In yesterday’s post I wrote about list building, as my children diligently work to increase their marketing reach – but how exactly do you grab the attention of new people?
The best way to make an immediate connection is to have something of value to offer. In the case of my children, they are offering a way to avoid having to think too hard about what to do for the holidays (in this case, what to give a loved one for Valentine’s Day). Having a handy picture of the treats they sell makes this possible. Originally my daughter wanted to just list the items, but a picture is worth a thousand words, and the emotional impact of seeing delicious chocolate does wonders for the person considering a purchase. They must to be able to picture what they are paying for – in fact you want them to be able to picture the experience of handing this gift to their loved one, and receiving praise for having done something really special.
Connecting with a businessperson is no different. Everyone is looking to succeed in what they are already doing; they are not thinking about helping you make your number. Do you see the difference? I think more sales people are out there expecting people to drop what they are doing in order to take a look at some new products or services. This isn’t the way busy people operate. They all have jobs; busy jobs; demanding jobs. No one has time to stop and take a look, and no one really cares about helping you make your number, at least at this point in the relationship. So what do you have that helps them? Find out what they are doing and then join them in helping achieve it.
I was talking with a client the other day about partnering with a certain manufacturer. We were discussing the value of some of these relationships, and comparing them to the lack of value in other reseller relationships. I mentioned another client of mine who has no full time sales people. “How do they do it?”, he asked. They are getting leads from their primary vendor partner. “How?” he pressed. “They have become the go-to provider in this city,” I answered. We then went on to talk through some of his partners. His technical group has made most of the decisions, purely on features, as to what they sell, but this is not the only qualification. Vendor partners need to be just that, partners. In order for that to happen, you must find out what they are doing and join them. Find out what their numbers are, where they are making their money, and where they are missing. Then help them figure out how to solve this problem. Join them by putting together a joint plan to fill in the missing piece. An immediate connection is made when this happens.
Do the same with businesses that you aim to call on.
If you work on the vendor side (for instance, as a channel manager), the same would be true in recruiting strong partners. Find out what they working to build, and if you can somehow get involved to help them build their vision, you just might become the product they lead with. Connecting with people is a simple process of finding out what they are doing, and joining them to help them achieve their goals. When it fits within your vision, it works, when it doesn’t, the partnership or relationship just doesn’t make sense.
© 2012, David Stelzl