A couple weeks ago I had a really good day, the following Tweet was my inspiration for this article...
If you'd like to have your phone ring a little more often and get requests for you to evaluate their business a little more often and make the caller a client a little more often, this article should serve you well. If you want to do more inbound sales than outbound sales (who likes cold calling anyway?) you need to start building. This kind of build doesn't happen over night, you have to invest into it heavily in order to get out of it steadily.
Step 1: Establish Your Brand
The more people know and recognize you the more you're going to benefit. Sometimes the seemingly smallest steps are overlooked so here's a short checklist to make an impact with your personal brand. If you do this for the next few months you'll start to see why it's so foundational to your strategy.
- Build out your profiles on all social mediums you want to play on
- Build a professional, attractive website that represents you and your business well
- Publish content that educates and teaches readers how to improve themselves
- Take a stand, don't try to be everything to everyone be something unique and hugely valuable to a specific group
Step 2: Create Value With Your Services
What's in it for the people you want to do business with? What can you solve for them? It's not about the features and benefits of the widgets you're selling, it's how that widget is going to make people's lives better. If you can demonstrate your ability to solve problems with your marketing assets you'll peak people's interest and get them to seek you out.
- Make people aware of the needs your services solve.
- Educate people on their options rather than trying to convince them why yours is the only choice.
- Help them make the right decision by giving them enough insight into your solution to choose it if it's right
Step 3: Build Your Network
As Keith Ferrazzi says: Never Eat Alone. Concept here is really simple but massively misinterpreted and rarely practiced. Make time for relationships, invest in others and work hard to make friends in everything you do. See the good in everyone and look for opportunities to help others find what they're looking for.
- Seek out leaders in your industry and find out what has made them successful
- Don't underestimate the value in who others know, no matter their job title or experience
- Always ask questions from others more often then telling them about yourself
Step 4: Become A Thought Leader
You have to share what you know that others don't if you want to be seen you as a thought leader. That means lending your industry insights, experience, and opinions that you've acquired over your time in your industry. You're more of an expert than you probably give yourself credit for, believe it or not there are a lot of people who could find real value in your advice.
So write blog articles, share your thoughts in LinkedIn groups, answer questions on social media, do everything you can to share openly and without expectation of instant gratification. The more you share with your audience and teach them about how you do what you do the more you'll benefit. You'll be seen as a thought leader and someone others can go to for advice; with that comes opportunity.
Putting It All Together
If you're not happy with the level of results you're getting you need to change something or do more. That goes for anything really, but it especially applies to business development and lead generation. You're going to get out of it what you put into it, but if you're doing the wrong things you're going hit a false ceiling.
By devoting true effort to each of the 4 steps in your every day activities you'll begin to build momentum and you'll start to have days like I had a few weeks ago. Your phone and email will blow up with qualified leads for you to follow up on. They'll come from all angles and all sources. You'll think of this article later, after you can breathe again.