1) Your Hottest Prospects Are Your Customers
Get the most out of your existing customers with Tamming & Pamming:
New business doesn't always have to be from a new customer. Sometimes there will be more juicy contracts with people you already do business with and the trick is how you go about finding this information. One method that worked for me over the years was running an exercise I learnt during my time selling consumer electronics to large national accounts for a UK distributer called TAMMING & PAMMING.
To keep it simple, TAM stands for Total-Available-Market and PAM is Potential Available Market. Over time, I build up a relationship, try to find out everything they buy (TAM) and break it down into the products that I can sell them (PAM). For example, I’m selling TVs and I find out my customer purchases 1000 units annually (TAM). I only sell Sony and Samsung TVs and out of the 1000 TV’s he purchases, 250 are Sony and 250 are Samsung, leaving me with a potential of supplying 500 TVs (PAM). If I am not selling him all 500… then why not? And can I look to find a way to supply him with the rest?
To really maximise your success from your existing accounts, you could go one stage further and grade your customers.
2) Use Linkedin
Take yourself on the Linkedin new business journey:
Linkedin is FREE, so if you do not have a profile yet, get one. You can use it to stalk your prey and identity new opportunities. It's also a fantastic tool to find employees at the companies you are trying to do business with – for instance, if you’re stuck talking to the wrong contact and the company themselves are being cagey about giving out information.
Linkedin is set up so you can filter by industry and position. Once you find your contact and open their profile, you will also see my favourite feature on the bottom right side: People Also Viewed. This will throw up a list of related profiles which, if followed, will take you on a journey through contacts that you could also do business with.
Personally I do not see the need to upgrade, as I do not send Inmails myself, but it is a useful tool if you have the budget. By upgrading, you can also see who’s looked at your profile and if they are relevant, you can go out of your way to call them by ‘coincidence’.
3) E-mail Your Prospects and Follow Up Intelligently
Mailchimp is an excellent tool to run professional email campaigns and report the results:
E-mail is the fastest way to put your message out to lots of people. But let’s face it; we all receive tons of junk mail these days, so email marketing has to done correctly - more now than ever before. So, make sure your data is clean and more importantly, segmented, with your prospects graded so that you send the correct information to the right people. Not everyone in a company will buy the same thing, so figure who buys what, when and how often, before setting up marketing campaigns accordingly.
Aside from clear content and an obvious call-to-action, the next most important factor when running email campaigns is to follow up intelligently. Use a platform that will show you who engaged with your email and follow up with those guys first - within 48 hours.
Personally, I've used Mailchimp for over three years now and must say it's easy to use, allowing me to build prospect lists, segment the data, schedule campaigns and run click/open reports for a small monthly fee. It’s also free to try it out.
4) Face-to-face meetings are 85% more effective than virtual meetings
Exhibit at a trade or industry-focused show at least once year:
I can list tons of examples of ‘bad exhibiting’, but for this blog it's simply to highlight that - with the correct planning and execution - you can find real gems that you would have not met before. Lots of sales managers and their teams have a tendency to focus on quick wins, but meeting a buyer at a show can often lead to longer-term business of a higher value. Why would a buyer go out of their way to meet potential suppliers at a show, if they didn't have a bigger need in mind?
Selecting the right exhibition and running appropriate marketing campaigns is the key. Whilst lots of people worry about inviting their customers, this is something you should definitely be doing. More importantly, don’t pass up on an opportunity to include your prospects, as you have a higher chance of winning future business if you do.
I’ll reference an article that I read recently on www.mediapost.com, which talks about the study that Oxford Economics performed on the effectiveness of virtual meetings (phone, video, chat, etc). They determined that ‘for new prospects, in-person meetings were 85% more effective than virtual meetings, and this benefit was incredibly significant even for existing customers (65%)’.
5) Use The Post
Don’t be ignored - put your products under the buyer’s nose:
Hands up those who delete an email before it's opened, or at best, two seconds after opening? Now, hands up those who throw away a letter without opening it? At a guess, most of you have done the first and very few have ever done the second. So, if you have a budget available, a good designer and a product you are proud of, do not be afraid to print off your company literature and use the post. Bear in mind however, that unlike e-mail campaigns you will not have the luxury of seeing who opened your letter; therefore, you will have to follow every one up to make it a worthwhile exercise. My suggestion would be to send in small weekly bulks and following up with five days of posting.
Try to ‘think outside the box’ with post marketing. To give you an example, I always remembered a story in my local newspaper about an owner of a small building firm, who decided to have a few bricks engraved with his company logo and phone number. He sent these out to prospective clients and because of this, won a large local contract. It then went one stage further -
the press exposure that his marketing campaign had garnered, resulted in him gaining a number of additional contracts from even more new clients. Never underestimate the power of the gimmick!