In a recent post, we talked about how to learn about your big fish and prepare for the first contact you’ll make with them. This first contact is essential to your success. You need to instill confidence in them. They need to know you can fulfill exactly what you are offering on time, at a good price and at the quality you promise.
Today we’ll actually go through the big approach and how to make that perfect first impression. Before you put together your approach plan, you need to choose which big fish you’re going after. Take a look at your notes and the research you’ve done about prospective fish. Then decide which one will be the easiest approach to start out with.
There are a series of things to go through in choosing which fish to start with. They are:
- Position Your Business
- Compile Your Hit List
- Select the Best Target
Position Your Business
You need to position your business to make the first move by listing your revenue streams, ID and list your operational procedures, where your fish is initially positioned, your big-customer research, and putting it all together.
Compile Your Hit List
Start with a list of all the companies you’ve been considering. Then narrow it down to the ones you know could use your products or services. Don’t overlook obvious choices, whether they are big or small. Even small companies could be big fish in the future.
Select the Best Target
Once you’ve got your list narrowed down, you need to decide which one is the best fish to start with. You need to consider a couple of things:
- Which have the most purchasing resources to spend?
- Does their company vision complement yours?
- What are their employee incentive programs as they relate to your products/services?
- What’s the company’s real need for you?
- Will the partnership lead you off-course?
Now you should have a target in mind to start with. It’s time to plan your approach and execute that plan.
Here’s the step-by-step plan to help you make a good first impression:
- Build and analyze your database. Divide your leads into three different categories: hot leads, great fits and secondary leads.
- Send out introductory mailings to your target to introduce yourself, your company, services, products, and vision. They need to be short, clean and concise.
- Follow up with your first phone call 2-3 days after they would have received the mailings. During the phone call find out whom you need to be speaking with in the future and try to set up a meet with the right person.
- Follow up your phone call with another mailing that thanks them for taking the time to speak with you and offer more details about your products/services. Use this letter and the opportunity to set up a meeting to do a presentation.
- Follow up the letter with another phone call a couple of days after they would have received the letter. This phone call is to help you further develop your relationship with the prospective client. You should also be able to set up a presentation meeting with them.
- Call again a week later if they haven’t agreed to a meeting or presentation. Ask if they received your creative letter (the second one) and if they have a minute when you can stop by and introduce yourself in person.
Now, don’t be upset if you don’t seal the deal right away. Some people simply take a little longer to woo. This can all be a little intimidating at first, but when you know you are offering a quality product/service, you can’t go wrong.
Once you’ve gone through this process and make the first contact (and hopefully a good first impression) it’s time to put your best face forward, which means sending the right salesperson to seal the deal.
If you need help putting together your approach and make a good first impression, try our GUIDED TOUR to work with a coach and have access to a wealth of great resources and tools. You can also join our Inner Circle Mastermind to learn and network with an incredible group of success-focused entrepreneurs.
In the last post we talked about how to bring the big-company mindset into your business and your team. This will help you overcome the mental obstacles that will keep you from being successful. Now that you’ve learned how to overcome that, we’re going to talk about who your fish is. It’s important to know about the fish you are looking for before you put a plan together. We’re also going to take a moment to talk about the potential “red tape” you may encounter along the way.
The most important thing to know about your fish is their purchasing habits and procedures. There are four main things you need to work on in order to be successful:
- Responsibilities: You need to know who has influence over purchasing, who does the actual buying and who can kill a deal if they want.
- Get on Their List: You need to know how to get on their list of people to buy from. Your name needs to not only be on the list but at the top of it and in as many categories as possible for the more interaction. Ask about a procurement program and what you need to do to go through the application process.
- Lingo: You need to learn the company’s unique language and communications methods. These could include report names, buzzwords and even the nicknames they have for their employees.
- Fiscal Budgets: It’s essential you know the fish’s fiscal budget, so you know exactly when they are planning their expenses for the year.
Now that we’ve talked a little about what you need to know about your fish, let’s take a quick look at the “red tape”.
Bureaucracy might as well be a four-letter word with the emotions it stirs in all of us. “Red tape” is a necessary evil, but one you can use to learn from. There are two ways to learn from their system:
- Analyze their activity.
- Review their correspondence.
