In this article, founder of We Are Parable, Teanne Andrews asks ‘Ever met a new business prospect and felt 100 per cent inspired afterwards?’
You’re not alone. The key is to make the most of these meetings within the next few days.
We recently attended Makegood in London and experienced a massive high after exhibiting at the School for Creative Startups festival, which showcased over 200 of the hottest young UK companies. There were 6,000 visitors through its doors in four days so you can imagine how busy we were.
After meeting some inspiring people, what we realized is that now is an absolutely critical time for business, and that if you ever want it to grow, you’ll need to ensure you stay at the forefront of people’s minds.
Below are some top tips of how to remain upbeat as you look to convert new business leads.
There is a certain excitement about generating new business and getting them across the line. Focus all you energy on your best prospects. While it’s easy to get carried away with what new customers you might get, I would say try and be as realistic as you can and know how much time you’d like to invest into converting a lead. For example, is there a pitch process, will you have to invest into research and come up with creative ideas?
If so, this is time spent (and money) could be used on existing customers. You should have a clear idea in your financial forecasts about how much resource you can invest new business. We use products like Sage One which provide us with clarity for our future planning.
We all hate doing it, but it’s part of the game. You need to stay at the forefront of their thinking by sending reminder emails and phone calls. Perhaps try and schedule a lunch or an after work drink. Your new lead may be socially media savvy, so you could send them a tweet or have a conversation with them on LinkedIn. If you’re interested in contacting new business leads via social media, here are some top tips from a business2business blog I came across.
It goes without saying, but you should customize follow up according to the prospects preferences. Whether it’s you or someone else from the team, you have to ensure that you have proper understanding for follow-ups. When you spoke to them at that trade show – did they say they were on school drop-off and pick-ups or that they didn’t work on Tuesdays? Make contact when’s best for them. In addition, nose around, join their networks, their groups, follow who they follow, read what they read. You can then use this information to better communicate and engage with them.
Converting leads can be a long procedure and sometimes it’s a case of keeping a lead warm until the right time comes.
I’d suggest keeping a list of potential clients meaning you never overlook an opportunity. Keep leads up to date with your news through newsletters or even more casual chats on social media. Sometimes a conversion is the result of months of work, but always remember how good it feels when that new contract comes through.
I’m sure you’ll agree there is no point in converting new business leads if you cannot supply. Staying on top of your finances is of utmost importance when you’re looking to expand.
With eight years experience of arts and events management, Teanne Andrews is a passionate and creative professional, responsible for managing significant cultural partnerships. Having worked on successful community arts projects, Teanne has also collaborated with prominent organisations such as The Science Museum, The Wellcome Collection, The Charles Dickens, London Transport and British Museums. She has delivered youth and community engagement projects with successful results.