New Business Development: invest your time properly in 2018

The new year brings new opportunities, rather than challenges with it.  GDPR will disrupt the way in which many have traditionally carried out activities to find, email and contact new leads.

Buying lead lists, sending mass emails, then following them up with telephone calls are no longer valid lead gen activities – read on….  GDPR will inherently enforce honesty and integrity when prospecting.  Something that reputable lead gen experts are and have been doing for some time now.

Successful lead generators will use integrated strategies and activities. These range from RESEARCH and LISTENING, to RELEVANT CONTENT, to honest APPROACHES through the appropriate CHANNELS.  Key also is to RECORD and ANALYSE.

Integration is vital here.   We have a set of RULES, that we follow, and have been for years, such as:

Rule one:  NO MORE MASS TARGETTING – this simply does not work – the numbers game is a time waster for all

Rule two:  DO YOUR RESEARCH – really think about who you would like to approach, where they are, why they would want to be approached by you, what the best time to approach them is and how they would prefer to be approached.  Not simply what/where/when/how you want to approach them.  Then segment your small and highly targeted list into segments – either by business name, sector, role, location, function – all depending on what you have to offer – competitive advantage or solving a problem.

Rule three:  LISTEN OUT – where are your targets getting information to gain competitive advantage? Or solve their problem?  Are they going to reputable enterprises & downloading white papers? or trawling google? Or searching through linkedin? Comparison websites? Review sites? Discussion forums?  Make careful notes on each segment

Rule four: RELEVANT CONTENT – once you know where and what your prospects are seeking you can post something interesting – think carefully about content and be careful not to become too proud of your content – we see so many pieces of content that clearly have been written with the author in mind, rather than the reader.  Make it funny too – a laugh goes a long way.

Rule five: honest APPROACHES – make connections – after all that’s what we all do on a personal level.  Do you really need to immediately start selling? Will that work? Most likely not.  People buy from people or from companies they feel will give them value.  Be honest from the outset – share a common discussion and develop it further – think of being at a dinner party.    Turn discussion forums into phone conversations and meetings.

Rule six: appropriate CHANNELS: here you need to take in several factors – think about the person you are trying to approach – are they a generation X, Y, Millenial?  Each one will have a typical preference and you need to consider this.  Ask people you work with and each will have a different cross section of answers – be it via social or phone or simply by blog/discussion forums.  Once you understand that you can add that to your segments.

Rule seven:  RECORD and ANALYSE. Work through your segments and record everything – not just information on your prospecting but also what worked well and what did not.  Track the number of touch points on each and how they varied.  Think about how you are going to record and track BEFORE you start prospecting – and don’t forget to allow changes as you learn going forward.

This has helped us become successful over the years.  We hope this works for you.  Are we giving away our bag of tricks you may ask?  Not really, as these are all based on common sense.

One big consideration not to forget with these rules is the time it takes – a LOT, if you want to do this correctly.  This is where professionals come in, yes like us.   That’s where we come in.  90% of the time our clients are all fully aware of these rules, yet rarely follow them to the detail required.  Why? Because they do not have the time.  Again, that’s where we come in.

I’d like to invite you to reach out to us – email Melanie@acorn2oakmarketing.com if you have any questions or would like a complimentary evaluation of your new business development strategy and activities.

Filed under: News on January 20th, 2018 by Melanie Hill