Being an outsider looking in can have its advantages too. If you hate dealing with the “red tape”, imagine how their employees feel dealing with it. If they need to crunch some numbers, offer to do it. If they need more info, make sure you are giving it to them in a user-friendly way.
The things we talked about in this lesson will help you prepare for the big approach. If you need help with any of this, try our GUIDED TOUR to find the right tools to get the job done.
There are a number of factors to take into consideration when prepping yourself and your company to approach the largest clients you’ll ever work with.
Today we’re going to start with a brief look at the three paths every business faces and show you which one is the path to success. Then we’ll talk about the mindset it takes to attract the big fish.
There are three major paths a business can take:
- Snail Speed
- Shooting Star
- Catch the Big Fish
Most business owners ended up working themselves into the ground without much reward or success. This is what happens when you fool yourself into thinking you will find quick success. You may also find yourself following this path when you are afraid of change.
This describes a business that shoots to the top so fast you are overwhelmed and don’t have the right resources in place to adapt. This can also happen from being overwhelmed by small clients and not taking the time to find large clients, which will sustain your business after the small client sales slow.
Catch the Big Fish
This is the path that allows you to build at a steady pace that you can manage by not allowing your customers to outpace you. You can do this by putting these tips to work:
- Attract, keep and lock in big clients.
- Integrate “big business” culture into your company and employees.
- Acquire the expertise you need to grow.
- Have the courage to make changes as you grow.
Now we are going to transition a bit and talk about the “big fish” mindset. It may sound easy to just find and catch that big fish, but if you are stuck in the small business mindset, you may find it harder than you think.
Think of all the benefits of aiming at bigger clients:
- Highly Profitable
In order to catch the big fish, you need to believe your company can make a difference with theirs. It’s easy to get into the thought that a large company doesn’t need anything from a small business like yours, but this is entirely wrong!
Once you take a look at how big companies operate, it’s important to know which one’s are the best fit for your company. One of the best ways to get in the door is by knowing someone on the inside who can put in a good word for you.
If you’re not sure where to start and feel a little intimidated about catching big fish, try our GUIDED TOUR to get help from our amazing business coaches.
On Saturday morning I had an opportunity to be a guest on SAVVY – The Business Podcast with Melissa Ambers. We had a great time talking business, marketing, and strategy.
Watch the episode below and please leave your thoughts and comments.
Below are the links referred to at the end of the interview:
E-Learning Marketing System: https://jeffheggiebusiness.com/guidedtour
Inner Circle Mastermind: http://bit.ly/MastermindSpecialOffer
Business Coaching Inquiries: https://jeffheggiebusiness.com/one-on-one-coaching
Chapter One from my book, “45 Minute Business Breakthroughs,” to download a copy of the entire book you can do that HERE
Let’s face it. The major hot button for most small businesses these days is the ability to generate leads. All small businesses want more leads, but few of them know how to successfully attract customers to their business.
As a coach, I have in-depth knowledge and skill when it comes to generating leads. So here’s the process I use to do this.
If you’re like 99% of the business owners I speak with, you may often feel lost or overwhelmed as you try to navigate through all the various options available these days. Websites, social media, SEO, email marketing, Facebook, pay-per-click and so on.
Let me do you a favor right now and completely remove that overwhelm from your life forever. Are you familiar with the 80/20 rule?
For business owners, it means 20% of what you do every day is generating 80% of your total annual revenue.
In other words, you’re only doing a few things daily that makes you most of your money. I can tell you specifically what makes up that 20%, and that’s all you really need to focus on after today.
There are 5 areas that make up that 20% – leads, conversions, transactions, pricing and profits.
I’m going to be focusing on just 2 or 3 of these 5 areas, so you can imagine what you could actually generate revenue-wise if you implemented all 5 areas.
In fact, let me show you what’s possible, and why these 5 areas are so critical.
I use a tool called a Profit Growth Calculator. Do you by chance know the exact number of leads and sales you’ve made over the past 12 months?
No! That’s OK… let’s plug in numbers for a make believe business. Let’s say your business generated 1000 leads in the past year… and your average conversion rate was 25%.
Let’s also say your customers bought what you sell 10 times throughout the year… and they typically paid on average around $100 per purchase.
Finally, let’s say your profit margin per sale is only 25%.
