Where do you start?
How do you go about it?
For most people this is like eating the elephant … it seems like a huge task, with an infinite number of things that need to happen. Therefore the best way to tackle this kind of activity is through a plan.
1. SET A GOAL
This will be very dependent upon your business and your role. Here are some examples …
i. A salesperson may be looking to grow their recurring revenues by x% over the next year.
ii. A small business may need to diversify its client base, and therefore the goal might be to add three more clients generating more than $x in the next year.
2. Once you have a goal, you need to develop some STRATEGIES
i. That salesperson might draw up a list of prospective clients, research them a little to understand the potential and choose a subset to start with.
ii. That small business might do the same … or might decide to chase a new target industry, perhaps parlaying existing expertise (perhaps in the banking sector) into a way to bring value in another sector (perhaps the insurance sector).
3. Once you have the strategies you need to create ACTION ITEMS that will get you to that goal.
i. The salespersons action items might include:
- develop selling messages for the target market;
- create lists of contacts within the target market together with contact information (entered in CRM);
- Set up meetings with all of the people;
- Involve company resources in meetings as appropriate;
- Periodically review how well messages are working, refine and chase more contacts.
- Measure success, learn from failures, refine strategies.
- Build relationships with key resources … through bringing value over and above the company offerings.
ii. The small business might have action items similar to those above, but might also have items like.
- Solicit help from suppliers, old contacts, consultants etc.
- Join associations, networking groups, board of trade etc to understand market better.
- Use local government resources for market information … provincial or municipal resources are keen to attract and grow business in their regions.
Execution on the action items requires the classic persistence of a good salesperson. There will be rejection, there will be failure, there will be a lot of hard work just to get the meetings.
A planned approach and a good work ethic will win the day.
“I never dreamed about success, I worked for it” … Estee Lauder.
Kevin Dee is CEO of Eagle (a Professional Staffing Company)
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