2013 is now a few weeks closer than when I wrote Part 1 of this article and the need to get moving on these tips is even more important. Waiting until December (who WANTS to get into gear just when the holiday parties are starting) or heaven forbid January (a wee bit too late don’t ya think?) are foolish. Start NOW, when you have the luxury of time to re-engineer your tactics if they don’t play out the way you envision.
In the last post we stressed three key things that are critical in laying the foundation for success in 2013:
- Prospect smarter
- Network strategically
- Clarify your points of differentiation
Here are three more tips that can mean the difference between seeing your business soar or watching it falter:
Understand what social media can do for you. Social media is simply a tool that plays a role in a thoroughly “integrated” marketing strategy. It does not stand-alone, it will not save a failing marketing program and it is not a panacea for poorly defined sales processes. Social media can play a powerful role in your business building efforts but it should be just ONE part of your game plan. Ignore the other critical components in an integrated plan and you run the risk of losing business.
Refine your touch point management program. Staying on the grid during a lengthy sales cycle is challenging. Keeping current with networking contacts and referral sources can also be difficult. How can you do it effectively without “checking in” and “touching base” and without becoming intrusive and bothersome? It’s really quite simple. Use the 3 I’s (invitations, introduction and information) to stay on the grid and add value to the relationship, sometimes even before there is a relationship. Checking in is a cliché; use the 3 I’s and see how many more doors will open especially if it takes many months for the business to come to fruition.
Develop excellent probing skills. If you ask the right questions prospects will tell you what they need, when they need it, what they will pay for it and pretty much everything else that you need to pull through the business. And while you’re at it, don’t forget to continue to have questions for your clients. Situations change, new contacts are added to the company, mergers and acquisitions get planned and it is important for you to stay on top of what is happening with your current clients.
These 6 tips should help you to develop more robust NEW business and ensure that you will be able to retain and even grow your existing business. Need more information or wish anything to be clarified? Contact me and I’m happy to tell you more. And while you’re at it, subscribe to my blog for more tips, tricks and techniques to make your business soar.