Know how to approach prospects

If your true intent is to help someone, then internally you would be keen to get on and engage with people so that you can assist them. If you need to summon that feeling, then a strategy may be to keep a list of all those satisfied clients, and ‘re-play in your head’ their thanks for helping them. This can be a great internal motivator, driving you to want to reach out and connect with more people. The key to reaching out is essentially making each part of the interaction about them and not about you. They don’t know you or trust you yet. Your focus needs to be on how you can help them.

When you reach out do your research (rule is: the larger the opportunity, the more research time needed). Look at their website and Li or other relevant forums where they comment or interact. What are they posting on, have they expanded or taken on a new line? Can your solution be of service to them? This way, you will be starting off with a connection between what they do and how you may potentially help – how you may be of value to them. When engaging be interested in that person and their situation, use a relevant hook to open the conversation, such as,

‘I noticed abc on your website, we have xyz which may assist.’

This approach is like a 20 second or less elevator pitch. I would suggest having many pitch versions ready (and well-rehearsed) so when you start talking, you are able to ‘land’ this message in a clear and concise manner. Business Development people tasked with acquiring new clients need to ensure they are constantly learning from each interaction in order to improve and evolve.

As it is with all approaches, you need to have practiced so that when you reach out, say by phone, you sound experienced, considered and in control. You are calm, reasonable and rational.

You are dependable. This is a sophisticated, intelligent reach out where you are making the whole interaction about them and you are present. As you are using a related hook you are making it relevant.

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What to do

Put effort into researching those bigger potentials. The one that does the homework, gets the deal. Be and act as thought leader of your field – be seen as the authority, i.e. comment on any relevant industry forums within Li etc.

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