One simple thing you can do to help you become the GURU in any industry…and stay in touch with prospects at the same time

Mar 5th, 2012 | By | Category: Become an Expert in Your Field

By: Jay Wallus

Every morning, as I stand in line (with way too many other people by the way) for a cup of coffee at Dunkin’ Donuts – I hear it over and over again: “Anything else?” asks the woman behind the counter in her somewhat broken English. Another customer, another “Anything else?” as she’s ringing them up. Finally, it’s my turn – “I’ll take a large French vanilla ice, skim milk, one sugar – extra light”, I shout over the 3 people in front of me.  Even as she’s walking away, she’s asking me those wonderful two words – “Anything else?” She doesn’t care if I’ve purchased a bottled water, Coolatta, or a dozen bagels – even if I’ve said no a thousand times before, she keeps asking and I absolutely love it.

So many times, I see businesses and the sales people who sell for them missing out on countless opportunities because they never tell clients about all of the other things that they can do for them. Think about your own business – how many times have you talked to a client and neglected to ask them “Anything else?”. If your answer is not at least once a month – you’ve got a big problem. Here’s a perfect example, I have a salesperson that actually takes the time to stop by our office about once a month and leave us flyers on specials that his company is having. What’s wrong with that you ask? Nothing – except that he never asks us to buy anything – ever! (details,details…)

For those of you out there who don’t regularly ask “Anything else?” I want to share with you a process that will fix that, as well as have new prospects qualify themselves and show you how to follow through so that no one falls through the cracks.

Now I know that there are tons of ways to get new business – but I’ve found that business development in itself works best when it’s driven from a structured process that leaves no room for “winging it”. Also, new business development is a lot easier if you have two very important things done for you ahead of time – namely:

  • Having you or your company perceived as the industry expert.
  • Having prospects qualify themselves.

The first step in our process will help us accomplish the above objectives:

  1. Take the time to build/write an informational product that solves a particular problem that your target market is having. For example, a business-banking officer might write a paper titled “The 5 biggest reasons why businesses get turned down when applying for a line of credit- and how to avoid them.” This paper establishes the credibility of our banking officer and it also qualifies any potential prospects. You can probably expect the only people who are interested in reading the report are ones who have been turned down for a line of credit or the ones who are thinking about a line of credit. This is also where the “Anything else?” part comes in. Inside of this paper – as in the content – you’re going to suggest all of the other services/products that can also be used in conjunction with a credit line. Get it?

  1. Once the paper is requested from your office/handed out at a target market industry event, there are a series of well thought our phone calls/letters/email communications – written ahead of time – that get made/sent out at certain intervals to stay on top of the potential client.

  • Phone calls: They have to be made come hell or high water – whether you’re busy or not. This will start our lead generation and give us the ability to take the prospects temperature. After all if we don’t speak with the prospect how can we know what’s happening? It’s very important that you take the time to write the call with bullet points so that the people in charge of business development can look at the script (so they don’t miss anything) and put it in their own words. There’s nothing worse than listening to a canned sales pitch.

  • Snail mail letters: These letters need to be written about how you solved a specific problem with a client  – a client that’s just like them. People relate to others who are similar to them. Now, just like the phone calls – I suggest that the letters be put in bullet format. The business people that you’re writing to don’t have a lot of time to spare, so give them the ability to take a quick glance and get the point.

  • Email communications: The email communications can be your e-newsletter, a flash presentation or even a personal email written to them about how you helped yet another client in their industry solve a problem. I have found that when used properly email communications can be an extremely effective way to communicate with potential clients – if and only if – they know about you. Hence – the informational product. Other than that, your material is probably going to get deleted.

  • Certain intervals: Now this really depends on your own sales cycle. I suggest that you put your first call in no later than five business days after the prospect has received your informational product. Now, whether or not you connect with them on the first call is the next big hurdle that needs to be jumped. I recommend putting in at least three phone calls and if you don’t hear back after that, put them on an ongoing campaign of emails every 30 to 45 days. If you do connect – then during your conversation you must “slot” them so that you can then determine your intervals of communications – the more interested the higher the frequency of communication and the less interested – you get the point.

If you really think about it, there are a few elements in this process that some salespeople follow – although they’re not aware of it. That’s exactly the problem, most of the time it’s inconsistent at best (read: they’re winging it) and it’s never spelled out so that the people responsible for developing business can follow it over and over again. Let’s be perfectly honest here, whatever the reason – your sales will never truly reach their potential until you put a process together to bring in new business/ask for additional business from existing clients (Anything else?) and have it followed all the time.

After all, what do the people at Dunkin’ Donuts know, they’ve only been offered BILLIONS of dollars to sell their company recently. That’s billions with a capital B!

– Jay Wallus

Jay Wallus is the President and founder of Street Smart – The business development solutions company.

He can be reached by email at jwallus@streetsmarttraining.com

He can be reached by email at jwallus@streetsmarttraining.com

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