I’ve been working in new business for well over 15 years now, always in the same industry, helping digital, design and communications agencies get more clients. Over these years the landscape has changed a bit – marketing and brand directors field their calls, there are systems that can auto filter emails, competition is fierce and agencies need to do more and more to stand out. We hear more and more, from our competitors and other new business experts that the phone is dead, it’s no longer a successful tool in new business because people hate getting phone calls, they get too many and they field their calls.
I’d actually like to challenge this, people hate getting “sales” calls, it’s actually a well known fact that people don’t like to be sold to, they like to buy. This isn’t just in a business to business world, but in society in general.
It’s the brash sales calls that people don’t like, with little thought for the person. It’s the brash, cookie cutter calls that people don’t like, those that interrupt their busy working day with little thought for the person at the other end of the phone.
The truth of building relationships over time to win new business hasn’t changed. That has always been our approach at Cherry, the new business consultancy I co-founded, never the hard sell but connecting with people, building relationships and then nurturing those relationships.
For me the phone and email are my most valuable tools when it comes to new business. In the week just before my talk I got one client on 2 last minute pitches, got another client meetings with two potential clients and my third client I confirmed 2 more people to attend their event. All this from the old method of email and picking up the phone. The success though lies in doing my research, approaching companies that I think or know will be in the market for buying and crafting a really strong, tailored message that is relevant to them. An approach that takes more time, that is not a “cookie cutter” approach, that gets results and most importantly helps build the brand of my client and build those ever so important relationships over time.
So going back to my talk on “What’s New in New Business”! What’s new is that you have to work harder than ever to get results, and when I say harder I don’t mean more of everything, I mean better of everything.
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