So you’ve got a great group idea, but it requires another business owner to commit. How do you get in the door to make the pitch? What are the best ways to influence their decision?
I addressed this subject during a recent business coaching edition of the Ask Stuart Hour. Here are the top 10 methods I encouraged my boot campers to action:
- It helps if you are a customer. Showing your loyalty is a powerful door-opener. It also demonstrates that you have a good working knowledge of their business.
- It helps if you are a member. If you are approaching a membership organization, a non-member seeking a meeting time is considered a solicitor.
- It helps if you have been referred. Name-dropping is good! Assuming the person you wish to meet knows and likes the referrer, your chance of getting in the door is greater.
- It helps if you are a fan. Are you approaching a celebrity chef, author, or athlete? Attempting to do business with a popular figure is difficult enough if you are not already a dedicated follower.
- It helps if you are a partner in passion. This holds especially true if your big group idea revolves around fundraising. You hold much bigger sway if you are somehow vested and support the cause.
- Don’t make it a sales pitch. Nobody wants to be sold to. Instead, request a fifteen meeting that is meant for you to ask questions. Your initial mission is to find common ground and make a new friend.
- Don’t spill the beans in a lengthy email. Providing any details of your great idea will give them opportunity to say NO even before you walk in the door.
- Discover their problem and make group travel the solution. Asking the right high-mileage questions will help you lead them down the ideal path towards your big idea – during a follow up meeting.
- Show interest in them and have patience. Your mission is to form a strategic partnership. The business owner must like you before committing to anything. A series of meetings is typical.
- Never use ‘free travel’ as the hook. The world’s worst way to get in the door is to offer something that they may not need or that you may not be able to deliver. This gimmick totally diverts the business owner’s mindset from group-serving to self-serving.
Many great group ideas fall flat because we sell too hard. You cannot sell a product to a person who does not yet know they need it. This, my friends, is the art (and science) of qualifying like a master. Come get more of the good stuff in my group boot camp!
Let’s start a conversation about breaking bad habits that are preventing you from selling more, selling up, and selling out. Email me or post on Facebook. The best way to stop a bad habit is to replace it!
Stuart Cohen is an international speaker, trainer, keynoter, health coach, solopreneur, business coach, travel fiend and the founder of resortforaday.com—the world’s largest seller of hotel day passes. His boundless passion is inspiring others to achieve higher levels of success and happiness. Audiences love his fun, refreshing and lively training workshops. Learn more about Stuart and his bootcamp at stuartlloydcohen.com.