunch some numbers, offer to do it. If they need more info to build their business case or secure executive buy-in or investment committee approval, make sure you are giving it to them in a user-friendly way.
Lastly, don’t underestimate how time-intensive and detailed the final leg of the procurement cycle for a big fish can be. It’s critical that you prepare in advance and respond as quickly as possible to any last-minute due diligence requests. If you need help with improving your negotiation skills or crafting a more unique market-dominating position and more compelling sales strategy to close more deals with larger clients, enroll today in our RevSherpas Growth Academy or contact us to schedule a free business development strategic consultation.