On June 11, Market Leadership Journal will be hosting a webinar called Your Foot in the Door. The topic will be on how to get your foot in the door of prospective clients (i.e. to engage) where you otherwise do not have a connection or previous relationship.
When I teach this strategy, one of the points I emphasize is the fact that we must each challenge ourselves to, as I call it, give another person a reason to want to have a conversation with us. They must feel as though they have more to potentially gain than to lose by giving up 20 minutes of their precious time.
Needless to say, this can be a greater challenge for many of us–often greater than we may be willing to admit.
I remember at one point when I was presenting on this strategy to an early morning meeting of our local chapter of the American Marketing Association. During my talk, I was upfront with the attendees that I would be making follow up calls to many of them. Interestingly enough, as I proceeded with my follow up calls the next week, one of those individuals put my skills to the test.
“I appreciated what you had to share last week,” he responded over the phone. “It got me thinking quite a bit about steps I could take for my business. However, I don’t see the point in us meeting, because I really don’t know how we can help each other.”
I appreciated his candor and his position. However, I was able to schedule a visit with him by simply appealing to his logic: we are both business professionals who each must market and sell—a process which requires meeting new people. Further, I agreed with the point of his objection: How could either of us at this time possibly know how we can potentially help each other?
However, this was why I felt we SHOULD meet. But at the same time I think he raised an excellent point. It just reinforces one very basic fact: each of us is very busy, and must often exercise discernment in how we use our time. As you reach out to identify, qualify and meet with new people in your business, you must give them a reason to want to have an in-person conversation with you.
To this end, consider WHY other people have hired you in the past. Most of the time, prospects don’t know what they want in terms of solutions (which is what so many people are talking about). They are focused on the desire for a specific outcome. What were some of these outcomes?
With this in mind, consider that you may offer a consultative visit. By this I mean, “Hey, I’m an expert at helping clients create THESE results. Are you getting these results with your present efforts? If not, let’s have a conversation.”
So this begs the question: what can a prospect GET from a 20-minute conversation with you? Can you offer an objective, third-party analysis of what they are doing right now? Is there some kind of low-cost, yet high value deliverable that you might offer that can educate your prospect on how they may further benefit from your product or service?
These are many questions that are not always easily answered. And the last thing we want to have happen is for you to do is get stuck in “analysis paralysis.” But use your experience with past and current clients, and consider what their problems, challenges and goals were BEFORE they hired you. This may very well point you in the right direction.
And for even further direction, we look forward to you joining us for Your Foot in the Door, and sharing your own questions and challenges on June 11. If you want increased prospect engagement leading to better sales, you will want to be there.