New business development must always be top of mind in business. Often I find too many salespeople acquiesce to the immediate/knee-jerk reaction of a potential client: “We don’t have a need for that right now.” Potential clients say this because they actually don’t know they have a need and/or feel they’re covered.
But many times, they are wrong about that.
Know Their Needs Before They Do
The key to great selling and consulting is to discover the need BEFORE they do, then use it to get their attention.
Here’s how it works:
Through your own due diligence its essential to understand your potential client’s business, what their goals are, what their challenges are, where they are relative to their competitive set and what they must accomplish this year.
Hint: they’ve got to procure new customers too. Between Google, LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter you can discover alot! This is a fun exercise, its like being a business detective.
Know What You Can Do For Them
Synthesize the data you’ve collected and determine what you believe their compelling event is that your product/service answers. Essentially, you’re making the connection between your company and theirs for them. You may be spot-on or you may be a little off.
Present your idea/recommendation to them. Deliver it enthusiastically and genuinely. Stop worrying about being liked or even right, just be respected/heard for the idea you synthesized. It’s the idea you have that credentials you, gets their attention and present you as a potential authority/confidant to them versus a pitcher/dealer of a product. Best of all, your confident when you approach them because you did your homework and truly believe in your solution.
Adapt to Their Reaction
Be flexible. The purpose of this exercise is to get noticed and get the first meeting. The purpose of the first meeting is to get to the second meeting, etc. It’s through your initial discovery that your potential client begins to value this nascent relationship. Allow them to shape your idea, then you become connected together. Once you get their skin-in-the-game, you’ve got an interested client.
Remember, it all started because YOU found the compelling event first. Take control of what happens next by following the path above and, let me know how it goes for you.