By Jennifer DuPlessis
Here are a few ways you can quickly make changes in your everyday business activities to win new business.
1) Before we hang up: One Last Question
Use this closing phrase at the end of all phone conversations (prospecting, customer service, and otherwise) when seeking to expand your network of connections, clients, and partners. For example, “John, before we hang up, I’m looking to meet and/or be connected to (fill in the blank) as I expand my business in that arena. On a scale of 1-10, 10 being the best, who do you know who you would consider a 9 or 10? Would you feel comfortable, making an introduction?”
If they don’t know a 9 or 10, simply say, “Thank you. Well, if you ever do run across a (fill in the blank) would you please remember to give me a call?”
- Fastest way to expand your database. Period.
- Be very specific, and use a daily, weekly, or monthly targets. Examples include people who just became engaged, parents with children under five, or financial planners who serve Veterans.
2) Eenie, Meenie, Miney- GO!!
Start each day by making three phone calls every morning to people that you should call (alumni client, referral partner, someone you met at a networking event, etc.), then send two emails to the same type of people letting them know you are thinking of them and asking if you can help them in anyway (a connection, help with attaining a goal, promoting an event they are holding, etc.), and lastly, write one post on Social Media (spreading your posts across all sites throughout the week).
The goal is to get to 10 calls, 10 emails, 10 Likes or Comments, and one post.
- Only you can do your own pushups! Start with one call and progress from there. Even a 1-1-1 plan is better than standing still.
- Do it now!
3) The Rear-View Mirror
Do you remember the feeling you got the last time a professional acquaintance called you “out of the blue” to thank you for something you don’t even remember doing for them?
The practice of showing this type of gratitude is quite simple yet very powerful. Be sure to take the time to thank each partner in the chain of referrals that led to this client being referred. It’s a great way to get back in touch and to keep at the top of mind with those people whom referred you in the past.
Here’s how it works. Let’s say Anne, a referral partner, just referred a prospective client. After you’ve had your conversation with the client, you call Anne to thank her for the connection and close the loop. Now, let’s get going… Let’s say you met Anne via a referral from Bob. Pick up the phone, call Bob, and say “Bob, I want to thank you again for referring Anne to me because she has just referred a client to me.” The loop is now closed with Bob. Then you call the person who referred Bob and so on. Follow up with thank you notes and/or a video thank you.
- No customer relationship management system equals no retrace! Create a system to track how you’re getting partner and prospect referrals so you know who to thank.
- When a partner refers a client to you, call that partner to thank them FIRST and learn some insight about the client; and then call the client.
4) Bookend your Days
Set aside time in the morning for SAVERS:
Silence – The act of being silent without distractions (no music, no tv, no phone) can be great for your health – body, mind and soul. The act of breathing and concentrating on your rhythm can help you begin your day on the right foot.
Affirmations – Reading or listening to positive quotes and stories can create the right mind set for the day.
Visualizing – Do you have a vision board (digital or hard copy)? Having inspirational photos, even if they are on your phone, to help you with your goals can be most effective in achieving them.
Exercising – If you tend to work out in the evening, then use this time to simply walk for 20 minutes. Why not just go up and down the stairs a few times? The key is to get moving and not just to get to work!
Reading – Like books? Read a minimum of 10 pages during this time. Magazine lover? Read an article.
Scribing (writing) – Journaling can be very uplifting. If you are new at it, start with writing three things for which you are grateful.
- Plan for one hour in the morning and, you guessed it, one hour in the evening to recap, refresh, reset, and replenish your goals, achievements, and actions to be ready for tomorrow.
- Can’t find the time? Do each action for one minute and work up from there.
5) BDA – Before, During, and After
Be sure to block time before, during, and after every appointment, meeting, or networking event.
Before: Who is attending that you would like to meet? Can you attend with a partner that would benefit from the event? What is the goal of the meeting? Do you have your business cards, collateral, and do know where you are meeting?
During: Do you have your cards readily available? Are you prepared to take notes after chatting with someone so that you remember what to follow up on? Is everything fully charged if you are presenting to someone? Are you remembering to connect others while at the event?
After: Did you leave time in your schedule for follow up emails, videos, thank you notes, social media friend requests, introductions/connections to others, analysis, etc., to be completed in a timely fashion.
- You want to be known as the person who was the most accountable! Plan accordingly!
- Keep your business cards in your left pocket and others’ cards in your right pocket.
- Develop a coding system for where you met, writing notes, adding people to your database, scheduling meetings, etc. For example, NW – Charity event at Hyatt Hotel, DB add to database, etc.
6) Visit Clients’ Office
Have you ever thought about stopping by your prospect’s or client’s office with a marketing piece or gift…just because you were “in the area?” This is an awesome practice to help expose your business to their co-workers and continue to develop or solidify your relationship.
Your client’s co-workers will be curious who you are and what you are doing in their office; and, more impor
tantly “why hasn’t their own (fill in blank) ever stopped by and given them something?”
- Consider a marketing piece the prospect/client will keep on their desk or in their office. For instance, Simple Truths framed photo, coffee mug, pens, etc.
- Consider a gift that can be shared with their co-workers or will be recognized by their co-workers to grab attention to you! An example is a congratulatory cake.
7) Schedule, Schedule, and Schedule Again!
Our assumption of course is that we are on the phone with prospects, clients, or referral partners. That said, developing a habit of scheduling appointments or meetings, whether over the phone or in person, will ensure your calendar is filled-to-the-brim throughout the year.
The reason I like this method is because years ago I would finally got up the nerve to call someone in an attempt to convince them to “meet me for coffee” or “if I could show you a way to increase your business 25%, would you be interested in meeting?”; then, have the meeting and, well then nothing. With no other meetings scheduled, I’d have to build up the nerve to call them another time to repeat the fearful and awkward process.
Instead, schedule your next phone call or meeting while finishing the one you are conducting now. This way, your next phone call is merely to confirm and not to ‘beg’ for the opportunity once more.
- When on the phone or meeting in person, why not book the next two or even three meetings? Of course, only if this person is someone with whom you want to build a strong relationship.
Jen is the Founder and CEO of the professional development and consulting firm dedicated to helping sales professionals and small businesses achieve excellence. Jen can be contacted at Jen@StopTalkingTakeAction.com.