Finding People to Help, Not People To Sell
Prospecting for sales leads is too often described as “finding people to sell to” when it should truly be described as finding people who could really use your help to solve a problem.
I think it’s infinitely more rewarding to get up in the morning and go in search of people who might be able to use my help than it is to blindside people with random pitches for some product or service they may or may not need.
When I’m searching for people to help, I first check LinkedIn and all my friends, existing customers, and contacts to see what they’ve posted and if there is some connection to the products and services I offer. I then reach out with a short, friendly note of support, a link to a helpful resource, or an idea that popped into my head which might point them in a new and interesting direction. I include an offer to get together if they want to explore any of those ideas in further depth.
Then I look for news and posts from companies that I’ve tagged as having potential for a mutually beneficial business relationship. I check the Press page on their website and their company profile page on LinkedIn. If there is some specific piece of knowledge or insight that I can contribute which I feel would be of value I am not shy about looking for a personal connection within the company to whom I can connect with in order to share the information.
If I don’t have a direct contact inside the company I look for a friend or associate who does, and I reach out to that person and let them know I have an idea for their friend and would appreciate an introduction.
I don’t obfuscate my reason for requesting the introduction and I may even bounce the idea off of my contact first to see what they think. If they like the concept and see the same potential for helping their friend as I do, they will make the introduction a priority and endorse the concept in advance of my conversation. Who doesn’t want to help their friends?
How do you apply your products and services to best help your clients?
Think about the last time you really came to the rescue of a client. A time when your customer positively gushed about how you were the best and save their life (or at least their career) by getting them out of a jam.
Now consider how many other businesses and individuals are out there in the world that might be experiencing the exact same problem within their company that you solved for client in the rescue story.
Like Superman flying over Metropolis or Batman cruising the streets of Gotham, you want to keep your eye on the horizon for opportunities to come to the rescue of your clients and prospects. Swooping in at the nick of time to offer assistance and save the day.
And remember, your idea doesn’t have to be so big and bold that it saves the world — it just needs to save one little corner of it (the one your customers’ live in).