Job Hunting for Prospects

Joe Donna, President of sales consulting firm SalesOxygen, has a small but exceptional portfolio of clients who benefit from his services. Joe is outstanding when it comes helping his clients build their sales teams, but like many small to medium business owners, he constantly is working on prospecting for new customers.

Over coffee, Joe revealed that he looks at scaling his business as a function of finding new customers: “In the consulting business”, said Joe, “if you don’t have a pipeline of new prospects waiting, you are only good as the last client you can bill.”  Joe has worked very hard to develop a pipeline of good prospects. 

Given the current economy and Joe's interest in prospecting, I suggested to him that getting new clients is just like job hunting...

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MBA4Sales Best Practice - Solution Development

Perhaps the most important aspect of sales messaging in MBA4Sales is the ability of the sales person to take that messaging and apply it to customer dialogue. Otherwise, all the social media, blogging, website development and other messaging channels are a waste of time. In this post, I am going to focus on the mechanics to illustrate the process. To do this, I am going to borrow a little bit of knowledge I acquired from my colleague, Frank Visgatis. Frank is a renowned sales trainer and is the co-author of the book “CustomerCentric Selling”. I am a big CC” fan and have used several CCS techniques in my own selling efforts. I encourage you to explore CCS and to consider Frank’s training classes.

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Enabling Pull Demand

In today’s business environment, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to gain the attention of potential customers. I read more blogs, articles and white papers about the customer acquisition process and demand generation than just about any other topic. The common theme of these articles is about tactical execution: sending e-mails, building websites, doing blogs, getting SEO right.

I’m not suggesting these tactics aren’t important, but I think that marketing organizations often view their mission as being tactical execution. What is missing is the right fundamental messaging. That is what enabling “pull” demand is all about.

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Be Your Own Connector

I frequently network with colleagues and friends who are interested in finding "rainmakers". My colleague, David Ryan of Grey Matters Group speaks very eloquently about the role of rainmakers in professional services. I think his point is very simple - rainmakers are scarce and expensive.

Most rainmakers are "connectors", based on Malcolm Gladwell's definition in his book, "The Tipping Point". These people are seemingly connected to everyone important to your business. They can generate all sorts of sales opportunities and have the personal relationships to enable the right pipeline. Most start-ups believe they need a "connector". At best, there may be 500 to 1,000 of these people in the US. They are far more rare than you think. Why?

Trick Question: How many CEO's are there of Fortune 500 companies?

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