Business development

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There’s a smart business development company by the name of Lead Forensics who recently did a demo for me. I had been through the demo a couple of years ago, but they are persistent marketers and I love persistence.  Lead Forensics does a reverse lookup on visitors to one’s website and marries that to a database of contacts, emails, corporate address and tel. numbers so you can attempt to find them.  

My demo person was friendly, convivial and understood her product quite well. She tried to understand me – using the initial contact, an unexpected contact before the demo results, and the demo itself — but didn’t quite get my brand. My biz/dev MO is very passive. I’d never start an email (never a phone call) with, “I see someone from your company has been to my website.”  When I cold-email someone, I do so with a nugget of value in it. Something very specific about the company, a competitor, or the market. It’s never about me.  

When prospecting, always try to understand your contact’s brand, motivation and operating culture. Lead Forensics is a good prospecting product. And it may work for some of my future clients, so the demo was not without value. But every customer is different.  And when selling, the seller needs to view them as such.




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I do a good deal of business development. My outbound tactic of choice is email.  It’s so much better than phone.  It’s more polite. People opt-in to email.  Like an ad, they choose to read or not to read. The outbound phone call is intrusive; it doesn’t take into consideration the recipient. Bad form, in my opinion.

When doing outreach, I find it is best to be you-focused rather than me-focused. That is to say, attempt to find something of a compelling nature that interests the email recipient. The more strategic the better. Now I’m not going to go all “where is the pain point” on you. I never read that pop marketing book, but I can tell you the last thing a prospect wants to talk about with a stranger is her or his business pain. (Probing so is impolitic and impolite.)

One more thing, when your first email does not get a response. Don’t be discouraged. A couple of days later, send the same one again leaving the Re. in the subject line.  You’ll be surprised how often you get a response.  It shows you are persistent and it gives readers who see the first email message on their smarties a chance to respond while at their desk.

In my view, biz/dev emails are not spam if there is something of value in them…of value to the prospect.  The higher the value the more likely there will be a response. Be brief, be selfless and it’s okay to infuse the waters with a little personality. Peace. 

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