Our last post covered how to learn about your big fish and prepare for your initial contact with them. This first contact is essential to your success so you will need to instill confidence in them. They need to know you can fulfill exactly what you are offering on time, at a good price, and of the quality you promise.
Today we will explore the big approach and how to make that perfect first impression. Before you devise your plan of approach, you need to identify which big fish you will be targeting. Review your notes and research you’ve compiled about prospective fish and then decide which one will be the easiest approach to start out with.
The following is a series of things to review when deciding which fish to target first:
- Position Your Business
- Compile Your Hit List
- Select the Best Target
Position Your Business
You must position your business to make the first move by listing your revenue streams, your operational procedures, where your fish is initially positioned, your big-customer research, and putting it all together.
Compile Your Hit List
Begin with a list of all the companies you’ve been considering then narrow it down to the ones you know could benefit from your products or services. Don’t overlook obvious choices, whether they are big or small. Even small companies could be big fish in the future.
Select the Best Target
Once you’ve got your list narrowed down, you need to decide which one is the best fish to target first. You must consider the following:
- Which have the most purchasing resources to spend?
- Does their company vision complement yours?
- What are their employee incentive programs as they relate to your products and/or services?
- What is the company’s real need for you?
- Will the partnership lead you off-course?
By now you should have a target in mind to proceed with first. It’s time to plan your approach and execute that plan.
Here is the step-by-step plan to help you make a good first impression:
- Build and analyze your database. Divide your leads into three different categories: hot leads, great fits, and secondary leads.
- Send out introductory mailings to your target to introduce yourself, your company, services, products, and vision. These mailings must be clear and concise.
- Follow up with your initial phone call 2-3 days following their expected receipt of the mailings. During the phone call identify who you need to speak with in the future and try to arrange a meeting with this person.
- Follow up your phone call with another mailing that thanks them for taking the time to speak with you and offers more details about your products and/or services. Use this letter as an opportunity to set up a meeting to do a presentation.
- Follow up the letter with another phone call a couple of days after their receipt of the letter. This purpose of this phone call is to further develop your relationship with the prospective client. You should also be able to set up a presentation meeting with them.
- Call again a week later if they haven’t agreed to a meeting or presentation. Ask if they received your creative letter (the second one) and if they have a minute for you to stop by and introduce yourself in person.
Now don’t get discouraged if you don’t seal the deal right away. Some people take a little longer to persuade. This can all be a little intimidating at first, but when you know you are offering a quality product and/or service, you can’t go wrong.
Once you’ve gone through this process and made first contact (and hopefully a good first impression) it’s time to put your best face forward, which means sending the right salesperson to seal the deal.
If you need help putting together your approach and making a good first impression, reach out to me for a wealth of great resources and tools.