Notice at the bottom that you’re earning $62,500 annually. But, look what happens if we simply increase each of these 5 areas by a meager 10%.
You would see your annual revenue almost double from $62,500 to over 6 figures. By the way, that’s the ballpark most business coaches play in… the 10% increase range. Nothing wrong with that either, believe me.
Most business owners would KILL to almost double their revenue, wouldn’t you agree? Now, watch what happens if you could increase each of the 5 areas by 50%.
Your business would skyrocket from $62,500 to almost half a million dollars annually. Now, you may be thinking 50% gains in each of these 5 areas would be next to impossible. Let me assure you, a 50% increase is child’s play, and I’m going to prove it to you right now.
When asked, most business owners tell me “word of mouth”, or more often than not “referrals”, are how they generate leads. Referrals are obviously an excellent lead source. In fact, it may be the best one by far, but the problem is you never know when you will get them. They’re not reliable and you certainly can’t generate them whenever you want.
99% of businesses today do have a website. Do you know for sure how many leads your website generates every month? Do you know for sure how many sales your website produces every month?
Can I show you why your website isn’t generating leads or closing sales for you? In fact, would you like for me to give you the deeply hidden secrets that the marketing gurus DON’T want you to know?
Here’s the key to successful marketing. You MUST be able to enter the conversation taking place in the head of your prospects. Or, another way to look at it is to be able to address the number one question on your prospect’s mind at just the right time. So how do you do this? It’s actually quite simple when you know and understand the fundamentals of marketing.
The conversation that’s taking place in EVERY prospect’s mind revolves around two major points. There’s a problem they have, and they don’t want… and there’s a result they want but don’t have.
Now believe it or not, there is actually a marketing formula we follow that takes these two points into account and spits out a message so compelling it practically forces your prospects to buy what you sell.
It’s called the Conversion Equation, and it looks like this – Interrupt, Engage, Educate and Offer. The Interrupt is your headline – which means it’s the first thing someone sees when they visit your website, read any of your marketing collateral, or hear you speak. When someone asks you what you do, it’s the first words out of your mouth. That’s your headline… and it MUST address the problem your prospects have that they don’t want.
The Engage is your sub-headline – which is the second thing your prospects see or hear. It MUST address the result your prospect wants but doesn’t have. The Educate is the information you provide… either verbally or in writing… that presents evidence to your prospects that you and your product or service are superior in every way to your competition.
Unfortunately, MOST businesses aren’t different from their competitors, and that’s why you MUST innovate your business to create what we refer to as a market-dominating position.
You MUST make your business unique… it MUST stand out from the crowd. It MUST make your prospects say to themselves that they would be absolute idiots to buy from anyone else but you – regardless of price. And finally, the Offer. You MUST create a compelling offer that makes it so irresistible your prospects can’t turn it down.
But, here’s another critical fundamental of marketing. Because of the saturation of marketing messages these days, most prospects have become numb to most marketing.
Following our Conversion Equation can dramatically overcome this, but even with this powerful tool in play, it will still take multiple “touch” points before your prospects will buy what you sell.
For most businesses today, it takes anywhere from 20 to more than 100 touch points before a prospect makes their buying decision. Following the Conversion Equation reduces the touch points to somewhere between 5 to 12 points of contact.
But here’s the key… most businesses don’t follow up with their prospects at all, and this provides a HUGE window of opportunity for ANY business that does follow up… to position themselves as the dominant force in their industry.
But, in order to have the opportunity to get your message in front of your prospects 5 to 12 times, you MUST find a way to collect their contact information, and that’s the purpose of your Offer.
Most businesses offer something that only appeals to prospects we call NOW buyers – prospects ready to make an immediate purchase. Unfortunately, NOW buyers make up less than 1% of the total number of prospects that are in the market to buy what you sell.
These businesses typically offer prospects a free consultation, a discount, a coupon, a free assessment, a complimentary quote, or the biggest mistake of all… CALL US!
For most businesses, all of their marketing material… their website… their business card… all list their phone number as their sole offer… and that ONLY appeals to that 1% of NOW buyers. The remaining 99% of viable prospects are “investigating” and gathering information about what you sell.
They’re searching for information because they want to determine who is offering the best value. You see, prospects DON’T shop price – they shop VALUE!
The only reason prospects consider price is that most businesses don’t give them any other value proposition to consider except price.
