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!
There are a number of factors to account for when preparing yourself and your company to pursue the largest clients you’ll ever work with. Today, we’re going to begin with a brief look at the three paths every business faces and identify which one is the path to your long-term success. Then, we’ll explore the mindset it takes to attract the larger VIP clients.
There are three major paths a business can take:
- Snail Speed
- Shooting Star
- Catch the Big Fish
Most business owners ended up working themselves into the ground without much reward or success. This is what happens when you fool yourself into thinking you will find quick success. You may also find yourself along this path when you are afraid of change.
This describes a business that shoots to the top so fast you are overwhelmed and don’t have the right resources in place to adapt. This can also happen from being overloaded by small clients and not taking the time to find large clients, which will sustain your business after the small client sales slow.
Catch the Big Fish
This is the path that allows you to build at a steady pace that you can manage by not allowing your customers to outpace you. You can do this by putting these tips to work:
- Attract, keep, and lock in big clients.
- Integrate “big business” culture into your company and employees.
- Acquire the expertise you need to grow.
- Have the courage to make changes as you grow.
Next, we are going to transition a bit and talk about the “big fish” mindset. It may sound easy to just find and catch that big fish, but if you are stuck in the small business mindset, you may find it harder than you think.
Think of all the benefits of aiming at bigger clients:
- Highly Profitable
In order to catch the big fish, you need to believe your company can make a difference with theirs.
It’s easy to get into the thought that a large company doesn’t need anything from a small business like yours, but this is entirely wrong!
Once you take a look at how big companies operate, it’s important to know which ones are the best fit with your company. One of the best ways to get in the door is by knowing someone on the inside who can put in a good word for you.
If you’re not sure where to start and feel a little intimidated about catching big fish, try out our e-Learning Marketing System for amazing advice on lead generation, marketing outreach, sales enablement, and customer care. We can help you land legit larger clients before you know it.
In our last post, we talked about the first secret to building a solid customer service plan and how to decide what your vision is.
Today, we’ll talk about the second secret in transforming your satisfied customers to raving fans. To do so, you must know what your customers want. If you know who your customers are, you will know better how to serve them. Demographics are really important here. For instance, an upper-class woman in her 30’s is going to have completely different expectations than a working class man in his 50’s.
There are four main areas you need to consider and plan when determining what your customers want:
- Listen to Your Customers
- Ask Your Customers Sincerely
- Offer More than Just a Product/Service
- Know When to Ignore Them
These are all important when deciding what your customers want out of their evaluation, shopping, customer onboarding, ongoing marketing outreach, and service experience with your company.
Listen to Your Customers
You need to listen to both what they say and what they don’t say. Customers may say they want one thing and really mean something else. For example, if you customers are begging for lower prices, you may find out their real priority is quick delivery.
Also, listen to your “silent” customers. These are the customers that don’t bother to complain because the service is so awful they’ve just given up and don’t even feel like their voice matters. They feel unwanted and when a competitor shows up, they’ll be gone before you know it.
Lastly, you need to listen to customers who only reply with “fine”. These customers are similar to the “silent” customers in that they are so used to poor customer service they only give a monotone response.
Ask Your Customers Sincerely
If you aren’t sincere when you ask their opinion, they are going to see right through you. You may be thinking, “What about the customers who aren’t saying anything?” You need to ask them sincere questions that get them thinking about their experiences. Make them feel like you really care, and you should!
Offer More than Just a Product/Service
Your customers are looking for much more than a simple product or service. Rather, they are looking for an end-to-end customer experience that makes them feel good. They gauge every step of the marketing, sales, and service process with a value. When you take this into consideration and treat them like people, they will feel like they belong.
Know When to Ignore Them
You may think this goes beyond providing good customer service, but in reality you can’t give them everything and there are some prospects and customers that you will never make happy. You have to set limits and stick to them.
If your vision and company don’t meet the needs of the customer, they really are best suited somewhere else. This may be tough for you to accept when you are in start-up mode and aggressively trying to grow your business, but the more mature organizations successfully scale by only working with their ideal customer profile. They don’t waste time trying to please everyone. Though your intentions may be good, it’s just not possible and practical. Instead, go all out and consistently over-deliver to your current customer base and distinct target market. That’s much more sustainable and will give you far more peace of mind and much less headaches along your growth trajectory and customer journey.
These are the steps and tricks to figuring out what your customers want and how you can use them to formulate, refine, and solidify your customer service vision and plan.
If you get stuck, be sure to leverage our business breakthrough expertise and business elevation coaching services. Let us help you through the process to improve not just your client service, but also your entire customer experience.
Today I’m going to talk about the life cycle of a business and how to get the most out of each cycle while also extending the lifespan of your business.
The four different stages of a business life cycle are:
- Growing Pains
We’ll talk a little about what each of these cycles means and how they can each help expand your business’ lifespan.
This is generally considered the technician’s phase, which is the owner. At this point, the relationship between the business and the owner is that of a parent and new baby. There is an impenetrable bond that is necessary to determine the path your business will follow. The key is to know your business must grow in order to flourish. You cannot stay in this stage forever.
In this stage you need to start bringing your support staff together to delegate to and allow growth to happen. The first line of defense is your technician, as he or she needs to bring a certain level of technical experience. However, this cycle really belongs to the manager. Intense long-term planning needs to start and accelerate, and a relationship should be built with the entrepreneur to plan for the future.
There’s a point in every business when business explodes and becomes chaotic. This is referred to as growing pains. It’s a good problem to have, but a problem nonetheless. You are often faced with a number of choices:
- Avoid growth and stay small
- Go broke
- Push forward into the next cycle
The last cycle is maturity, though this doesn’t mean the end of your business. Your passion for growth must continue in order for your business to succeed. You need to keep an entrepreneurial perspective in order to push your business forward.
You see how all four of these cycles are connected and depend on a strong foundation for each one of them for your business to be and continue to be successful. All three of your key roles must also work together to navigate and advance through these cycles.
If you’re having trouble putting together your business life cycles and figuring out which of the key roles you fit into, try our GUIDED TOUR and work with one of our amazing coaches.
Today I’d like to chat about the different types of support staff you need and what makes them so important. There are essentially three key roles that need to be filled to set your business up for success:
- The Technician
- The Manager
- The Entrepreneur
All of these roles need to be played simultaneously by different people with the right talents. It’s all about balance.
This person represents the present and all that needs to be done for the physical aspects of the business building process. They are the “doer”. This is usually the most visible person of the entire operation.
This person represents the past and works to fix problems through learning from past mistakes. They are the practical side of the business and is in charge of putting together the business and overseeing the planning.
This person represents the future and the vision for the business. They are responsible for the creative side of the business and are always considering ways to enhance products/service, business image, branding and more.
All three of these characters are essential in the success of any business. To build a solid foundation from the start, you need to work harder to find the right people to put in these roles. Obviously, you need to be one of these key people, but ensure you find the role that fits your skills and talents, not necessarily what you THINK you should be doing.
This may be a hard process for you as you will need to relinquish some control over the business and instill trust in people to allow them to do their jobs.
Remember, our business coaches can help you through this entire process and teach you how to avoid falling victim to e-myths when you try our GUIDED TOUR.