FAQ’s What’s your SECRET SAUCE?

Answering more of your questions – if you have one email me at kschwartz@springboardbizdev.com

 

What’s your SECRET SAUCE?

I always laugh at this guestion.  What’s the Secret Sauce on a Big Mac, it’s Thousand Island dressing – there’s no secret and they know you won’t do it on your own at home, it’s too much work.  For us, there is no secret sauce, we simply talk to people.  I hate to make it sound so simple but that’s really all it is.  We aren’t growing your business, dealing with employee challenges, handing client fulfillment and service, meeting with the bookkeeper, etc.  You don’t have the time and typically you don’t have the desire to identify, find, and develop relationships with decision makers that lead to opportunities.  It’s not easy, it requires a tremendous amount of dedication, time and focus that you simply don’t have right now and its all we do.

Our consultants understand their base so well; they understand what they need, where they are going, what they need to get there, who’s a good fit culturally, what won’t work, how we need to communicate with them, etc.  So a strong baseline understanding of the prospect is critical and then we simply talk with them.

I think the biggest thing is there’s no bullshit.  There’s no tactics to convince someone to work with you, there’s no manipulation or bait and switch; it’s simply a conversation about need and fit.  This is the reason our prospects continue to work with us – we’re respectful of their time, their needs, their budgets, their focus, and we make sure they get what they need so they can shine.  That doesn’t mean they are always correct in their thinking so we present options to help them see what’s available.  What we find is as we move forward in our relationships with these decision makers they recognize that we only bring unique, game changing capabilities to the table for them.

Name Dropping: The Do’s and Don’ts of Relationship Building

Salespeople and business developers have been name dropping for years. It can be an effective tool to help foster business relationships…if it is done the correct way! So let’s talk about what you can and cannot do when it comes to name dropping:

Do:

  • Do Get Permission: Clear with your relationship FIRST before you ever use their name to make a new introduction – ask them for help and they’ll most likely handle the introduction for you.
  • Do Your Research: Make sure to find out more about the relationship between your contact and the person you’d like to meet before reaching out
  • Do Give them an “Out”: Sometimes a relationship just isn’t at the point where someone feels they can make introductions, give it time
  • Do Be Generous: Be grateful for the help, make sure to say thank you, offer introductions on your side or a thank you lunch or breakfast.  I’ve even received gift cards from those I’ve helped.
  • Do Be Gracious: When reaching out to your friend’s contact, be sure to keep in mind that you can either strengthen or damage their relationship – your goal is to be a resource and strengthen their relationship.  You want their contact to go back to your friend and say thank you for making the introduction.
Don’t:

  • Do NOT drop someone’s name without permission
  • Do NOT drop someone’s name that you really don’t know and act as though you do
  • Do NOT blindly call someone without doing any research on their company
  • Do NOT try to cram a square peg into a round hole. When someone tells you why they aren’t the right fit and they really aren’t, don’t push it
  • Do NOT make the person who introduced you look like a fool
  • Do NOT call the same prospect multiple times dropping multiple names of people you do not know.


If name dropping is done the right way – the ethical way – it can be a powerful sales technique. But you have to be careful. Remember, there is a difference between someone you have met, seen at a networking event, talked with briefly, and someone you can call a friend. So when you open a sales call or sales meeting with the following phrase – “I’m a good friend of ______________ and they said I need to meet you!” – make sure it is actually true! Name dropping in order to get an appointment or close a deal is just bad business. You will get found out and it will hurt your reputation.

“This behavior doesn’t work anymore,” said Springboard CEO Karin Schwartz. “I’m not sure it ever really did, but it certainly doesn’t today.”

People buy products and services, they aren’t sold!

If you have any questions about Business Development, please contact Springboard Business Development by calling 410-832-7560 or click here today!

Located in Baltimore, Maryland, Springboard offers outsourced sales solutions for businesses in the professional services arena. Our approach to business development makes it easy to find new clients without the financial burden of an in-house business developer.

At Springboard we know sales!

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How to Tell if Your Investment in a Networking Group has Paid Off

Do networking groups really work?

How can you track their effectiveness?

Will they really help you grow your business?

These are just a few of the questions members of networking groups continue to ask themselves week after week, meeting after meeting. They want to know if it is all worth it. So how can you measure the success of your networking groups? For starters, keep track of…

•      The number of leads you generate through Business Networking activities.

•      How many new partnerships resulted from your Business Networking activities.

•      Most Importantly, has any of this resulted in an increase in business?

In the end, the only thing that matters is your return on investment (ROI). So if these networking groups are not resulting in more business, then why deal with them? But these groups obviously work for some people, or they would not still be attended.

So maybe the problem isn’t the networking group, maybe it is the networker, aka you.

The trick is to know HOW to deal with networking groups. Remember, these groups are not a magical way to gain business. They require work. They require you to build relationships. If you only attend meetings to receive business, expecting an immediate increase in revenue, than you will go home disappointed.

As one article put it, its netWORKING, not net WAITING.

