Self-Evaluate: Are you a Giver or a Taker?

A few months ago, I read Bob Burg and John David Mann’s Go-Givers Sell More, the follow-up to their national bestseller, The Go-Giver, a work aimed at inspiring individuals to shift the focus in their lives from getting, to – as the title suggests – giving. Applying this concept to the workforce, Go-Givers Sell More emphasizes the importance of generosity in business transactions. As I perused its pages, I was forced to face the facts about my own altruistic intentions like a child who’s just realized that the tooth fairy isn’t real. When I did, I realized a troubling truth: I had become a taker.

As someone who runs a company that’s a part of the sales industry, I have a business that depends on introductions. When I stopped to really think about the current state of affairs at Springboard at that point in time, it occurred to me that for some reason, my referrals had come to a screeching halt. It was time for me to accelerate into high gear and drive my business forward, but before I could, I had to seriously evaluate what was going wrong with my business.

It’s easy to get caught in the hustle and bustle of daily obligations and tasks, and I had certainly fallen into the habit of so doing. I had become so busy, focusing on clients, family routines, and checking off my day-to-day to-do list that I had forgotten to incorporate one crucial element into my life: giving. Whether you want to call it karma, cause and effect, or something else entirely, Burg and Mann have gotten it right: receiving without reciprocation is bad for business.

I made the decision to make a change and make it my mission to give. I started building connections and providing introductions that I had promised in the past but forgotten to follow through on. I used my Motorola Xoom tablet to make connections on social media networks on the spot as I’m interacting with people in person. I seek out reasons to establish meaningful relationships with more and more people around me.

But intentionality has a lot to do with the outcome of your endeavors, I’ve learned; you can’t have a quid pro quo attitude, constantly expecting equal exchanges from others. Instead, you must focus on acting purely for the sake of helping others, without selfish goals in mind. If you’re hoping to give merely to get, then you’ve overlooked the thematic issue in this post entirely. Here’s the thing, though: once you give without expectation, you will get back. Since realigning my focus, I’ve received introductions and opportunities I never thought possible. And for every two introduction I make, I get back at least one.

If your referrals have dried up, take a page from Go-Givers Sell More and make it a point to give business opportunities away to others.

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Networking Meaningfully with LinkedIn

Here at Springboard, we’re committed to doing what it takes to expand your company faster than a balloon on a helium tank, and our team of experienced business development professionals can help make that possible. Though our sales experts are multi-faceted in their approaches to helping you garner new clientele, we recognize that one very effective platform for business expansion is social media.

Whether or not you’ve committed yourself and your company to keeping up with the technological times in terms of establishing a social media presence, there are some important factors to consider about online networking. Join us as we take a closer look at one such site – LinkedIn – and evaluate the ways in which it can be beneficial to your professional life.

LinkedIn’s website declares that its mission is “to help you be more effective in your daily work and open doors to opportunities using the professional relationships you already have.”

Some of our clients feel a little personally overwhelmed by social media platforms like LinkedIn, weary of the amount of time it will cost to manage them effectively. With LinkedIn in particular, people have a tendency to take their professional networking too far, connecting with as many people in their industry or a related one as possible – even those that live thousands of miles away who they’ll probably never meet in person, nor strike up significant business relationships with.

If you choose to build a personal or company profile on LinkedIn, be sure to connect meaningfully: that is, show some discretion. Don’t connect just for the sake of expanding your numbers, but do so with intentionality. When you reach out to someone online, take a moment to send him a personal note, letting him know why you’d like to connect. Did you meet him at an in-person networking event? Say so. Did your colleague refer you to her as a valuable consultant for advice? Let her know. The few minutes that you designate to do this will make you memorable, and will leave a favorable impression of you in your new connection’s mind.

Below are a few of our favorite reasons to sign up for LinkedIn today and get active. It allows you to:

  • Stay in touch with a large number of people
  • Conduct industry-related research
  • Share pertinent information that showcases your value
  • Create new connections

So go ahead, take our advice here at Springboard and spring into action on those social media networking sites – just be sure to do so meaningfully!

If you have any questions about Using LinkedIn to Expand your Business, 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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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!

Follow us on FacebookTwitterGoogle+, and LinkedIn as well!

 

Attracting Prospects and Generating Leads :: Maryland Business Development

Business is evolving. And if you want to stay in the game and thrive, you also need to evolve. Specifically, you need to change the way in which you attract prospects and generate leads. Below you will find 4 innovative ways to accomplish this.

Attracting Prospects and Generating Leads in today’s Business World

  1. Social Media: By joining the right social groups, you can instantly be connected to vast quantities of your Ideal Client Profile (ICP). Best yet, social media profiles allow you to network from the comfort of your own home while still connecting with prospects in an intimate, one-on-one manner.
  2. Showcasing: Showcasing, which can be either oral or written, has four objectives: to educate, to entertain, to reinforce your position as an industry expert, and to capture prospect’s contact information. This is only effective, however, if you target new sets of prospects. There is no point in giving the same sales pitch to people who already know what you have to offer.
  3. Proactive Referrals: “All the money you need is in the pockets of the people you know and the pockets of the people they know.” – Business coach Dan Sullivan.
  4. Springboard Business Development: Marketing (attracting prospects), appointment setting, and lead generation are highly specialized forms of direct marketing that is usually best outsourced to the specialists. That is why you should outsource your business development needs to a professional sales firm, like Springboard!

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.

Follow us on FacebookTwitterGoogle+, and LinkedIn as well!

Using Your Time Wisely

Running your own company is no easy task. You have to address every aspect of your business with the utmost diligence and, let’s face it, you just do not have the time to give everything the attention it deserves. So where do you cut corners? Can you afford to cut corners?

There has to be a better solution.

There is. Outsourcing.

What if your business could outsource business development to a team of professionals at a fraction of the cost? That’s where Springboard comes in. 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. Springboard focuses in the four critical areas of business development:

Exposure

•     Networking

•     Speaking Opportunities

•     Social Media – research, connect with and directly interact with potential prospects, join and become active in relevant groups, post pertinent articles/white papers to help you be seen as an expert

Partnerships

•     Identify potential markets for partners

•     Research who’s who in the marketplace

•     Connect with and Directly interact with potential partners

•     Make introductions to client once identified and qualified

Prospecting

•     Lead Generation

•     Lead Qualification

•     Understanding of Prospect Needs

•     Introduction to Client as the expert to handle the identified need

Communication

•     Managing the communication before, during and after the proposal

•      Asking the questions you can’t ask

•      Ensuring we’re on the same page as we move through the buying process

When done right, outsourcing will both help your company grow and save money. This article from About.com outlines the top 4 advantages to outsourcing your business development needs.

  1. Focus on Core Activities: Every aspect of your business requires great attention to detail. Outsourcing those activities in which you simply do not have the resources to address properly, will allow you to re-focus your time without sacrificing quality or service.
  2. Save Money: Perhaps you do not have the money to hire another, much needed employee. Instead of ignoring some aspect of your business or hiring an employee that you cannot afford, outsource your extra needs to a well-qualified company. Outsourcing will often cost less than hiring a full-time employee, meaning you are getting the attention to detail you need, but at a fraction of the cost.
  3. Flexibility: Instead of hiring seasonal workers/employee during your busy season, outsource your additional work.
  4. Continuity & Risk Management: Outsourcing will provide a level of continuity to the company while reducing the risk that a substandard level of operation would bring to the company.

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

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