Launching a new product? Looking to expand into a new market? Changing strategic directions? Starting a whole new business? It’s tempting to put the bells and whistles BEFORE the business, stalling sales until your marketing is perfect.
It’s true that a strong brand identity, compelling web site and focused collateral materials make sales easier, it isn’t a good reason to put your sales efforts on hold. Sales is about building relationships and showing prospects you understand (and can solve) their problem.
So why would you delay doing the one activity that is guaranteed to bring money into the business with a bunch of busy work? Instead of focusing on the bells and whistles, get going on these 5 key sales activities:
Prospect Outreach – Create a list of companies you would like to work with and start a conversation. If you don’t yet have a target list, start with former colleagues and enlist their help in formulating a target list.
Strategic Networking – Take your target list to your network and ask them to help you make specific connections. Asking to be connected to the CMO of company ABC is far more effective than a general request for leads.
Proposal Writing – Make writing proposals your #1 priority. Set a target number for how many proposals you will write each week (which of course means you have to be staying on top of your lead generation activities).
Hot Lead Follow-Up – Identify the leads that are the closest to making a decision and schedule regular follow-up activities in your calendar. Never EVER use the lame standby, “I am just calling (or emailing) to follow-up. Instead use one of these follow-up techniques.
Lost Business Analysis – Even figuring out why you didn’t win the business is more important than fussing around with your brochures. Use this information to refine your sales approach (and your marketing materials) in order to be more successful next time.