As a Business Development Manager, my role is to get marketing agencies in front of the people who will potentially do business with them.
There are lots of reasons why a Marketing Director will dedicate an hour of his time to finding out what an agency that he’s never heard of before can do for him.
One of the key differentiating factors between the many “sales calls” that will be rejected as a “waste of time”, and the rare “interesting call with an agency worth meeting with”, is the ability of the person who is calling to have an intelligent conversation – i.e. a conversation that focuses on something that is relevant, that makes good business sense, and that is with someone you enjoy talking to.
There’s no big secret:
- be clear about why you are calling and what you want to get out of the conversation
- be curious
- ask relevant questions (get the prospect to open-up and focus on relevant issues)
- have a genuine interest in the person you are talking to
- resist the urge to tell the prospect everything about what you do and why you are the best thing since sliced bread
- make sure you understand what the prospect is telling you
- let him know you can help
- ask for the meeting!
Although you don’t need to be an “expert” in everything you are talking about (other people are there to sort out any technical details after all), it’s important to know what’s happening in the market/sector that you are targeting, understand the issues that prospects are faced with and be able to demonstrate how your client can help with their priorities.
Which is why it takes a special breed of people to make the kind of calls that will stand out.
Nobody wants to receive a call which is scripted and goes over a list of services offered; that’s just “another bloody cold call”!
Any agency that wants to seriously stand out and win new business needs sales people who can think on their feet and can engage prospects in an intelligent fashion and on a personal level.
Winning new business is not rocket science; it’s hard work, but it can often be fun and interesting if you have the right attitude!