Monday, April 17, 2017
Many companies know who their target customers are. In many cases their targets are limited. For example - at Danby Appliance, we might target appliance stores. There are only so many of them. So the key is persistence.
One suggested process:
1 - call them and introduce yourself, get an email address.
2 - follow up with snail mail with a hand written note.
3 - stop in for tea.
4 - Connect with your main contact on Linkedin (I love Linkedin).
5 - Send Daily or every other day Linkedin updates. Not directed at just one contact.
6 - Call them again.
7 - email a follow up.
8 - send than a link to an article that might interest them.
9 - Send them something physical - some tea, chocolates, a pen, a hat, a mug. Always with a personal note. Physical things get noticed since they are not very common.
10 - Connect to everyone else in their company on Linkedin that you can.
11 - repeat steps 3, 6, 8 and 9 a couple of times.
12 - refer them a customer. People who you help succeed will help you succeed.
13 - Visit them with a product. Nothing like showing them real products to build excitement.
14 - Take them to a hockey game, a play, an outing.
15 - Send them a baby gift (assuming they have a baby).
16 - Repeat steps 3, 6, 8, 9, 12, and 14.
17 - Visit their store opening.
18 - Have your CEO, COO, Product people etc meet with them.
19 - Do anything you can to help them.
20 - take them to lunch (I generally do not like this one - takes too long)
21 - play golf with them (again - too long for me)
Mostly - be genuine. Be who you are. People buy sincerity.
And keep doing this until you sell. Why do I say 42 steps? Just to emphasize it takes time and persistence. Nothing beats having a relationship and being there when someone needs what you are selling, when an existing supplier messes up, when things are changing.
I have found many sales people just give up. They take a few steps and are rarely heard of again. Those who persist politely win.
The sales trick I am using here is sitting on my grandson Daniel so he does not get into things. Like all happy customers, he does not even know he is trapped.