There has been a lot of talk around the sensitivity of approaching people for new business during these current times. You will inevitably have your own feelings about the viability of prospecting, yet the reality is that businesses still need to keep doing business and this means that finding new customers is a non-negotiable part of sustaining your organisation.
With this said, my contribution to this discussion is based less around whether you “should” be selling in these times and instead focuses on “how” you could be winning new business right now.
Before we talk methodology, let’s first understand a time tested process that is easily forgotten.
Your goal therefore is not to find customers, instead it is to start conversations with chosen people that allow you to build trust, develop relationships and explore the possibilities of doing business.
Starting conversations can be a lot, lot easier if you use one of these methods as a catalyst.
Historically, a great way of getting the attention of others is being one of a handful of people that recognize a key achievement in their world that stumbled across your line of sight. Perhaps the winning of an award, the achieving of a milestone or securing a large and important contract or partnership.
Adding to these time-tested methods is the ability to use your own authority to award merit. Think about the brilliance you have witnessed by businesses that have evolved, pivoted and found ways to prosper through current events. Then take the time to rain your personal opinion of their brilliance on them.
Outside of the sound of one’s own name, possibly the other sequence of words that is almost always going to capture their attention are the words “thank you”. Gratitude is contagious and taking the time to practice gratitude can deliver epic results.
Thanking people for their time, business and partnership are all “table stakes” in this example.
An approach of creating excellence means thinking a little bigger and inserting more of yourself into your appreciation. Who are the loyal supporters of your work that you can do a better job of saying thank you to? Perhaps it’s even a long term referral partner that has introduced you countless opportunities and you have failed to genuinely show your appreciation.
An invite always outperforms an ask. Sure, you can invite people to meet or to review their current needs for your product or service. You can also invite your prospects to do much, much more. Consider how you can add value to your network by inviting connections to meet each other, perhaps you could invite prospects to view a document, attend a webinar or read a case study.
A special note
Each of these 3 keys are enhanced in effectiveness when you insert increased levels of SINCERITY. Sincerity is increased by adding specificity to your outreach, by choosing the perfect communication medium and adding more of your own emotion into it.