The Challenges of a Rainmaker… #2

ALL these businesses are desperate to turn their people into Business Developers.
Many face common challenges. This sequence of blogs attempts to help with common issues

Rainmaker Challenge#2:  Finding the time to Develop Business.

This one usually surfaces as       “I have two small children.
Between work demands and family obligations, there’s little time left for business development.
It is very hard to go out to dinners with clients when it means I will miss reading to my kids at bedtime.”

We understand the issue completely, finding time for business development is a challenge most professionals face.
However we do prod you back to one thought … That everyone has the same 24 hours in the day.
Each and everyone of us has things to do. Some take higher priority then others.
This we feel is particularly true for people who have significant care obligations at home.
Clearly people with young children can’t devote as much time to business development as people without.
People with a live at home elderly relative or partner who they care for may find it tough.
We try to may developing business a team effort because as times change so do demands on people’s time.
Those with little time do  you need to make marketing as efficient and effective as possible.
We suggest that anyone with limited time focus on a finite number of “high-potential” prospects.
You also need to employ specific marketing activities that work for you.

However what often helps, is that you get very very clear about why you want to be successful at business development.

  • Will it provide you with a sense of security during the next round of redundancies?
  • Will it get get you away from a difficult client?
  • Will it get you Interesting work? (Whatever that is for you)
  • What about the gains to your family?
  • Will it mean you will make money?
  • Can you use money to pay for school or university fees?
  • Maybe take that trip-of-a-lifetime together?
  • Will it allow you to make a substantial donation to your favorite charity?

Keep your reasons for being successful at business development visible and refer to them often.
Some people we know made a collage of their reasons and keep it handy for the wet Wednesdays when they’re down.
If your reasons are compelling and personal, you’re more likely to find a way to carve out time in your busy schedule to market your services.

The Challenges of a Rainmaker… #1

Business Development for Services Deliverers :

Rainmaker Challenge#1:  Getting clients or prospects to respond to your e-mails.

The issue surfaces as something like …
“I invite clients to have lunch and I don’t hear back from them.
I guess this means they really aren’t interested in getting together.”

Do you really think that’s true? Do your clients and prospects not want to talk to you?
You do offer value added services that improve revenues or cut costs don’t you?
Or do the services reduce risks, improve client satisfaction or improve productivity?
Maybe they just make the client compliant in some way?
Why would they not want to see you?
Wouldn’t you see someone who could do that for you?

Now ask yourself this question.

Do you have unanswered e-mails in your inbox? (I know I do!) People are very very busy;
Their inboxes are full of e-mails that range from urgent/important to annoying /unimportant.
Given that reality, returning your e-mail may just not be as high a priority for them as getting a response to that e-mail is to you.

Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to get more responses to your invitations:

  1.  Ask again.
    One or two non-responses do not a rejection make.
  2.  Make a call instead of e-mailing
    (and leave a really good voice mail if you don’t speak to them ).
  3.  Try at a different time of day.
    Their schedule may be less frantic on Friday afternoon than on Monday morning
    After hours may be a better time than the middle of the day.
    Early better for them than late
  4. Make your invitation VERY specific
    Please don’t write something like “Let’s have lunch soon,”.
    Much better to ask “Are you available for lunch on Monday, January 10, or Wednesday, January 12?”
    Or give them a window of time — the morning of the 20th or the afternoon of the 25th — for a phone call.
    If they’re not available on the dates you suggest, ask them specifically to counter with dates or times they are available.
  5. Consider inviting them to something other than lunch.
    Lots of people tend to eat lunch at their desk. Suggest breakfast.
    How about dropping by their office for 15 minutes and bringing along their favorite Starbucks order?
    Maybe an early evening phone or skype meeting ?
    Connecting at a conference you both plan to attend?Try also taking a look at another Rainmaker blog
    Sales Tips: Stalking or merely persistance?
    What to do when your prospects goes to radio silence