The Connection Magazine AIM MUTUAL Fall 2019 - Page 21

SALES SHORTCUT YOUR BIG prospects need something. They have plans. They’re looking for solutions, ideas, services, products — everything they need to implement those plans. Maybe you have exactly what they need. Maybe you have all the answers. Maybe your company would be the perfect fit for their big plans – they just don’t know it yet. So how are you going to figure out what they need? And, the real trick… how are you going to convince them you’re “the one?” Whatever your methods for sussing out what your prospects need, and however you usually go about pitching your services or products to said prospects, there is an unbelievably effective shortcut that will help you first find the what’s needed and then land the deal. This shortcut is all about looking for opportunity in an unlikely place: job listings. When companies expand, take on new projects or re-organize, they start hiring. When you know what type of positions they are hiring for, you can figure out what they’ve got planned and what they need. It’s simple enough, but there are other benefits to taking this shortcut. For example, it’s challenging to get a face-to-face with the right person, especially when you don’t know who he or she is! The receptionist may be hesitant to give you contact info, but companies almost always give a point person in job listings. The other hidden benefit of this shortcut is you learn a company’s language, and a little bit about their culture. It’s all right there in the job description. They’re trying to attract someone who would be a good fit for their company, so if their HR person is smart, they’ve crafted the job description to appeal to the right, key people. Now you know their terms for this or that, you know if their communication is super formal or off the cuff, and you know how they describe their own company and projects. And because you know this, you can pitch prospects using their own terminology in a way that makes them feel like you just “get them.” (Because now, you do.) This shortcut is one of my favorites because it works on so many levels. No blind cold calling. No pesky surveys. No buying lists. No direct mail. No Thursday night networking meetings. Okay, maybe you’ll still have to show up to those, but this time, you’ll have something really specific to say, and you’ll know exactly how to say it, which means this time, you’ll absolutely get their attention. Start with the short list of companies you’d do almost anything to work with (short of murder and auditioning for American Idol), and then move on to other big companies in your industry. Go to their websites and click on “Careers” or “Job Opportunities.” Study their list of available jobs. Could your company be an outsourcing alternative for them? Or, do you have a related product or service that they need? Sometimes your company can do the same job a new hire could do; sometimes you’ll Mike Michalowicz have to put on your creative mojo hat to find the opportunity hidden in the listing. For example, if a company is hiring multiple positions for one location, it could be that they are opening a new branch. What services or products do you provide that would help them with their launch? Event coordinators could pitch organizing a grand opening. PR folks could pitch helping them out with local press outlets. Security companies could try to secure a service contract before the company even goes looking for it. Or maybe one of your prospects keeps recruiting for the same position over and over again. What does that tell you? (I hope it tells you to call the contact person and give them 10 good reasons why they should outsource to you instead.) Or, if a prospect is looking for a new office manager, this may be your chance to become one of his or her preferred vendors (because you’re probably not getting the old office manager to switch teams). Lakshmi Mittal said, “Always think outside the box and embrace opportunities that appear, wherever they might be.” It’s a simple quote, but most people don’t follow it. (Mittal does. And he has more than three billion to show for it.) If you’re willing to get a little creative, this is one shortcut that will uncover scads of hidden opportunities… and help you land prospects before anyone else even spots the opportunity. Mike Michalowicz is now running his third million dollar venture, is a former small business columnist for The Wall Street Journal; is the former MSNBC business make-over expert; is a popular keynote speaker on innovative entrepreneurial topics; and is the author of Profit First, Surge, The Pumpkin Plan and The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur, which BusinessWeek deemed “the entrepreneur’s cult classic.” To learn more about Mike and get access to a treasure trove of entrepreneurial tips, visit: 21