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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

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Building the List

January 25, 2012 — Leave a comment

Two of my children have started a business selling holiday baked goods (note: these are their pies!)  Valentines Day is right around the corner, so it’s a good time to be marketing chocolate and cookies, or anything family members might gravitate toward, to express appreciation to each other.  But how do my children build their call list?  The food is great (see picture), but getting the word out is difficult.  “It’s a process of list building,” I tell them.  “If you spend all of your time in the kitchen, experimenting with truffles and flavors, you’ll never sell anything”.  But, no matter what I say, their tendency is to spend their time on the part they love, sometimes letting the business die a slow death.

Building the list takes time.  In fact, you can’t really wait until the list is built, because it never is.  It’s a process that takes a lifetime.  Every contact should be a consideration, and every contact is, or knows someone who is.  With this in mind, we have developed cards with pictures of the treats they prepare, with simple directions to access their “Buy Now” website.  And every time they enter a store where they know someone, or meet a new prospect, they should be asking for referrals, handing out extra cards, and collecting more names.  It must become their passion to collect and maintain these names, treating each one with respect and gratefulness.

This is the process every sales person must go through as they look to spread their value and identify new prospects.  Event marketing depends on it, in fact, any marketing today depends on it, simply because people don’t want to hear from someone they don’t know.  In 2012, your business depends on great marketing – events, webinars, campaigns, and referrals…

PS.  Don’t miss my upcoming webinar (FREE) – Unlocking the Secrets of Event Marketing (Sign up Here)

© 2012, David Stelzl

 

If you’ve read Stephen Covey’s classic on life management, Seven Habits of Highly Successful People, you may remember habit 2, Beginning with the End In Mind.  This is key to any great sales call, marketing event, or other demand generation activity.  Having done many executive luncheons, one of my clients’ first questions is always, how many people should we invite.  On their mind is, “How many can we attract”.  My first question back is usually, “How many can you effectively follow up?”

Obviously there are the preparations that take place before a call, but what happens after you present?  Do you have a planned ending to your meeting that leads to, what Seth Godin terms, Permission?  And more importantly, do you have the bandwidth to stay on top of everyone who responds to your “program”?   Going in without a plan is like going in with a plan to waste your call list.

© 2011, David Stelzl