How to Get Started Using This Technique
To get started on this technique, I suggest you create an Excel spreadsheet marked "New Business Informational Meetings." Move that spreadsheet to the front burner, at the top of your Five Daily Goals list.
As we previously discussed, the networking portion of your new business campaign should consist of contacting 25 to 30 people daily. Relative to your target companies, on a daily basis, you should be working on networking with your to 25 to 50 "A" companies and 50 to 75 "B" companies.
From your list of networking contacts and target companies, select those that are in your industry (or an aligned industry) and that are located within a realistic geographical area (i.e., one that is close enough to drive to and get a face-to-face meeting with the decision maker or purchasing agent).
Now pick the first 10 contacts/companies on that list and conduct enough initial research into them to confirm in your mind that at this time, with the limited information at your disposal, it makes sense for you to take things to the next level (i.e., trying to set up an informational meeting). Research your targeted potential organizations for the names of the internal employees you will be contacting if you are unable to find a referral from the outside. Once you feel as though you have a good understanding of the contact/organization, you are ready to make the call and set up an informational meeting. You need to make sure that you feel that you are going to be able to contact the decision maker to set up your face to face. You can do this directly or indirectly through someone else. You MUST reach the person that you feel at this point is your decision maker. The person that can give you a purchase order for the product or service your represent.
Start "working" the list. See if you can find someone you know who can act as a referral at each organization you're targeting. If that is not possible, then spend some time researching and validating a possible contact whose title is two levels above the one you would be working with.
You want to avoid contacting someone who is at junior lever to your decision maker or their boss's level, lest you end up intimidating them. You need to be contacting someone who 1) will not be intimated by you, 2) is in a position to sign a purchase order, and 3) is knowledgeable about the organization, product category and industry at large.
Make achieving an informational meeting with this list of contacts and companies your goal within in the next 30 days. (Do not forget to include competitors of your past customers on this list.) My suggestion is to research your 10 contact/companies and then make the 10 phone calls that will land you informational meetings with them.
Realistically you will not usually get through on the first try. It may take several attempts. I would say to call on a Monday, Wednesday, or Friday. Most people who travel are not as likely to be on the road on Mondays and Fridays. I would also suggest calling around 8:15 A.M., 11:40 A.M., 1:10 P.M., 4:35 P.M., or 5:10 P.M. Other times should work, but historically speaking, it is during these timeframes that I have found it easier to catch people whose schedules I was not familiar with.
In next week’s blog I will share with you, “Setting up the Actual Informational Interview”
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Have a great week and productive week, managing the changes and challenges that are currently going on in your company.
I wish you a wonderfully successful and productive week ahead.
Eleanor Anne Sweet
Hidden Sales and Revenue Expert tm
Division of The Remington Group, LLC
Your B2B Sales Consultant and Coach.
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