By Caryn Kopp
Why waste the rest of August cleaning your office? Make the most of your summer by seizing new business opportunities while your competition plays miniature golf! Most business owners and salespeople assume making prospect calls in August is pointless because decision makers are on vacation; however, most aren’t gone for all four weeks. What does this mean for you? It means people are at their desks, often in good moods and are more likely to pick up their phones to speak with you. Seize this valuable opportunity and boost your business with these seven key strategies.
- Add twenty new “A” level prospects to your list and call them. These people buy the right amount, at the right price, in the right time frame. Criteria for an “A” level prospect can include industry, size of company, department, level of decision-maker and geography, as well as common issues and challenges you could help solve. To determine the makeup of your “A” level prospects, I’d recommend looking at the makeup of your “A” level customers. Then using the criteria, replicate the recipe.
- Catch up with your current clients and up-sell by offering incremental programs and add-on services. Capture “sweep-up money” from the “use it or lose it by year end” client budget. One Sales Director in the media industry contacted one of his clients and said, “We have a really interesting program, and if you have any budget available for this year, I’d like to discuss the benefits of the program with you.” That simple call resulted in a US$100K sale. That’s why I call it “sweep-up money – it’s just lying around!
- While you’re talking with current clients, ask for referrals to other departments, divisions, parent companies, sister companies, and subsidiaries. Surprisingly, this low-lying fruit is often overlooked. Leveraging your relationships to capture all sales within any one company will quickly increase your earnings, as well as solidifying a lasting position with your customers.
- Look through your customer relationship management (CRM) and identify prospective decision-makers you’ve met. Projects can go on hold and prospects can misplace your contact information. Make the most of the time you already invested in developing business. Stay in touch and be top-of-mind so when these people need your services, they’ll know exactly where to go.
- Look through pending proposals and identify three strategy ideas which will move each proposal closer to a close. Choose the best one for each and execute!
- Half-day HOORAY! If you live in the U.S., make calls after 2 p.m. on the Friday before Labor Day, and you will reach those hard-to-reach decision-makers without their assistants answering the phone. Office staff usually go home at 2 p.m., leaving your decision-maker at the desk, relaxed and ready for your call! Were you thinking of leaving early that day? So is your competition.
- Prospect Purge. Delete prospects that don’t belong on your list. If they are not “A’s”, “B’s” or “C’s”, they aren’t worth your valuable time. This is true for referrals, as well. Just because you were given a referral doesn’t mean you should make contact.
Implementing even a few of these key strategies can lead to a huge payoff this year. It may be tempting to set aside these ideas and move on to your next task, but can you afford to forego this opportunity to develop new business? Take a moment, decide which strategies you will follow and set a time on your calendar to make it happen!
Caryn Kopp is the Chief Door Opener® at Kopp Consulting. Caryn is the author of several books, including “Biz Dev Done Right,” an Amazon bestseller she co-authored with Carl Gould. Reach her at www.koppconsultingusa.com.