Remember what I said a moment ago about making your business unique – creating a market-dominating position?
Most businesses don’t do that, and since they… and all of their competitors… look exactly the same, prospects are FORCED to shop price. So, with these fundamentals in mind, let’s see how your website stacks up to them.
Let me show you a website we just revised for a child psychologist so you can see what I mean… and then let’s take a look at your website as a comparison. Here is the child psychologist’s original website.
This is typical for this profession, and 99% of his colleagues’ websites look EXACTLY like this. Notice the generic headline – Parenting Advice and Resources from Dr. John Smith.
He has to have a headline like that because he’s attempting to be all things to all prospects. Basically, this doctor helps parents deal with adolescent problems. Look at the 9 areas he services – emotionally disturbed kids, behavioral problems, teen pregnancy, peer pressure and so on.
So, let’s compare this site with the fundamentals we just discussed. First, you MUST create a market-dominating position. This doctor could actually create 9 of them by simply positioning his specialty in each of his 9 individual areas of treatment.
For example, let’s say he decides to start with the top condition on his list… emotionally disturbed kids. These are kids that yell, scream and constantly have a highly belligerent attitude toward their parents. They scream at them and are known in some cases to threaten the parents. These kids can’t be reasoned with and these poor parents have NO clue how to deal with this situation.
So, here’s what this doctor needs to do. Forget the website completely – this doctor needs what we call a squeeze page. This is a single page that’s online and specifically addresses ONLY this one condition. So, what should this page look like… and what should it say?
Remember the second fundamental – you MUST enter the conversation taking place in the head of your prospect. There’s a problem they have they don’t want… and there’s a result they want but they don’t have. This is where we implement the first two components of the Conversion Equation… Interrupt and Engage. The headline is the Interrupt and it must address the problem they have and don’t want.
Here’s the squeeze page we created for this doctor that did that.
Notice the headline – Are You Sick and Tired of the Yelling, Screaming and Belligerent Attitude of Your Child? Does that address the problem these parents have and don’t want? Would you say that’s a 100% bullseye?
Now, for the Engage which is the sub-headline. It MUST address the result they want but they don’t have. Notice it says – Now You Can Discover the Secrets to Controlling Your Child and Instantly Restore Peace and Quiet in Your Home. Would you say that’s bullseye number two?
Now, let’s look at the third Conversion Equation component… Educate. In the doctor’s original website, because he’s trying to appeal to all prospects, his video said this – “Greeting parents. I want to welcome you to remarkable parenting. You will find tons of great information here with hundreds of pages of articles.”
Think how ridiculous this sounds if I’m one of these parents with a kid that has a belligerent attitude. Do I want to read hundreds of pages of articles? Or, am I searching for a specific solution to a specific problem? Do you see why most websites these days are basically a total and complete waste of money? They don’t address the things your prospects are truly looking for. Here’s the new script we created for this doctor.
“As a parent, are you struggling to gain control of your child’s attitude and emotions? Is your child yelling and screaming at you, while often displaying a belligerent and sometimes threatening tone that no matter what you do or try… you just can’t seem to get under control?
My name is Dr. John Smith, and I help parents like you every day learn the techniques that will solve these frustrating and destructive behavioral patterns once and for all. In fact, let me prove it to you. Enter your first name and email in the box to the right, and I’ll send you a series of 60-second techniques that will immediately restore peace and quiet in your home.”
Think that just might get more prospects to respond to this message? And that brings us to the final component of the Conversion Equation… the Offer. Look at the doctor’s original offer. It was for a free consultation. The only prospects that will accept that type of offer are those NOW buyers. Remember, they’re less than 1% of the total number of prospects looking for this type of help.
When your offer is to “call me,” that basically says “let me sell you” to your prospects. We are so used to getting non-stop sales pitches these days that we resist calling anyone with every fiber of our being. Most people won’t answer their phone unless they recognize the caller ID. This type of offer is called an incentive offer, and incentive offers only work for common purchases, emergency situations and impulse purchases.
And remember, most prospects don’t buy until they have been exposed to your messaging somewhere between 5 to 12 times. If you tell prospects to “call you,” and most won’t, how do you keep marketing to them? Obviously, you can’t. The secret to effective marketing is to offer what most prospects truly want… INFORMATION!
