To enhance prospecting, it pays to network in target-rich environments. Quick, think of your target profile. Then think, who gathers these people? Right now there are groups and associations that are creating pools of prospects for you to meet. Read my CBS MoneyWatch blog How to Network with Purpose
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Check out my blog CBS MoneyWatch on networking. Enjoy!
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Check out my blog on MoneyWatch today. Enjoy!
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Check out my recent interview with Keith Ferrazzi – it’s on CBS’s MoneyWatch today. Enjoy!
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People tell their own bio story like they are reading the ingredients of a Cheerios™ box. When we do the “round the table” intro at a meeting hardly any one makes an impression. The act of listing name/title/length of service is a mindless droning that is absolutely enervating. I think that this moment is a lost opportunity. Your job is not to blend in- it’s to stand out as someone who brings value and uniqueness to the conversation. How to do this:
- Name and title
- Years in the industry, with the company
- 2-3 big hits
- Your contribution to the “big solution”
I think that this is best illustrated in a series of examples:
Example #1 – Joe
Hi, I’m Joe Williams, COO of XYZ corporation. I’ve been in logistics for 20 years, 10 of those with the top 3 mainline carriers and 10 in the 3PL and 4PL consulting business, the last five with XYZ. A couple of the highlights have been re-building the international supply chain management transportation for Wal-Mart saving a half-billion dollars over 4 years and the re-organization of the expedited services of PDQ for a market share double over 3 years. I’m here to cover our 19% expense trim strategy on your urgent shipments.
Example #2 – Sue
Hi, I’m Sue Anderson, Senior Account Executive of Acme Corporation. I’ve been in strategic account development for 15 years in the IT services industry. All of those have been with Acme focusing on the enterprise platform deployment area of the business.
I was flying with a senior engineer from one of the top 5 aerospace companies in the world this week as he was on a trip to meet with a number of his suppliers around the country. He’s been an engineer on the supply chain management side for years in several different very large companies. I asked him his thoughts on smaller suppliers- how can they get into a big company, how can they grow their business and what are some of the common mistakes. A couple things I got from our conversation include:
The traditional answers came up, but some nuggets came out. Industry networking – figure out a way to connect to the senior people at trade shows. Read the papers and articles in the industry and contact those authors who are active engineers in the companies with whom you would like to do business. LinkedIn is an emerging way to reach out to senior people and he is seeing more social media connection going on, especially in the specialty groups that are formed inside of LinkedIn and other SM platforms.
He saw my eyes roll and he laughed, but he tried to reassure me that this is still a good way to get in. His point was that starting at the top and working on getting an executive sponsor in Procurement/Purchasing/SCM is still the right move. Most small companies look at these areas as processes to follow or areas to avoid. However, his point is that the executives in these areas get big points for bringing in good suppliers who solve problems.
- Make it important to them. Big P.C. comes from doing something important. You have to connect to their biggest business problems and demonstrate how your relationship aligns to those, or you will not get any real P.C. spend—you’ll just get lip service. The results have to be measureable and they have to happen quickly.
- Big ROI. This is key. You have to show a very big ROI in one of two ways: either a huge multiple on a big investment or a huge multiple on a small one. Executive Sponsors must perceive a relatively small expenditure of P.C. to get a big win. To do this, you are going to be very specific in your requests. a. “I need for you to make this introduction on my behalf.” b. “I’ll need your direct support in getting that information from that department.” c. “I’m concerned that the person we need for this effort does not feel the sense of urgency that we do. Will you assist me in moving this up her priority list?” These things are all small P.C. expenditures for the Executive Sponsor, but are big in terms of value to us (the little guy). By being tactical and specific in your requests, you have helped them to calculate what the potential P.C. expenditure. The request is contained and manageable, so you have a higher likelihood of getting that sponsorship.
- Make them important in the process.