Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Don't Act like a "Desperate" Chick

When doing business development, I've noticed some sales executives just don't know when to give up the chase. I actually think you shouldn't spend too much time pursuing a prospective client. Why? Because at some point the time you've invested in what I call fence-sitters ends up wasted. And fence-sitters can also make very difficult clients. Indecision doesn't bode well for how the relationship will go in the future. All the time you spend in hot pursuit could be channeled to a more productive client who is ready and steps up. Or that same amount of time could be spent on perhaps 4-5 prospective clients all ready to move ahead. Time and attention plowed into fence-sitters runs the risk of never paying off at all when in the meantime you could have had maybe four times the payoff just by shifting your attention. What I recommend is you put in a policy that you will take no more than two meetings (coffee meetings for prospective clients ... free meals doesn't little to entice serious clients, but definitely drains your budget and often attracts, well, people who only want a free meal) and one maybe two conference calls before giving up the chase. I actually believe it should not take more than a coffee meeting and a phone call in the best case scenario. Most clients serious enough to meet with you should be near the close. And the close is a whole other blog. One more note, never, ever wreak of desperation. At any moment in a meeting if the client looks like too much "persuasion" needs to go on, stop right there. Let them know that maybe your company is not right for him or her. Be ready to walk. First, you do not want to do business with someone who is uncertain all of the time. Second, you don't want to be a "desperate chick," no one wants to date the desperate chick.

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