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Monday, February 23, 2015

Strategies for getting your foot in the door.... #srikedanvil

I heard something last week that inspired this post. It is going to be a two week discussion on strike the anvil. We'll start this week with getting your foot in and conclude next week with closing the deal. I was having a discussion with a friend and he told me how a business man chased (and I mean chase!) a corporate company for sponsorship for three years! Three years!! Trust me, this is real life, no kidding.

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We went into this long discussion about how many proposals the communications desk officials or corporate affairs desk officials receive in a week. Can you guess? From a reliable source, I hear about 100 to 150 thousand? So what guarantees yours getting read as opposed to getting trashed? Seriously? You can't expect a team of say five people to dutifully study each 3 to 4 page proposal do you? Then some of us now have the 50 page ones! Hahahaha....

Another key point we talked about was the importance of networking. At the end of the day, the best door openers are people you already know and this is why entrepreneurs spend time networking. There is nothing wrong with leveraging relationships with people that you have built trust with over time such as old colleagues, school mates, mentors etc.

Tomorrow on strike the anvil, we will be examining strategies based on experience and maybe some literature on how to ensure that your proposal at least gets read. Better put, we will be looking at how to get your foot in the door through whatever method you chose, whether its a proposal, cold call, presentation and so on.

Define your target 

Before you start fishing, be sure you know who your ideal customer is. What's their profile? You want to only approach companies or individuals that are a "fit" for the product or service you are trying to sell. Save yourself the stress. Who are you going after and why are they a "fit"? What are their purchasing patterns/history?

Who are the key influencers and decision makers within the company. It will be worth your while to take your time to research and get this right before building your prospect list or going after them.

What's in it for them? Have a benefit statement

Think this through when putting your proposal together or before stepping up to engage your target. At the end of the day nobody has time, so you better be offering value and be able to communicate this value in your first few minutes.

Say you have just five minutes to get your point across, don't waste the first four on gibberish or small talk. Get to the point. Spend time to practice how to clearly articulate why this prospect should spend their time listening to you or reading you proposal in the first place.

Why you? Answer this question before  you make a move

What is your unique selling proposition? Of all the 100 and something thousand proposals they get in a week, why should they consider yours? How are you meeting their need differently? You better be sure you have identified that need and that it exists. You should be able to communicate this unique selling proposition in two or three brief sentences.

I came across something interesting on the content marketing institute site. They call it the wedgepower. They ask the question, how do you get your foot in the door of a prospective client despite these challenges–especially at locations where you don’t have a personal introduction or relationship, and nobody knows you?
their answer: Use a Wedge.™ -

I totally agree with this wedgepower strategy.We would like to hear your experiences and how you got your foot in too. Tune in tomorrow through the enterprise radio app or via the website at 9 am Nigerian time. Call in on the dedicated numbers 09090000061, 09090000062 or interact with us on twitter @eradiong

Looking forward to interacting with you. Cheers!

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