5 Ways to Build Prospect Relationships
We all know how important it is to get the appointment, make a great first impression, and have a productive meeting with your ideal prospects.
But, what about all those prospects who seem to be a fit, but don’t have an immediate need or desire to buy your product and service? This is more common than not for many of us, especially if you sell larger ticket services and products where the sales cycle can be long.
So, what do most sellers do to remain top-of-mind with their prospects? Opt them in to receive your company’s email blasts, monthly newsletter and marketing stuff, which is all fine but certainly not enough. Some of you may set a reminder to send them a “checking in” or “are you ready to buy yet” email once every couple of months, or invite them to the annual event your company sponsors. I’ve even worked with some very talented people who are just arrogant enough to believe that their prospects will obviously think of and call them when a need arises just because of who they are, their industry expertise or company’s reputation and brand.
Building a relationship with potential clients, someone you want to do business with, goes far beyond the generic “just reaching out” message or the occasional phone call. In fact, although there are a few select occasions in which such verbiage is appropriate, it’s typically the type of message that prospects will see and delete without even considering what might be inside.
As I think back on how my very best client relationships developed, two foundational principles come to mind as illustrated by the two quotes below.
(1) “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care”. ― Theodore Roosevelt.
(2) “All things being equal, people will do business with, and refer business to, those people they know, like and trust.” – Bob Burg
Keeping these principles in mind and continuing to initiate meaningful interactions, add value and appear genuinely interested in doing business with your prospects, you can improve your chances of getting the call when a need arises or your prospect is ready to buy.
The traditional and frankly, lazy methods for post-appointment, top-of-mind nurturing that many of you use, just don’t work all that well.
Listed below are a 5 ways to add-value and build relationships with your ideal prospects:
(1) Invite them to an Industry Event or Webinar
There’s no better way to prove that you can alleviate a prospects needs than to demonstrate that you’re invested and knowledgeable of the industry they work in. Consider sending them an email and asking if they’d like to go to a particular conference or speaker series regarding new and noteworthy events occurring in their world. Not only will this grant you more face-time with the prospect, but you’ll be able to naturally segue into a discussion regarding how you can add value to their business. Remember, there is a ton of value in the invite regardless of whether they attend.
(2) Play Matchmaker
When is the last time you referred business or introduce a potential customer to one of your prospects? With the mindset that you should be adding value and building relationships, you should be able to locate unrelated needs or interests from the prospect that you can refer to another connection. It could be anything: Is their daughter looking for a new travel soccer team? You can help. Do they need new tile roofing? You know someone….or can make a few calls to help. This doesn’t just nourish your relationship with the potential client, but with the connection you referred as well. This is all value-add. This method will also build your brand as someone who is important and well-informed within the community, a true go-giver, and a reputation that is highly valuable in securing new business.
(3) Solve a Problem
Another way to show a prospective client that you’re invested is to send over a free resource regarding their industry, general business practices, or anything that they’ve demonstrated their lives can be improved by. This shows you’re a good listener, care about their needs, and want to take action to alleviate those needs. If you know your prospect is trying to learn guitar, and you know a good book on technique, sending it over will go a mile in ensuring you’re a business partner your client will like and trust. The personal touch goes a long way.
(4) Ask Their Opinion
Let the prospect know that you value their perspective by asking a quick question about something business related or otherwise.
Examples: “We’re currently trying to do XYZ to solve this problem. From your experience, would such a solution be desirable within your industry?” OR “Would you be available to sit down and grab coffee next week? I have a few ideas that are pertinent to your industry and I’d love to discuss them with someone that has first-hand experience in the field.”
This method allows you to quickly rehash your potential business value while keeping it in the form of a mutual discussion. You’re not pitching anything, you’re just having coffee and discussing how the customer’s needs could hypothetically be reached. With this on the customer’s mind, they’ll be more eager to seek your business going forward.
(5) Nominate Them for an Award
This might be the grand gesture in locking down your prospect’s business, and for good reason. Nominating them for an award goes beyond just simple words and gestures that you’re invested in them. Dropping in their name for “CEO of the year” or other industry or area awards that you respect them as business leaders and want to see them succeed. I promise, your prospect is not going to forget this when looking to take their business a step further. If people want to like and trust their business partners, then they also want to feel respected.
These are the fundamental techniques that should be used to reach out to prospects. While they differ in premise, they all follow the same basic procedure. Demonstrate your value after initial contact, engage in a constructive dialogue (not just a one-sided pitch) with the prospect, and continue to tailor your value to their needs.
In general, when seeking to acquire new business or contacts: think about how your tools and resources can benefit that person. If you find a good hypothetical outcome, then it’s safe to say your efforts will come to fruition. If not, perhaps reconsider your ideal customer and discover who your values can impact.
So, there you have it. These are just 5 ways, beyond the occasional “checking in” email, to not only add value but to deepen those key prospect relationships.
Don’t miss out on another opportunity because you aren’t the first one your prospects think of when a need for what you offer arises! RevGrow is ready to help you develop and execute a tailored, post-appointment nurturing plan so you remain top-of-mind, continue to add value, build relationships with your prospects and they call you when they are ready to buy.
If you are looking to increase revenue through leveraging the power of LinkedIn, content marketing or email without ever having to cold call again, I invite you to have a conversation. Whether or not we decide to work together, I am confident our call will be full of insights that will help you grow your business. To make scheduling easy, here is a link to my calendar http://ScheduleaCallwithMark.com, please pick a time that works best for you.