It Really Is YOU not ME

I’m sure at some point in your dating life someone said “it’s not you, it’s me” and you believed them.  It doesn’t mean that it was a bad thing that your relationship didn’t work out although at the time you were probably devastated.  The same happens every day in business and whether it’s you or me is irrelevant; we’re just not the right fit.

A few blogs ago we talked about our Client Acceptance Protocol and the changes we had to make to ensure we are focused on working with the right clients.  We find that there are certain business owner traits that coincide with a certain size and type of client and we’ve learned over almost 5 years where we can and cannot be successful.

Here’s what we look for in a client:

  • A unique offering, product or service
  • A CEO who knows how to delegate and outsource
  • A CEO who understands their sales cycle
  • A client who is looking to build long term happy client relationships and not just transactions
  • A respectful leadership team and corporate culture
  • A leadership team who truly understands their people are their greatest asset
  • A leadership team who regularly, consistently communicates and receives feedback with grace

What we know doesn’t work:

  • A CEO that’s a micro-manager
  • A CEO without a vision of the future of the company
  • The CEO who believes that their people are the smartest and their service is better than anyone else – this is usually the person who is not living in reality
  • A CEO or corporate culture build on disrespect
  • A CEO or leadership team that cannot accept feedback or places blame on everyone else
  • A CEO who thinks their team is disposable

As you can see it’s not easy to tell one from the other in a meeting or two.  Everyone puts their best foot forward in an interview and no one will tell you they are a passive aggressive nutcase or they micromanage everyone and everything.   People have asked why in our Client Acceptance Protocol have we instituted meetings with other members of the company and with clients along with attending new prospect meetings…this is why.  You can learn a lot from seeing someone in action, how they respond to questions, how they handle adversity.  These meetings allow us to learn more about the company, its process, its unique capabilities, and most importantly it allows us to see who we’re really partnering with.  Every day we put our relationships and our reputations on the line for our clients and one bad client can ruin years of work, we look to ensure that never happens.  Outsourced business development is a team  approach; we rely on each other to close deals and if we can’t trust the behavior of our client, we can’t in good consciousness represent them

 

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.

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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

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!

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter as well!