New Business is the lifeblood of any business so it is important to ensure you are consistently nurturing and building new business relationships on an on-going basis that have potential to deliver opportunities in the future. This is of course in addition to looking after your existing clients.
New business relationships take time to develop, so patience and just the right amount of tenacity is needed to make memorable new connections in order to get the best chance of generating new business. You need to establish a good rapport, so when you first connect and have a conversation with your prospect, avoid overt pitching and hard selling, it won’t score you points at this time and will most likely turn them right off. You need to be thinking about building up credibility and trust in order to open up this new door.
Make it clear that you want to lay foundations for a new relationship and get to know one another so that you can do business somewhere down the line. This is part of the nurturing process. Be understanding if now is not the right time for them and make sure you find out when it would be appropriate to “check in” again so you can keep the line of contact open. Timing is crucial when it comes to cementing these new business relationships, so be sure to let them know you appreciate and understand this and are in no rush (albeit, we would all love those fast new business wins).
Your prospective new clients need to believe and have faith in what you can do for them. New business relationships don’t happen after the first initial call. They require regular contact at suitable intervals that both you and your prospect are comfortable with. This can be a long term investment to get you to where you wish to be. Don’t ever assume you will be remembered – it is unlikely after one call or even one meeting that this will be the case. You need to be the one in control and keep on top of all future follow ups. Even if you are asked to leave it with them, I strongly recommend you turn this around and make it clear that you’d like to manage the ongoing contact, so when do they feel would be a good time to for you to follow up again? You then stick to that timing. Continue nurturing. Most likely there will be several follow up calls over time. They may be short and may still not produce the face to face meeting that you are ideally aiming for, but with each call you are creating positive awareness (as long as your manner is correct and you handle the call appropriately) and as soon as the time is right that meeting will materialise. Then a similar process needs to be adopted following that meeting, subject to and appropriate to the outcome.
It is highly unlikely you will ever speak to someone for the first time and they need what you are offering. Or even if they do, they are unlikely to share that with you until you’ve established that trust, a sense of honesty and credibility. So you need to stay front of their minds with regular and on-going contact to really cement that prospective new business relationship.
To quote Zig Ziglar: