- Hi, Peggy ...
The answer to your question depends on many things (from my
perspective). First, I know for me it would be helpful to understand
how you would approach your initial meeting. If you can elaborate,
that would be helpful. What happens in the initial meeting, for me,
would drive the follow-up process. Also what drives the follow-up
process is whether it is a cold lead, someone I have met/know, or a
For me the first step, even before I meet, is to do research of the
company to understand the vision, culture, pain areas,
products/services, achievements, what is written about them, etc.. All
of that will drive my initial meeting. I approach the
prospecting/sales process in a way that is NLP based, so you may hear
very different opinions from others. By that I mean, aside from
getting to know them and their needs/wants, my goal is to uncover their
buying criteria, their values (since that drives their decision making
process), timing, urgency, the underlying motivation for solving a
problem or addressing a want, etc. By the end of that meeting, my goal
is to get a "yes" or "no" to advance to the next step -- which could be
a proposal, another meeting to define the problem further, etc.
"maybe's" for me means stalling or not serious.
Based on the initial meeting, I will categorize the prospect as A, B or
C. A would be a prospect where we advance to the next step; B for me
would be for some reason there may be a legitimate reason why the they
can't act now, yet they are a strong fit and good rapport; C would be
the stallers, no need, not a good fit for me, can't afford me, etc.
The latter stay on my general mailing list. A and B get regular
follow-up depending on the outcome of the first meeting, as to how and
The key is to pre-qualify in the first meeting or you will be spinning
lots of wheels and maybe never getting to first base. If you can find
someone that can help you get your foot in the door, your conversion is
higher and quicker usually. It's also important you know your unique
value proposition when approaching corporate clients. when I work with
corporate clients, my goal is to eventually go deep within the
organization, not just coach one person. So I approach the CEO or key
Since your question was very general, I don't know if I answered your
question. I hope it was of value to at least get you started.
Business & Leadership Coach, Growth Strategist, Master NLP Prac
Author, "The Mindset of Greatness: 21 Principles to Becoming an
Unstoppable Business Woman ... Oprah Winfrey Style!"
The Empowered Business (tm)
Learn Legendary Secrets of Top Business Achievers
- People do business for 2 reasons:
1) You make money for them or relieve their pain
2) They like you
Find the pain or the desire and be a genuine nice guy or gal and you have abundance. That simple.
Always check your proposition and yourself. If you are not making money one of them or both are flawed.
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Eelco Smit Strategie & Finance - Inzicht Actie Oogsten
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- Peggy asked: << I would like to get more corporate clients though. I suppose my question would be how to build relationships with them. I think I know how to approach them and have a first meeting. I also know that it is very unlikely to get an assignment from a company the first time. How would you proceed then? How would you follow up? Would you check in once and a while to see how the company is doing? How often would you? What would you then say or do? >>
I would add to the great suggestions made by Maya and Denise that you keep in mind you are ultimately doing business with individual people rather than anonymous companies. In the new edition of Get Clients Now!, I included a sidebar from Jill Konrath, author of "Selling to Big Companies," where she says, "Treat the person you contact like a human being, not a prospect... Sounding like a sleazy, well-oiled seller will not get you an appointment in today's market. Think of your phone calls as business-to-business conversations with peers." (You can read an article from her with lots of good tips about this on her site www.sellingtobigcompanies.com. Click on Sales Library and choose the article "Stop Sounding Like a Self-Serving Salesperson.")
It's the decision-maker in the company you need to build a personal relationship with, not the company as a whole. If you've been successful in getting individuals as clients, you must already know a bit about how to build relationships one-on-one. If you keep in mind that your corporate prospects are people with goals, dreams, and problems just like the individuals you work with, you may know more about how to build relationships with them than you think.
C.J. Hayden, MCC
Author, Get Clients Now! (tm) & Get Hired Now! (tm)
Wings Business Coaching LLC, San Francisco, CA
(415) 981-8845 or (877) 946-4722 in the U.S.
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
- Speaking of Jill Konrath and "Selling to Big Companies," I highly
recommend her book. She talks extensively about how corporate decision
makers are now much better at hiding behind voicemail and gatekeepers
to keep salespeople at bay. She outlines an excellent strategy for
piercing the "new corporate veil" (my term, not hers), part of which
is the "stop sounding like a self-serving salesperson" rap.
If you've been frustrated (like me) by attempts to make initial
contact with corporate decision makers, you'll feel a lot better - and
act a lot more effectively - with her plan.
Deborah E. Savadra
Freelance Business Writer
"Making Your Words Mean Business"
Webinar: "Promoting Your Business in Writing"
Jan. 18th @ 11 am CT