Look at the last sentence in the child psychologist’s video script… “enter your first name and email in the box to the right, and I’ll send you a series of 60 second techniques that will immediately restore peace and quiet in your home.” That offer is ZERO risk to a prospect, and it offers them something they truly want… a solution to their problem.
They can receive it by simply providing their name and email address… WITHOUT having to speak to anyone… or be subjected to any type of sales pitch. That’s why the offer on this doctor’s squeeze page says, “Learn the Secrets to Gaining and Maintaining Complete Control of Your Child in Less than 60 Seconds.” Is that a highly compelling offer that would appeal to a majority of the prospects directed to this page?
And do you now see why we call this a squeeze page? There are NO navigation buttons on this page to distract the prospect. In fact, there is only ONE action they can take… enter their contact information. Otherwise, they have to close the page completely… and if they do, THAT is when we can redirect them to the doctor’s main website to see if there is something else that might grab their attention.
That informational offer provides them with proof that this doctor can actually get them the results they’re looking for, and then within that information is an offer for them to schedule a consultation with the doctor, which they are now more likely to do.
But consider these numbers for this doctor’s original website. He could easily generate 300 or more leads per month using a pay-per-click campaign on Facebook. Those leads are then sent to his original website. He will then average around 10% of those leads… or 30 prospects… will see his offer for the free consultation and will call to inquire about it.
Notice I said INQUIRE about it, NOT request it. Out of that 10% that will call… only 10% of them will actually consent to the consultation… which equals 3 prospects.
Fortunately, for most professionals like this doctor, they typically convert 100% of the prospects they get in front of… so those 3 prospects will more than likely become patients. Note that out of 300 leads, the doctor winds up with 3 new clients. That is the national average today – 1% of all leads generated will typically convert into a new client. That’s pathetic!
But, now let’s look at the doctor’s new squeeze page. First of all, let’s leave his number of leads at 300 per month. That squeeze page won’t impact that number whatsoever. But let me ask you this and give me your open and honest opinion.
Do you think this new page will increase the number of prospects that will request this doctor’s secrets to gaining and maintaining complete control of their child? The doctor was getting 10% with his old site. What percent do you think would request this new, more compelling offer?
Most responses I get average somewhere between 50% to 70%. Well, suppose we stay really conservative and say that just 20% request the new offer.
That would mean 60 prospects would receive those secrets and actually see for themselves that this doctor’s methods really work.
And once they do, what percent of those do you think might request the consultation with the doctor? Remember, that originally it was just 10%.
Again, most responses I get average between 50% to 70%. I would tend to agree with those numbers, but we know he originally converted 10%, so to be really conservative, let’s just leave that conversion rate the same… 10%.
So, out of the 60 prospects requesting the doctor’s secrets, 6 of them now request the consultation. And let’s assume like we did originally the doctor converts all 6 of them into patients. That’s an additional 3 patients per month, isn’t it?
Now, let’s say this doctor only charges $800 for his services, even though in reality it’s typically 3 times that amount. $800 times 3 new patients is an additional $2,400 per month… which is an annual increase of $28,800. That’s obviously a dramatic increase in revenue considering we’re being ridiculously conservative… and all we did was make some slight changes to this doctor’s site.
So, let me ask you this. Do you think we could get similar results for your business? How many leads have you generated in the last 12 months?
How many leads would you estimate you’ve generated this month? How many of those leads requested your offer? If we could create a similar process for your business… and offer compelling information to your prospects just like we did for the child psychologist… do you think more prospects would respond? By what percent?
Could we conservatively agree that a 10% opt-in rate is easily a no-brainer? Do you realize just that one change alone would double your current sales revenue?
And that’s assuming we don’t increase your number of leads or your final conversion rate… which we will. If you said your last month’s revenue was $25,000… then just this one change alone adds an additional $25,000 to your bottom line.
In a recent case study I conducted, I found $58,000 in additional annual revenue just using this one simple strategy.
But consider this!
That additional revenue is NOT just a one-time increase. That’s revenue the business will generate year after year after year.
And… $58,000 in additional annual revenue increases the valuation of that business somewhere in the range of $150,000 – $200,000.
To read additional chapters about marketing strategies, download a copy of my book at https://jeffheggie.activehosted.com/f/17