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Today we’re going to talk about stalking…in a good way though.
What Does Prospecting Look Like for Your Business?
So I want you to think about how you go about getting prospects. For us, we get a decent amount of inbound leads from our website, social media, SEO, things like that. But in addition to that, we want to go after high-value prospects. So it’s really just not good enough to sit back and wait for the phone to ring or for an email to come in. In order to grow this agency to where we want to get it to, we need to proactively go out and find new clients that we want to work with.
So the first thing you need to do is really think about what kind of client you want. Usually for us right now, the clients that come to us are a little bit on the smaller side. They are maybe regional players, but for the most part, they have one or two offices and they’re looking to grow.
Now, ideally, the clients that would come to us are much bigger. In order to get those bigger clients that come to us, we first have to acquire clients of that size and magnitude so that we can prove that we can work with them. We currently work with a bank right now, but we don’t do a lot for them. We really just host them and we take care of their website. We want to do more with them and we’ve actually approached them about it, but they just don’t know enough about Digital Marketing to pull the trigger.
Going After Larger Clients
So we came up with a strategy where we wanted to actually go out and get a regional bank. We looked at all the banks here in Hampton Roads – so that’s Norfolk, Virginia Beach, Newport News, that area – and we came up with a list of about a dozen different banks and they’re different sizes. Some of them are actually headquartered here, some are headquartered outside of the area and we came up with a very short list of two to three banks that we want to go after.
We split them up. I took one, Kevin took another, Jake took another and we started to do research. We found out everything that we could about them and who is in charge of their marketing. Well, one of the banks is a fairly large regional bank. They have branches on the peninsula and also on the south side. And they were mine. I was the one that was going to pursue them and I cyber-stalk the shit out of them.
How to Stalk Someone Positively
So what I want to tell you is, in the end, it paid off, but in order to get there, I connected with this person on LinkedIn. He accepted my request and I sent him two direct messages. I then connected with him on Twitter. He accepted and he followed me back and I sent him two direct messages on Twitter. I also called him twice left, two voicemails. And I literally told him, “Hey, this is Erik, your stalker.” And I also sent him emails.
So I pursued and I didn’t give up and I contacted him through multiple different channels multiple different times. And I let him know very explicitly that the reason I was calling is that I wanted his account. So, what I didn’t want to do is be timid about it and just kind of tiptoe around it and send him white papers and just kinda hint that this is the kind of work that we do. If I’m going to actually prospect and pursue someone, I want to make it very clear the reason that I’m pursuing them.
Meeting My Stalkee in Person
So long story short, I actually had the meeting yesterday. He invited me to his office, very nice guy, and we sat down for an hour and I was really a little bit intimidated. I thought maybe I was making a mistake. I had looked at all their Digital Marketing beforehand and they were in really good shape.
So the first time that I looked at it, I thought, ‘Wow, I don’t really know what I’m going to pitch here.’ And I slept on it. And in the morning, I looked at it again and I realized that they had a gap in their social media. So although they have tens of thousands of followers, every single time they post on social media they get very low engagement. Less than 10 every single time out of 20,000 or more. It’s just not acceptable. And what I realized is they were just checking the box when it came to social media. So what I ended up pitching was social media and, in particular, video content.
Now what’s interesting is I wrote that down in a review document that I printed and brought with me and when I first got there we talked about some of the challenges that he was having and guess what: social media, lack of video, and lack of storytelling is what he cited as a problem and it correlated exactly with what I had predicted.
So it turned out to be a great meeting. We had a lot in common. I knew his pain points already before I walked in and really he just had to confirm it. And what I realized was two things, well actually probably more than two things, but certainly: (1) Prospecting works. Be Explicit about it. Tell them what you’re looking for, what you want out of this situation. (2) Do your homework. Don’t walk in blind and not knowing what their situation is, know where their strengths are and know where their weaknesses are and have something to talk about and something to at least soft pitch.
Don’t just walk in and say, Hey, I do x, can I help you? And then (3) prospecting for big clients is really the same as prospecting for smaller clients. So I was very intimidated to walk into this headquarters, which is a big building. Lots of floors, big titles being thrown around. And in the end they had issues just like anyone else that I’ve talked to. So it really taught several lessons. It built up my confidence and I’m no longer worried about prospecting. As a matter of fact, I really like it. So surprisingly, I’m turning into a salesman and I dig it.