Instead, take the time to connect with people. Learn who they are, not just what they do. And most importantly, ask how you can help support them. If you are not giving referrals to others, what incentive do they have to give referrals to you? So help foster a relationship that is mutually beneficial.

But don’t just end your interaction at your networking event. Have a follow up plan: maybe a phone call, email, personal note, or a follow up meeting. Continue to build upon the relationship you started cultivating at the networking event. Let them know you enjoyed talking with them and will think of people to connect them with (and ask them to do the same for you).

In the end, people do business with other people. To be more specific, they do business with other people that they like. So get out there and start cultivating mutually beneficial business relationships!

If you have any questions, contact Springboard Business Development by calling 410-832-7560 or click here today!

At Springboard we offer outsourced sales solutions for businesses in the professional services arena. It’s simple, while you focus on delivery, we bring our sales expertise and connections to focus on your business development challenges.

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter as well!

Sources:

Networking Groups – Do They Work? BizNik.com

 

Cold Calling: Outdated, Ineffective, and Pointless

In today’s modern world, why are so many businesses relying on such an outdated sales method? Cold calling is a thing of the past.

The problem with cold calling is that it is not an effective use of time. If any other aspect of your business had a success rate of less than 10%, would you continue with it, or would you pull the plug? Of course you wouldn’t invest time and money in something so unproductive; you want your business to run as efficiently as possible. So why are you still relying on cold calling?

The goal of the average sales person making cold calls is to call 100-125 people a day with the hopes of generating 8-10 interested parties. That’s right, 8-10 people out of 125. Cold calling is a numbers game with no real winner.

There has got to be a better way.

The truth is that cold calling is outdated. With the help of the Internet, Social Media, television, talk radio, and magazines, consumers are now more educated than ever before. Consumers want real information, not a sales pitch. This is why cold calling does not work. If someone needs a certain product or service, they can search for it, research it, and purchase it without ever leaving their couch.

Consumers no longer need cold calls, so why are businesses still relying on cold calls?

You should have potential clients coming to you, whether it be by word of mouth, lead generation, advertising, or referrals. Today’s business world is built upon relationships and trust.

So instead of focusing your efforts on complete strangers, build a rapport with your current clients. One referral from a satisfied consumer is more valuable than 100 cold calls. Based on a Nielsen poll, 90% of consumers trust peers and less than 10% trust an unknown source.

This is one reason social media has become increasingly popular as a sales tool. It helps build relationships. Sales people can have more relevant intelligence on prospects and become great resources to their customers by using social media. Now companies have the opportunity to listen, engage and converse with a massive market place, like never before.

There has been a fundamental shift in the way business works. So maybe it is time for you to embrace the future of sales and finally shift your tactics away from ineffective cold calling.

If you have any questions about outsourcing, contact Springboard by calling 410-832-7560 or click here today!

At Springboard we offer outsourced sales solutions for businesses in the professional services arena. It’s simple, while you focus on delivery, we bring our sales expertise and connections to focus on your business development challenges.

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter as well!

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Sources:

Is Cold Calling A Thing of the Past? SalesHQ.Monster.com

Why Cold Calling is the Bottom of the Barrel Blog.InsideView.com

How Social Media Can Help Relationship Building

Communication has gone through several important evolutionary steps since the dawn of time. From oral tradition, to the written language, the invention of the telephone, the Internet and email, the cell phone, texting, and finally Social Media.

Wait, Really?  Social Media? Well, yes.

Like the falling of the Berlin Wall, Social Media has knocked down the barrier – or as one writer put it, the “brand wall” – between companies and consumers. People can now connect with businesses and brands like never before.

While the Internet has almost made human contact obsolete in terms of relationship building, it has also revolutionized the process as well – taking communication to new heights.

One reason companies have embraced Social Media is the price tag. Before, organizations looking to market their products and services had to spend vast amounts of money on newspaper and magazine ads, commercials and billboards. And the worst part was that it was almost impossible to track the success of those advertising platforms.

Social Media offers companies a cheap alternative to traditional marketing with almost instant feedback and tracking. How many fans does your business have on Facebook? How many of them “liked” your last post? You can actually see potential consumers/clients interacting with the unique content on your Social Media profiles.

Social Media has opened up a wealth of new opportunities for businesses. And a happy offshoot of this cheaper way to advertise is increased exposure to consumers and clients. Now companies have the opportunity to listen, engage and converse with a massive market place. They can tweet with people and offer advice when they are in need of assistance.

This new communication platform – Social Media – allows companies and consumers to build relationships that were never possible before. The Internet, which once made corporations more faceless than ever before, is now bringing “human” interaction back to standard business practices.

If you have any questions about outsourcing, contact Springboard by calling 410-832-7560 or click here today!

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter as well!

 

Sources:

1) Unique Content: The Key to Online Relationship Building, Social Media and SEO SocialMediaToday.com

2) Relationship Building – 6 Tips For Working in Social Media SEMClubHouse.com

3) The Money’s in The Relationship FreelanceCopyWritersBlog.com

4) Social Media: The Relationship (r)Evolution SocialMediaToday.com