Blog

The Perfect Bait

Posted by vonzels

In the last post we talked about how to learn about your big fish and prepare for the
first contact you’ll make with them. This first contact is essential to your success. You
need to instill confidence in them. They need to know you can fulfill exactly what you
are offering on time, at a good price and at the quality you promise.

Today we’ll go through the big approach and how to make that perfect first
impression. Before you put together your approach plan, you need to choose which big
fish you’re going after. Take a look at your notes and the research you’ve done about
prospective fish. Then decide which one will be the easiest approach to start out with.

There are a series of things to go through in choosing which fish to start with. They are:

 

  • Position Your Business
  • Compile Your Hit List
  • Select the Best Target

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Position Your Business

You need to position your business to make the first move by listing your revenue
streams, id and list your operational procedures, where your fish is initially positioned,
your big-customer research, and putting it all together.

Compile Your Hit List

Start with a list of all the companies you’ve been considering. Then narrow it down to
the ones who know could use your products or services. Don’t overlook obvious choices,
whether they are big or small. Even small companies could be big fish in the future.

Select the Best Target

Once you’ve got your list narrowed down, you need to decide which one is the best fish
to start with. You need to consider a couple of things:

  • Which have the most purchasing resources to spend?
  •  Does their company vision compliment yours?
  • What are their employee incentive programs as they relate to your
    products/services?
  • What’s the company’s real need for you?
  • Will the partnership lead you off-course?

Now you should have a target in mind to start with. It’s time to plan your approach and
execute that plan.

Here’s the step-by-step plan to help you make a good first impression:

  1. Build and analyze your database. Divide your leads into three different
    categories: hot leads, great fits and secondary leads.
  2. Send out introductory mailings to your target to introduce yourself, your
    company, services, products, and vision. They need to be short, clean and
    concise.
  3. Follow up with your first phone call 2-3 days after they would have received the
    mailings. During the phone call find out whom you need to be speaking with in
    the future and try to set up a meeting with the right person.
  4. Follow up your phone call with another mailing that thanks them for taking the
    time to speak with you and offer more details about your products/services. Use
    this letter and opportunity to set up a meeting to do a presentation.
  5. Follow up the letter with another phone call a couple of days after they would
    have received the letter. This phone call is to help you further develop your
    relationship with the prospective client. You should also be able to set up a
    presentation meeting with them.
  6. Call again a week later if they haven’t agreed to a meeting or presentation. Ask if
    they received your creative letter (the second one) and if they have a minute
    when you can stop by and introduce yourself in person.

Now, don’t be upset if you don’t seal the deal right away. Some people simply take a
little longer to woo. This can all be a little intimidating at first, but when you know you
are offering a quality product/service, you can’t go wrong.

Once you’ve gone through this process and make first contact (and hopefully a good
first impression) it’s time to put your best face forward, which means sending the right
salesperson to seal the deal.

If you need help putting together your approach and making a good first impression, try
our GUIDED TOUR to work with a coach and have access to a wealth of great resources
and tools.


Untangle the Red Tape

Posted by vonzels

In the last post we talked about how to bring the big-company mindset into your
business and your team. This will help you overcome the mental obstacles that will keep
you from being successful. Now, that you’ve learned how to overcome that, we’re going
to talk about who your fish are. It’s important to know about the fish you are looking for
before you put a plan together. We’re also going to take a moment to talk about the
potential “red tape” you may encounter along the way.

The most important thing to know about your fish is their purchasing habits and
procedures. There are four main things you need to work on in order to be successful:

  1. Responsibilities: You need to know who has influence over purchasing, who does
    the actual buying and who can kill a deal if they want.
  2. Get on Their List: You need to know how to get on their list of people to buy
    from. Your name needs to not only be on the list, but at the top of it and in as
    many categories as possible for the most interaction. Ask about a procurement
    program and what you need to do to go through the application process.
  3. Lingo: You need to learn the company’s unique language and communications
    methods. These could include report names, buzzwords and even the nicknames
    they have for their employees.
  4. Fiscal Budgets: It’s essential you know the fishes fiscal budget, so you know
    exactly when they are planning their expenses for the year.

Now that we’ve talked a little about what you need to know about your fish, let’s take a
quick look at the “red tape”.

Bureaucracy might as well be a four-letter word with the emotions it stirs in all of us.
“Red tape” is a necessary evil, but one you can use to learn from. There are two ways to learn from their system:   

1. Analyze their activity.

2. Review their correspondence.

Being an outsider looking in can have its advantages too. If you hate dealing with the “red tape”, imagine how their employees feel dealing with it. If they need to crunch some numbers, offer to do it. If they need more info, make sure you are giving it to them in a user-friendly way.  

 

The things we talked about in this lesson will help you prepare for the big approach. If
you need help with any of this, try our GUIDED TOUR to find the right tools to get the
job done.


Be One with the Fish

Posted by vonzels

In the last post we started our series on catching big clients, or “fish”, that will sustain
your business over the long run. Today we’re going to take that a step further by talking
about how to understand and think like a big fish company and how that can help you
plan your approach and find success.

 

 

 

Before you can start the process of landing big clients, you have to make sure your entire team is onboard with your approach and vision. There are six keys to finding big client success.

