For those of you that have ever gone fishing with a fishing rod…typically there is one hook at the end of the line and the most that you can ever catch is one at a time. Now, when the fisherman takes a big old net through a school of fish she catches a multitude of fish at once. That is the difference between cold prospecting or cold calling and developing strategic alliances to create prospect introductions. With cold calling, you can just “catch” one prospect at a time, but when you develop a strategic alliance, you have the potential to get many warm prospect introductions and the calls you make are to people that are already qualified for you and expecting your call..
Who are these strategic alliances? They are typically complimentary vendors to your clients/ prospects that are not direct competition. For instance, a document storage company that works with law firms would be a great strategic alliance with a company that stores electronic data for law firms. Or back in my days in the payroll world, great strategic alliances for the payroll reps were CPAs. In fact, the concept/ program with accountants was so successful, they assigned certain sales folks to work exclusively with accountants. ADP recognized that these influence centers were critical to the growth and overall success of the organization.
The fact of the matter is, not only will you get multiple leads from one source, your close ratio is typically much better with warm introductions than it is for cold prospecting appointments. In other words, you need less of these referrals in your pipeline to close the same amount of business. Your time is spent more effectively and efficiently and unless you love cold calling, your job is more enjoyable.
One very easy approach for uncovering great strategic alliances is to ask your current clients about their other vendors. Think about this, if your customer uses a vendor, there is a good chance that vendor works with other companies just like your client. Ask for introductions to those people. The great thing is you can then reach out to these people and your legitimate reason to call is that you have a mutual client. Great way to build relationships quickly!
Have you been feeling like you have been fishing with a pole for way too long? BDU is offering fishing lessons, just give us a call!
Lisa Peskin, CEO