by Sheryl Tuttle

Frequently I’m asked whether it makes sense to start or continue a new business campaign through the holidays. The argument is that many people vacation during the holidays and so you are less likely to reach a decision-maker during this timeframe. Many people contend that it makes better sense to put these efforts on hold, until the New Year and the resumption of “business as usual.”

I disagree, and here’s why.

For the very reason that more people are on vacation, the likelihood of reaching a decision-maker increases. Not only are your target prospects taking time off, but so are their gatekeepers. While the number of executives in their offices may actually decrease over the holidays, the number of executives answering their own line increases. This often results in making connections that would otherwise have been more difficult.

Additionally, while everyone is quick to agree that the holidays can bring on more stress, it is also a time when holiday spirit prevails. People emphasize community, relationships, and goodwill. They tend to be in better moods, and are more likely to be receptive to a conversation.

The best time to initiate a new business campaign is when it is right for you and your business, regardless of the season. When you want to begin filling the sales pipeline with future business, that’s the time to start a new business campaign.

Happy Thanksgiving.

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by Sheryl Tuttle

Recently I stumbled upon a great blog post on New Business Hawk containing a list of ideas for generating new business. While the article is primarily geared towards agencies, the list is comprehensive. Almost certainly you will find ideas you can use for your new business campaign. Here is the post.

Grab the Low Hanging Fruit: 49 New Business Ideas at New Business Hawk

I couldn’t help but notice the number of times “call” was referenced. It is in idea number 19, 32, 33, 45, and 46, affirming again, that a personal telephone call is a great way to connect and build your business.

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The best kind of client to have is one that stays on board for a long time. Most importantly, everyone gets more comfortable in the relationship and accustomed to how the process works. The callers are getting their mouths wrapped around the pitch, and familiarizing with the types of questions the prospects are asking, and, HOPEFULLY, appointments are getting scheduled.

THE TRADE SHOW IS A WONDERFUL THING

Clients that “get us” know that our services can expand. Example – Your sales team is heading to a trade show in two months. You’ve spent 500K on a booth, not to mention the millions on developing new software. NOW WHAT? We just need the attendee list, and away we go….scheduling booth appointments. What’s that, you say? Don’t have a booth? We’ll schedule a coffee meeting in the lobby. It’s simple. They’re there to see what you’ve got. You just need to find a way to reach them, effectively and in enough time. Don’t wait until the last minute to schedule.

NO APPOINTMENT NECESSARY
Heck, sometimes clients just consider us part of their ad budget, and admit to not even wanting appointments. An appropriate voice mail with a Company name is direct marketing. The company name’s been delivered, nuff said.

Think creatively, and make good use of professional communicators. That’s going to be my next posting – the importance of working with professionals and to avoid using your friend Dan who’s good on the phone.

Til next time….thanks for stopping by.

by Sheryl Tuttle

Following are nine essential components to a successful new business campaign.

  1. A Good List – Your prospect list needs to be accurate and target the correct decision-maker. It’s a waste to spend valuable time looking up accurate information and chasing correct contacts.
  2. CRM or Database – While a CRM isn’t required for a successful new business campaign, some type of system to manage your contacts with prospects is necessary. This can be as simple as an Excel spreadsheet or as robust as a CRM system enabling easy look-up, reporting, and more. Expect more about CRM in a future post.
  3. Private Office or Work Space – Let’s face it, you’re making these calls to have conversations, and it pays to have some privacy so you can focus on just that. Conversations. Too many times I’ve heard of teleprospectors and inside sales folks making calls from a call center type environment, which isn’t conducive to a professional conversation. It’s too hard to focus when the room is abuzz with noise.
  4. Keep it Conversational – Forget scripts and following flow-diagrams. Know your pitch points, but don’t read them. Listen to what the prospect says and let the conversation follow that path.
  5. Be Persistent – This can’t be emphasized enough. Persistence is oftentimes the key to reaching your prospect. Persistence is sometimes what sets you apart from your competition.
  6. Enlist the Aid of the Assistant – Think of the assistant as a colleague who has the ear of the person you are trying to reach. Sometimes these gatekeepers hold the key to reaching the prospect.
  7. Professionalism – Always be courteous, direct, and to the point. Conduct conversations in a peer-to-peer level. Don’t waste a busy executives time with idle chit-chat.
  8. Alter the message – Change the message each time you leave a voicemail. Mix it up and leave different company highlights or advantages, but be brief and to the point.
  9. Know your purpose – Get to the purpose of your call, and be sure to ask for the business or appointment.

Do you have a tenth component to add to the list?