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Quality. Not quantity.

Updated: Mar 30, 2023

Between the different Business Development and prospecting technologies out there, the contact lists that are very easy to acquire these days, and the number of sales emails going around, how do you stand out? If the clients you prospect sit through multiple presentations on an ongoing basis, Zoom sales calls, face to face pitches, from so many of us, how do you differentiate yourself? If they get sales types email at least twice a week and yours just become one of those emails, then how do you make sure they pay attention, or at least more attention, to yours?

My belief is – quality over quantity.

And to get to real quality you simply must(!!) build a relationship and establish trust. Just like old times. That today will set you apart. And this, dear readers, is the modern days differentiation. You ought to research, learn about your prospect, your client. Their background, their hobbies, their personality and then, be surgical when you approach them. Be purposeful when you reach out and mean it when you engage with them. Be relevant. Emotionally relevant.


It all starts with who are you going after. To achieve that kind of a differentiation I am talking about, you simply cannot be approaching everyone you think might fall under the definition of a potential client. Go through the motions of finding your niche, your business avatar, look carefully at your pipeline and be selective. And while your number of potential prospects might fall substantially, the response rate will climb as significantly.

Then, you will want to better understand their needs. Their pains, aspirations. After all, it is about them, not about you. When my clients ask me to help them with an email reach out campaign, they usually show me first their draft or email template they came up with and want me to help in tweaking it. I always ask them, BEFORE reading what they prepared, to tell me about the recipient. What is the client looking to buy, not what you are looking to sell. Almost everyone who approaches me to assist them with their “pitch” starts by showing me their presentation. And 100% of the time I push the presentation aside and ask how much they know their client. What are their pain-points? Their challenges?

You see, if your approach is generic, with some tweaks around the edges, so will the results be. If you think you can cover 80% of your clients’ needs with a generic email template or the same PowerPoint like everyone else you are simply going to be categorized in the minds of the client as yet another one trying to sell me.

Let’s do a quick exercise. Go ahead, pull out one of your recent power-point presentations you used for a sales pitch with a client or a prospect. Look at the first few slides where you show your team, who we are, about us and alike. Perhaps you have your company’s mission statement and a few words about the culture of the organization you work for. Now, identify your company’s logo on it and go ahead and replace that logo with one of your competitors’. Take a step back and look at the slide and be honest. No difference, right? They are most likely saying similar things. Your competitors’ slides, at least the opening ones, are very similar. And if this is the case, can you think for a second what goes in the client’s mind when they watch you go through these slides after they already watched a few others before you? At this point they simply cannot, their mind that is, set you apart. And so, if everyone is saying the same thing, how do we make the buyers feel the difference?

I believe that this feature or that functionality, ROI and even savings, all of these have become table-sticks in the minds of our sophisticated buyers. Today’s buyers assume we all check the boxes on those. It is the trust, the level of openness, the emotional desire to actually “hang out” with us that will make the difference.

Don’t get me wrong, of course you have to have a product that performs, a top notch service and even some recommending customers will help, but if our clients perceive all of that as a must, how do we help these clients pick us out of the bunch? You want to get to a point where your client or prospect want to pick you and they’re looking for why not VS. why yes. You want their instinctive desire to be pulled towards you. And to achieve that, it is the emotional element that can help you get there.

While there are many factors involved in this process and decision making such as cultural differences, social aspects and more, here are a couple of Emotional Relevance tips that, when all other elements are equal, could give you that edge.

 

"To forge connections with others, we need to start early and start often." Colin Shaw

 

Well, the first one starts way before the actual pitch. You want to get to the pitch where your client/prospect already has some feelings towards you. Hopefully, a positive and a “good to see you again” kind of a feeling. This can be done through targeted social media brand and positioning messages. Getting to them through other people they already trust or meeting them in person at an event for example. Map out the people you want to get to within their organization, do your research and find out what matters to them. Go introduce yourself to them without thinking about the sales opportunity (see previous post “Cultivate the relationship. Not the opportunity”). Get to a point where they feel something about you.

The second sounds simple but yet, in corporate America, it seems to be rare. Be human. Do not think KPIs or measurable results. In a recent article by Michael Nathanson talking about not everything that gets measure and prioritized is necessarily a good thing, a neuro-scientist called Paul Zak was quoted saying: “it is the relationship with people, the development of mutual confidence, the identification of people, the creation of a community. This is something only you can do … It cannot be measured or easily defined. But it is not only a key function. It is one only you can perform.” In relation to this discussion, how about you do not go to pitch but rather talk? How about you talk about yourself, they talk about themselves and not (just) the ROI, KPI and NPS? How about you make them FEEL something about you?

Now, go back to your slides. Replace your logo back on. Send those slides to your next prospect ahead of your meeting. In that email say something like – to save us time so we can get to know each other better next week, here are the “must” slides. And perhaps add something personal here like “…here are the “must” slides that probably look the same for everyone…”. You are adding a sort of a written “wink” which gets your reader to perhaps chuckle a bit. Which means, they feel something. And if they felt something, you stood out. You differentiate yourself. And you are not one of the bunches.

You are not just another sales pitch.

You are now, quality and not quantity.

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