Today’s post is brought to us by Rosemary DiDio Brehm, our certified partner in Florida! Thanks Rosemary!
The other day, I was busily working on a proposal (a big pitch to a key prospect) when my phone rang and the caller asked if he could speak to the person in my company who is in charge of administrative services. As an independent consultant, I am indeed the person “in charge” of administration services….and accounting services, and cleaning services, and IT services, and ALL the other services. I usually DO all those services myself, so I definitely wasn’t seeking what he was selling.
Interestingly, if I received this call a year ago, I would have politely listened for a minute; politely replied that I am not in need of his services; and politely ended the call. But I am not the same solopreneur sitting at my desk writing proposals as I was a year ago. Now, I am a partner with The Whale Hunters. I saw his call as a missed opportunity for him. I am not his prospect and his call to me kept him from connecting with someone who really could be a client and possibly a “whale-sized” client.
As he was very professionally, and sincerely, going through his ‘script”, the one word that flashed in my mind was PREPARATION. Yes, he was prepared for this phone call. Yes, he might have been prepared for the next step ( … if we ever got there). However, from my experience helping clients strategically grow their business, I believe he was unprepared to be truly successful.
So whether you are making those “BIG” pitches, or those “INTRO” pitches that get you closer to the big ones, here are some preparation suggestions.
- Prepare to pitch to the RIGHT TARGET. “Don’t date for the sake of doing something on a Saturday night.” Figure out who you should be calling on and don’t waste your time with anyone else. Use The Whale Hunter’s Target Filter and do the work to figure it out.
- Prepare to LEARN EVERYTHING about your prospect. This is hugely important. After you think you know everything about who you are pitching to, go back and learn more. You can never scout too much here. Have a “what –do- you- know –about- this- whale meeting”. Don’t forget to go back to look at the prospect’s history. Dig deep.
- Prepare to LISTEN and ask good questions at every point –scripts do not get you heard, understanding exactly what your prospect needs get you heard. Create a “book of power questions” and share with your team.
- Prepare your team and Practice for every interaction – Fully align with everyone on your Whale Hunting Team. One of my clients has designated Power Boats established for the different industry segments they serve. They are prepared to launch a boat quickly and collaboratively whenever their scouts give them the signal.
- Prepare to follow UP and Follow through – don’t drop the ball during the last part of the pitch. Sweat the small stuff here. If the US Postal Service asks you for a written proposal, don’t send it via UPS. A successfully executed Whale Hunt means you and your team nailed every bit of your preparation work.
Oh, and about that telephone pitch from my cold-caller…. I just happened to turn his pitch into my pitch by sharing how I wasn’t his ideal client, BUT… I just so happen to have a training coming up and I would be happy to help him figure out how to make his calls count.
Rosemary DiDio Brehm, CPF is Chief Results Officer at turningpoints2results and a Founding Certified Partner with The Whale Hunters. turningpoints2results is a business development consulting firm based in Clearwater, FL that helps business succeed and grow by helping companies target the right clients, shift their process and skills, and grow revenue and profits. Contact Rosemary at rosemary (at) turningpoints2results.com or 727-443-0319.