I love federal Q4! It's exciting and nerve-wracking. Stakes are high because we're all about to find out the payoff for a year or more of hard work. So here is the first in a series of federal marketing strategy tips to ramp up your fourth-quarter sales:
Strategy: Start where you are.
Fourth quarter is a tough time of year for cold calling. While brute force dialing for dollars can yield some results, you have warm-to-hot leads right in front of you: your current and past clients. They are your best source of new business opportunities. You did a great job for them. They like you, and will always take your call. However, you can bet they don’t wake up in the morning thinking, “How can I send (insert your company) more business?
So, call them! Once you do, there are three possible outcomes, all good:
First, maybe they need more help from you but it’s been so crazy busy, now that it’s almost year-end, they just haven’t gotten around to calling you. This one is an easy sale, and they’ll be super grateful that you called them first!
Second, even if they aren’t ready or able to buy more from you right now, your best customers are always glad to introduce you to a buddy who can use your expertise or products.
Companies I work with discover that those leads are literally there for the asking. One of my favorite business owners said,
"We uncovered over a hundred qualified new contacts in a matter of weeks! We should have done this a long time ago.
All they needed to do was ask!
Does it feel awkward to imagine that conversation? Okay, here is the magic phrase. Just practice saying it until it feels easy:
"Our business is growing and we’re looking for new clients. Who do you know who…(has challenges like the ones we helped you with; needs what we do; would be grateful to talk about ideas with us)?”
Third, let them know you’re grateful for the opportunity to serve them, and thank them for THEIR public service. Civilian and military alike, government employees are dedicated to their work and take pride in their mission. Take a moment to ask them about what they think makes your company and their experience with you extraordinary. Ask things like: “How did we do?” “What do you like about working with us?” as well as “What could we do better?" Those are the things you’ll want to focus the discussion around when meeting new prospects.
Be willing to ask people you know for help. It’s easier than you think!
This is just the first of a series of great tips every week! Here's how to choose which ones to use first: focus on the tips that address strategies you’re already using, and move your efforts into high gear. You can work your way into the rest, and use these powerful strategies year-round!
Judy Bradt, CEO of Summit Insight, gives federal contractors the competitive analysis and sales strategy you need for the success you've always wanted. It's easier than you ever imagined. Call her at (703) 627-1074 or visit www.summitinsight.com for on-demand webinars, articles and more.