This blog originally published in Printing Impressions.
Meaningful first time at bats with a new prospect are hard to come by these days. What’s a meaningful at bat? It’s a real opportunity that you’ve earned after you both have come to the conclusion that there’s a good fit between the two organizations, and that you can bring real value to the conversation. This is not ending the first conversation by saying, “so, thanks for the meeting, can I quote anything for you today?” Ugh.
Call on the Right Folks
You should be reaching out to buyers and influencers who, you believe, have a need for what you can bring to the table.
What do you bring to the table? Ask yourself, “what do my best clients get out of the relationship they have with me and my company, what do we really deliver?” If you’ve been doing this for more than a few weeks, my guess is your answer will include much more than a description of the final product. Hey, this isn’t rocket surgery here, rather, it’s time tested, proven results that you have achieved by helping your clients to “drive their business results through the print and print related products that you advise on, produce, and deliver day in and day out.”
If you’re looking to build accounts with recurring revenue, and not just chase transactions, this is far more than asking to get in line and become a quoting machine for the folks in your marketplace.
Asking the Right Questions
How does your company make money and what do your clients depend on you for? Take the time to fully understand this, and put it into your own words. Own it. You can use this information as a filter to asking the questions that will help you to determine how likely this prospect values what you can deliver and whether or not it is meaningful and relevant to them. You should work towards connecting the dots between how you can impact their business, and something that is important, and near and dear to them. Be curious about why they are doing what they currently do and find out how it’s working for them. Ask what they would change, if they could, that could make the process better, smoother, easier, more reliable, and deliver better results. You probably have helped others that were trying to achieve these same objectives, right? Earn the right to show how you have worked with others like them to solve the very issues they are frustrated with.
Position Yourself for Success
Whether you’re swinging a baseball bat or a golf club, your position at the top of the backswing can determine much of your future success. How well you select the folks that you are calling on, how well you prepare for those conversations and interactions, and how well you deliver a compelling reason that identifies you as unique, authentic, and the most qualified resource they should be considering, will often determine how well you profit from your at bats.
Your goals should be around getting the right opportunities with the right folks. What that looks like will be different for every business and is determined by what they have to offer and how they deliver it. It is still a numbers game and a relationship business, but you can improve your batting average, and profitability, by working smarter and watching out for that curve ball. If you have any thoughts on this post or would like to share what’s going on in your world, please get in touch with me or leave a comment below. Good luck, let me know how you’re doing, and keep swinging for the fences.
Mike Philie can help validate what’s working and what may need to change in your business. Changing the trajectory of a business is difficult to do while simultaneously operating the core competencies. Mike provides strategy and insight to owners and CEOs in the Graphic Communications Industry by providing direct and realistic assessments, not being afraid to voice the unpopular opinion and helping leaders navigate change through a common sense and practical approach. Learn more at www.philiegroup.com, LinkedIn or email at email@example.com.