In the last post we discussed ways to learn more about the ‘big fish’ companies you will be approaching and how crucial your first contact with them is – as this will instill the confidence in them that you will deliver what you’re promising. Today we will talk about how to determine which company to approach first and how to make a great first impression.
There are a series of things to go through when choosing which ‘fish’ to approach first. These are:
- Positioning your business
- Compiling your list
- Selecting the most suitable target
Positioning your business
Position your business in preparation for the approach by listing your revenue streams, operational procedures, and do some research on the companies you’re considering.
Compile your list
Start with a list of all the companies you’ve been considering. Then narrow it down to the ones who you know would benefit from your products and services.
Select the most suitable target
Once you’ve got your list narrowed down, you need to decide which one is the most suitable. Here are a few things to consider:
- Who has the most purchasing resources to spend?
- Does their company vision align with yours?
- Do their employee incentive programs 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 your target in mind, it’s time to plan your approach. Here’s a step-by-step plan to help you make a lasting first impression:
- Build and analyze your database. Divide your leads into three different categories: hot leads, great fits and secondary leads.
- Send out introductory mailings to your target to introduce yourself, your company, services, products, and vision. They need to be short, clean and concise.
- 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 meet with the right person.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
Don’t feel discouraged 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 are confident in offering a quality product/service, you can’t go wrong.
Once you’ve gone through this process and made 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 make a good first impression, try our GUIDED TOUR to work with a coach and have access to a wealth of great resources and tools.