I’m having more discussions recently with b2b sales people about how they have no time to find new business opportunities.
Personally, I find this an excuse used often since most sales managers – who have no time – can relate to the lack of time for doing anything else. Thus, the sales managers accept this excuse as a real reason.
Well, again, I feel it is an excuse. An excuse that can limit our sales growth and if you are currently losing a number of customers due to downsizing, mergers, acquisitions, or worst to bankruptcy, then you will have a even larger issue very soon. You will be unable to hit your numbers and people will notice.
So, what should you be doing?
The solution is simple. You need to schedule time – high priority time – each week to do what I call revenue enhancement activities. These activities will keep you focused upon winning new accounts and growing your sales numbers.
Here are some of the things you can do each week…
- Write letters to prospects in your territory or industry you sell. Think about doing this every week to develop a success habit. By the way, handwritten notes and envelopes will get opened – this is a series b2b sales tip and it has been verified by buyers and decision makers who tell me what they open and what they don’t open.
- Make a specific number of phone calls to targets accounts. Now I know this does not get many people excited, however, when you do it right you can get appointments. How do you get it right? Write a script that is specific to their industry issues. Do not talk about your products or services or even your company. Talk about their possible issues and how they can be resolved – using a success story. Oh yes, and be brief.
- Write out a series of scripts for voice mails you can use to get a prospect curious about talking with you. It really does happen – to the people who plan out their actions using their target customers as their focal point of issues to discuss.
- Use the internet to find out what your targeted customer is doing, what they are involved in, and how their company is doing – watch for industry trends or specific innovations impacting an industry. All of these can be used to open a dialogue with a key targeted executive.
- Have a list of targeted accounts that you carry with you everywhere you go. I know this sounds corny, yet, I have found having my list, which I re-write each month allows me to keep these targets at a top of mind awareness level. Due to this extra awareness, I recognize opportunities to meet people involved with these targeted accounts. This allows for instinct recognition and attention to detail which leads to action being taken while the window of opportunity is open. Take advantage of situations to gain an advantage.
- Bonus Tip: Watch the society pages for announcements of sponsorships or board participation by a key person on your list. As an example, recently I noticed an executive’s name and his daughter had been selected to an important association. I sent him an email asking about him about his daughter and got an immediate phone call as a father who was proud of his daughter would do. This opened the door for business discussions shortly after our first discussion.
Now there is one thing I was assuming you already know and are using in your business development activities. This assumption is – that you have an Ideal Customer Profile. If you do not have this very important step done, then do it first before any of the points above.
Hunting for new business is a success habit. Habits need to be exercised just like a muscle needs to be exercised to remain strong and flexible. Develop a strong success habit for finding new business and join the ranks of the b2b Sales Superstars.