What motivates prospects to grant you a first (on-line) meeting?
Based on interviews with 300 customer executives, our research shows that communication referring to a real current need is the most effective approach. 79% of the interviewees said that this sets you apart from the crowd and motivates them to grant a meeting. But as everyone knows, writing a tailor-made approach-mail or LinkedIn contact request, requires significant upfront work and the barriers to entry are high. Extensive research is required to identify and quantify a potential specific need. The Buying Center needs to be identified and a strategy for approaching the right person found.
Second, in terms of effectiveness (51%) is content that continuously adds value to the target person. As a practitioner of publishing thought leadership articles, I know from experience that this method is effective to generate inbound leads but it takes a lot of effort and time to make a real difference in terms of new sales opportunities.
Whilst only ranking #3 in terms of effectiveness, asking a satisfied client for an introduction to a person in their network, is by far the easiest of the top 3 approaches for obtaining initial meetings. To illustrate how to do this, I would like to walk you through a real-life example.
Start by identifying your most satisfied customers – the ones who have achieved the best results from working with your company and who like you personally. If you have not already done so, write a sincere recommendation on their LinkedIn profile. Then, research their network on LinkedIn and identify people to whom you would like to be introduced. Make it easy for them to introduce you by drafting an email. In the example shown here, Mark is the CEO of a satisfied client and Eva is the CEO of MDK, a company owned by the same investor. Mark sent this email to Eva to introduce me.
Shortly afterwards, I sent my approach email to Eva, with Mark on cc: It quickly resulted in a first on-line meeting with Eva and the head of private sector sales at MDK.
Does that sound difficult (or easy) to do?
Questions to ask yourself
- What is the easiest way to obtain meetings with new clients in your line of business?
- How well do you expand relationships in existing accounts by asking your current contacts to introduce you to new Buying Centers?
- Who in your client base would be willing to introduce you to people in their network?
Please join the conversation and share your comments.