One of the most common complaints I hear from soloists is “I have tried to approach a particular prospect but I just can’t get the chance to speak to them”.
Maybe it’s not their response that is problem but your stimulus! Too many soloists adopt a standard approach and so generate a standard response.
I suggest that you identify the personal and business ‘hot buttons’ of the prospective new client. This will allow you to construct an approach relevant to the prospect that increases the chances of getting them to engage with you.
The business angle
From a business point of view, whilst newspaper articles and the Internet give great information, this same information is available to everyone else. My advice is that there is nothing better than experiencing the brand for gathering pertinent information and identifying hot buttons.
For example if I was approaching a car company, I would take a trip to the local dealership, talk to the sales team about their issues, look at what models are coming out, find out who they are targeting and note what approach is being used in advertising and promotions.
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The personal angle
From a personal point of view, I would map out (on paper) all potential links into that prospective new client, for example:
- Do I know anyone who works there?
- Do I know anyone who knows someone who works there?
- Do any of the players at my sports club work there (check email lists)?
- Do I know anyone who works at their advertising or PR agency?
- If not, do I know anyone who works in advertising or PR that may know someone who works at their agencies and so on. You get the picture!
From my contacts, I would want to identify the decision makers, their role, their history, their interests. Do they have kids? How old are the kids? Do they prefer football or the arts? Which team? What performer?
Tailor your approach
The more information you can find on business and personal hot buttons the more you can tailor an approach to a particular new client that is likely to cut through and receive a positive reaction.
The information can be used either to invite the person to an event that they are interested in (so they are more likely to respond to your invitation) or invite them and their children to an event the children are interested in. After all, happy child equals happy parent!
Or the information can be used in an initial letter, phone call or a more creative approach where:
- You attract their attention
- Give them a brief outline of how you can help them
- Show your credibility through how you have assisted others
So do the research, be prepared, and turn your approach from cold to hot!