 

     They are: 

  1. First Impression: You must remember you have one shot to land a big client. If
    you make a mistake, they aren’t going to consider you again. Never give them a
    reason to doubt your abilities.
  2. First Priority: Your fish must always feel like they are your first priority. Return
    calls and emails immediately and find solutions to their problems or questions as
    quickly as possible.
  3. Flexible: You need to be flexible in your negotiations. If they need a special
    service or for you to customize a product, say yes for the benefit of the long
    term.  A little hassle now will be a big pay off later.
  4. Long-term: This goes along with the last one a bit.  As you are approaching and
    negotiating with big fish you need to think about the long term benefits for your
    business. If you go for a one-time big score you will lose their interest.
  5. Have Fun: Work should be fun, even when trying to land big clients. In fact, this
    should be the most fun. You are sharing your vision with new people and
    including them in your future success and likewise. People simply work better in
    a fun, happy environment. Your passion will also be contagious and pull the fish
    into your vision even more.
  6. Help Them: If you take just a little bit of time and offer your clients ways to save
    money or time by introducing them to potential business partners, this will show
    you really are invested and interested in their business. Strive to find balance
    between your business needs and your client’s needs.

There are also a few tactics you can use to bring in a big-company vision to the people
on your team. You can:

  • Post these six keys for all to see.
  • Put together a performance based incentive program.
  • Conduct frequent team meetings.
  • Use a “right now” policy that dictates big fish calls be answered immediately.
  • Offer awards/recognition for big-company ideas and executions.
  • Put together a training and certification program based on the six keys above.

These 6 keys and tips will help you instill a big-company mindset through your company
which will help you be more prepared and more likely to land your big fish. Once your
team is thinking this way, you’ll be unstoppable.

If you need help putting together an incentive program or other ways to push your team
toward the big-company mindset, try our GUIDED TOUR to work with one of our
coaches or check out our resources and tools.


Are You On The Right Path?

Posted by vonzels

There are a number of factors to take into consideration when preparing yourself and
your company to approach the largest clients you’ll ever work with.

Getting Lost May Indicate Alzheimer's – Behold; The Aging Sociologist

 

 

Today we’re going to start with a brief look at the three paths every business faces and show you which one is the path to success. Then we’ll talk about the mindset it takes to attract the big fish.

 

 

There are three major paths a business can take:

  •  Snail Speed
  •  Shooting Star
  •  Catch the Big Fish

Snail Speed

Most business owners ended up working themselves into the ground without much
reward or success. This is what happens when you fool yourself into thinking you will
find quick success. You may also find yourself following this path when you are afraid of
change.

Shooting Star

This describes a business that shoots to the top so fast you are overwhelmed and don’t
have the right resources in place to adapt. This can also happen from being
overwhelmed by small clients and not taking the time to find large clients, which will
sustain your business after the small client sales slow.

Catch the Big Fish

This is the path that allows you to build at a steady pace that you can manage by not
allowing your customers to outpace you. You can do this by putting these tips to work:

  1.  Attract, keep and lock in big clients.
  2.  Integrate “big business” culture into your company and employees.
  3.  Acquire the expertise you need to grow.
  4.  Have the courage to make changes as you grow.

Now we are going to transition a bit and talk about the “big fish” mindset. It may sound
easy to just find and catch that big fish, but if you are stuck in the small business
mindset, you may find it harder than you think.
Think of all the benefits of aiming at bigger clients:

  •  Inexpensive
  •  Highly Profitable
  •  Longevity
  •  Security

In order to catch the big fish, you need to believe your company can make a difference
with theirs. It’s easy to get into the thought that a large company doesn’t need anything
from a small business like yours, but this is entirely wrong!

Once you take a look at how big companies operate, it’s important to know which ones
are the best fit with your company. One of the best ways to get in the door is by
knowing someone on the inside who can put in a good word for you.

A man fishing in the ocean at sunset.

 

If you’re not sure where to start and feel a little intimidated about catching big fish, try
our GUIDED TOUR to get help from our amazing business coaches.


Are You In The 1%?

Posted by vonzels

The Rule of 1% is simply defined as adding to your customer service one percent at a
time. Before you can do this you must have your consistency perfected or it will never
work. This one percent may seem small, but if you approach the vision for your
company with baby steps, you will find a huge increase over a solid chunk of time. It’s
not a sprint, it’s a marathon.

Stack of coins on asset allocation chart free image download
Avoid doing too much at once or you’ll set yourself up for failure. Think of the confidence
you and your employees will have when you improve one percent each week. By the
end of a year, you’ll have improved more than 50%!

While, rules and standards are necessary for growth, always be flexible with your best
customers. Most retailers only allow a set number of items into a dressing room to
reduce the risk of shoplifting, but it generally restricts the large percentage of people
who are not stealing from you. Flexibility is the key to what you deliver to your
customers and consistency is the key to how you deliver it.

The bottom line is, customers rely on you to deliver what you promise. If you spend too
much on bulky advertising that promises more than you can deliver, even your best
intentions will unravel quickly and you will fail.

Focus on your vision and baby steps to turn your satisfied customers  into Raving Fans.

I hope you’ve learned a lot from good customer service and how it’s essential to your
overall success. If you need help with any of the steps we’ve gone through over the last
four lessons try our GUIDED TOUR and get access to some of the best resources, tools
and coaches available.

In upcoming posts we’re going to explore strategies of bagging the big clients and
keeping them.