After I pitched my B2B social media selling consultancy to the CEO of a twenty-plus billion dollar telecom and got his attention, things happened quickly. I was on a plane the next week and within a month we were in final negotiations. I didn’t work with the CEO directly after the initial meeting, but everyone I was introduced to was told the story of how I had been introduced and no one wanted to stand in my way.
Sell Big, Sell Fast
Lead lists may be one way to grow your business, but if you are a true entrepreneur you are probably asking yourself whether there isn’t a better way. By targeting top level executives who have an intrinsic curiosity for new ideas, you have a huge opportunity to sell big and sell fast. You may even gain a cheerleader for your business who can help you navigate your next growth stage.
The only thing stopping your BD team from employing this tactic is the inertia of doing things the same way they have been done in sales for the past 100 years. It’s time to break away from the pack. Here are a few things the information-age BD professional will need to do to work smarter not harder:
- Realize your product or service will only excite those who wish to try new things
- Find CEO’s on social media who actively share
- Consider what these executives are posting and sharing online and figure out how to interact with them (e.g., ask questions, offer suggestions, and support their endeavors with a healthy slant towards your business).
- Embrace being human and take time for one-to-one interaction as opposed to a machine generated email blasts. Let’s face it no one like those outbound marketing emails anyway.
Launching a new business is difficult. The naysayers are everywhere including in that lead list you just purchased. By aligning your product with top executives who are looking for change you will find your hit ratio skyrocket. The simple act of engaging with fans of new ideas at senior levels has all sorts of benefits for the entrepreneurial enterprise.
This article has been edited and condensed.
Sander Biehn owns and runs Thought Horizon, a B2B social selling consultancy based on principles he learned while working for a major telecom provider for the past 17 years. Sander holds a provisional patent in Social Media and has published a book on workplace innovation entitled, “The 30 Year Paycheck”. He has spoken at conferences and on the radio about innovation. He went to Duke University where he holds a degree in Philosophy and Classical Studies. Sander lives in Atlanta with his wife and two children. Connect with @sanderbiehn on Twitter.
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