What We Have Here Is…
In the world of business development and sales, certainly the game has changed, but some things never change. While we have to continue adjust our strategies to suit our increasingly savvy B2B clients and prospects, there are some cornerstone principles that remain solid. And these things are often so simple, so “in plain sight”, that we simply walk right past them.
Just as Paul Newman so famously said in the movie Cool Hand Luke, “What we have here, is a failure to communicate.”
Prospects have long been annoyed by salespeople being too “sales-ey” and this has not changed. They used to put up with it because you a) bought lunch, b) brought gifts and c) gave them valuable info about industry trends and maybe a few choice competitor insights. They still don’t mind the lunches, but they really get most of the information they need now online. I mean, surely your prospect doesn’t need to see you to get a very clear view of your product or service offering and benefits, right? It’s all there, on your website, for all the world to see or download to their heart’s content. As a result, salespeople have to find a new source of “value” to clients and prospects.
What salespeople really need to provide now is good old-fashioned communications. Think of it like your “neighborhood” of business. Treat your clients and prospects like good neighbors, by constantly bringing them good news in the form of highly relevant content and market intelligence. It doesn’t necessarily have to be focused on your own industry or area of expertise, either. The key is relevancy to your audience.
Won’t You Be My Neighbor?
And like you do with your neighbors, mix it up. You might see a neighbor while out on a walk, you might call them with something more urgent, or you may drop by and stick a note on their door. Do the same thing with your clients and prospects, send email, leave a voice message, drop by and leave a note…any of these methods can work depending on the content being delivered.
So, once you’ve introduced yourself, just try to become a good neighbor first and when the time comes, they’ll come back to you for the info they need to purchase your type goods or services.