- A live lead. Giving someone a lead is by far the fastest and most effective way to get someone’s attention. I’ve used this method with tremendous success and it works every time. When I hear about an opportunity for any kind of work through my network, I look to see who else in my network – and extended network– might be able to do the work. There are always a handful of companies. I send an email with this subject line: “Can you help with this lead for <type of service needed>?” In the email, I say something like “Bob, I came across a business lead and thought of you. A colleague of mine is looking for <one-line description>. If this might be a fit for your business, please let me know and I’ll connect you. Otherwise, no worries – I’m happy to send other leads as they come up.” I also send another email to the person looking to have the work done, something like “Jody, I know a couple of companies that might be able to help with your requirement. Let me know if you would like me to connect you.” People always respond, regardless of how well I know (or don’t know) them. Nobody wants to turn down a lead for more business or to solve an issue they are facing. This entire process is very easy and does several things:
- Shows both parties that I am looking out for their interests.
- Gives me an opportunity to reconnect and spread goodwill.
- Helps both parties – people usually remember who helps them.
- A way to make more money. If your product or service helps an organization raise brand awareness that brings in more business, you can help them scratch an itch. Every organization wants to grow – companies and non-profits both want to make more money. Show a direct path that correlates how your offer will result in increased business, more revenues and higher margins. Include examples of how similar organizations have gotten positive results by hiring you.
- A way to cut costs. Increasing your bottom line can be done in two ways: 1) more revenue and 2) reducing costs. Do some digging to pull together an educated guess on the types of expenses a prospect is incurring. Outline how your product or service can help them reduce waste, cut expenses or get something done cheaper without sacrificing quality.
- A way to save time and increase productivity. Paint a picture of how your product or service will save the organization money by taking over routine tasks, laborious processes and other time-consuming activities. Do you have a unique dashboard that shows metrics to identify bottlenecks so they can increase productivity? Tell a story about how your insight provided an executive with critical information to help their organizational machine run more smoothly.
- A way to achieve peace of mind. What would happen if a storm not only knocked out your power for a week, but caused physical damage to your office so you weren’t able to recover your data? That’s what happened to many New York and New Jersey businesses affected by Hurricane Sandy this October. “Peace of Mind” products like insurance, data backup and disaster recovery can help ease fears that keep business owners up at night. In your pitch, talk about a real-life example of how your product or service saved a client from a major catastrophe that other businesses suffered.
To reiterate, #1 is by far the most effective offer to get a prospect to call you back. I continue to use this technique with very high success. Share a qualified lead and I can almost guarantee that you will wake up a prospect into contacting you.