Monday, March 5, 2012

Three Tips for developing business.

In the sales industries there is a frenzied feeling of making the most appointments you can, as soon as you can make them, in an to attempt to sell your product.  I have been surrounded by the theories of "keeping your funnel full," "it's a numbers game," "the more you quote the more you sell," for the better part of 13 years.  These theories, when put into practice, absolutely work.  As a marketing and sales professional I also know that it takes  more than the old clich├ęs to be successful.  We are working with real people who have real lives, external stressors and higher professional priorities.  I have been fortunate and am blessed with a successful track record for building and maintaining relationships.  I attribute my success to several elements.  Here are three that you may find useful.




  1. The majority of my business is acquired via affinity relationships.  
  2. My funnel is full with effective referral sources. 
  3. I give my potential clients space to breathe.
Start thinking about how best to align yourself with a captive audience.  What associations do your potential clients gravitate towards?  Develop an affinity relationship with these groups.  Keep in mind that an affinity relationship is mutually beneficial for both parties.  Hint, what you are selling may very well not be a benefit to them.  Learn how to make what you have appealing.  Sometimes this means offering more than what your employer has to offer.


Stop going to the same well for referral sources.  You are one individual with different likes and interests. Cultivate those interests and turn them into referral wells.  Don't get tripped up with paid networking groups.  Expand your horizons.  Do what you enjoy and have a passion for.  The referral sources will develop with little effort.


Potential clients are human who have lives beyond their careers.  In today's economy many of them are afraid of loosing their job, focus primarily on expense management and have external stressors that you need to be sensitive to.  Their calendars most likely are not free for a meeting within a week or two.  When calling upon them to set an appointment, acknowledge the possibility of their busy schedule.  Offer them a date in the distant future.  You will feel their sigh of relief and most likely earn their respect.  You will also stand out from your competitors who are vying for their immediate attention.  Besides, when you have enough potential clients in your funnel and practice this theory, your own calendar won't be free until the distant future either.  Don't be afraid to give your potential clients some space to breathe.  You will find that this gesture will set the tone for a dynamic and loyal relationship.

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