Remember movie Glengarry Glen Ross and the all-important new batch of leads? The salesmen were dying to get those names, and Blake (played by Alec Baldwin) taunted them with them, refusing to release them:
"These are the new leads. These are the Glengarry leads. And to you they're gold, and you don't get them. Why? Because to give them to you would be throwing them away. They're for closers."
While having good leads is important, it's what you do with those leads—which sometimes are nothing more than names and an addresses—that determines if they will become clients, let alone a loyal longtime clients.
Congratulations are in order for Cliff Pollan. His article How to Get Buyers to Care about Your Service won the June 5 Readers' Choice Award! Take a look at it if you didn't get a chance to read it. Cliff did a great job.
This week should feature another competitive race for the award. Let's take a look at what you'll find in the June 12 edition of the Rainmaker Report:
"I always like to say a sale is not an event; it's a process," says Ago Cluytens, Practice Director EMEA at RAIN Group in a recent interview, The Best Way to Reach and Sell to C-level Executives. "In many cases, and especially in complex B2B sales, there are literally hundreds of things that need to happen and need to be aligned for you to get to a sale."
The same is true when trying to get in touch with senior executives, he says. It can take 10-12 touches before an executive agrees to meet with you.
That means you must be patient, you must have a process, and you must have a strategy for nurturing the relationship, Cluytens says.
There's nothing as eye-opening about sales as when you're in the buyer's seat. You've been selling your services for years. You know what buyers think and want. You know what to give them so you end up with happy, loyal clients who sing your praises. Right? Not necessarily.
When you're the buyer and see how other providers operate, you realize the gaps in your own sales process. Plus, you start to understand why buyers are skeptical and wary.
"Being a client was a game-changer for me. I now understand the skepticism out there. There are too many 'professionals' who say the right things but don't deliver," writes Vickie K. Sullivan in her article What I Learned from Buying Professional Services.
Congrats to C.J. Hayden for winning the May 29 Readers' Choice Award! Her podcast interview If You Aren't Getting Clients, this Might Be Why shared some great advice about how to use marketing time more efficiently. Great work, C.J.!
Here's a look at the content that's up for the award this week (June 5):
I've always been a big planner. I set the goal and then break down what must happen to accomplish it. Plans help me stay on track and prevent me from wasting time, which is something I loathe. I simply have too many things to do.
More than that, plans keep me sane and prevent chaos. I don't change course at the mention of something new without first analyzing if it's worth doing.
Non-planners won't agree with this, preferring an unstructured, try-this-try-that approach. That might be OK for one's personal life, as long as the others around you don't mind, but when it comes to professional things, especially if you run your own business, planning is a must.
I'm not the only one who thinks that. The marketing experts I follow say the same thing, and a many have been saying it more than usual these days, leading me to believe that marketing planning is falling by the wayside.
You can't let that happen.
Congratulations to Robert Middleton for winning the May 22 Readers' Choice Award! If you missed his article on how to put your marketing plan into action, take a few minutes to do so now. If you're having trouble getting your marketing plan off the ground, it should provide you with the tools you need to get things going.
And if that's not enough for you, we have a brand new batch of content in this week's Rainmaker Report (May 29). Here's what you'll find in the new issue:
You read a blog post about a great marketing idea. You think it sounds perfect for your firm. You make a note or bookmark the page to remind you to go back to it so you can add it to your marketing mix. But you never do, and the idea fades away.
You are not alone if you've done that. Independent professionals are particularly susceptible to it, as they're doing everything for their business and there is only so much time in a day. How can they add something to their already-busy schedule? They can if they have a marketing system and make the new item part of their routine, says Robert Middleton in his article Actually Putting Your Marketing into Action.
Congratulations to Deborah Flate for winning the May 15 Readers' Choice Award! If you missed her article on the important difference between selling and presenting, take a minute to check it out. Great work, Deborah!
This week, we have a nice batch of new content to send you into the Memorial Day weekend. Here's the rundown of what you'll find in the May 22 Rainmaker Report:
Not only do you do client work, but you help with marketing, write articles and blog posts, send a monthly enewsletter, go to networking events, meet with prospects, and more. Then you leave the office to fight traffic so you can volunteer at your child's school, help coach her softball team, have dinner with your family, and later put in a few more hours of work from home.
It's no wonder people often look for the "secret" to doing something (like marketing) or the "one thing" sure to get you more clients. They just want something to be quick and easy. They want something to make their incredibly busy lives easier.
As well all know, however, there is no secret, magic, or one quick solution to business success. It all takes work, time, and persistence.
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