Don’t waste time pitching ‘cold’
We often discuss with Partners / fee-earners the need to have a specific plan to nurture prospective clients before they go out to tender, not just wait for the RFP to land and hope to win them over during the pitch.
This isn’t an exhaustive list, but this is what I would do to warm up that prospect, to develop the relationship from online to offline;
1) Map the account to identify all the possible decision-makers. Sales Navigator is an invaluable tool for working out who you need to know, not who you know already.
2) Allocate key individuals in your team to those decision-makers. Match your specialists with theirs, identify who is best placed to engage, connect and converse with these people.
3) Make sure your team follow, engage, converse, connect (in that order!) with those leads.
4) Immerse yourself in their world – the publications, events, trade bodies, speaking opportunities, social media. Wherever and however they’re consuming content, should be the focus of your marketing going forward.
5) Repeat the above 2 steps at a company level.
6) Understand their issues and triggers – develop an account-based content strategy that demonstrates your expertise on matters important to them (not how fantastic your services or solutions are).
7) Empower and support your team to use and adapt that content to develop new relationships with individual leads, rather than just rely on corporate marketing.
8) Regularly review progress internally, to ensure you’re developing relationships across the prospect company.
By the time the opportunity to pitch arises, you should already have a good understanding of what matters to them, and they should already have a positive impression of how you can help.