How Do You Get in the Door With Corporate Clients (Even Now)?
How do you get in the door with corporate clients?
Last week, we talked about the opportunity for experts like you and me to show up to help small, medium, and large businesses during the pandemic. If you have been struggling to find clients, this is your opportunity to reposition what you do to solve a NOW problem for corporations who need your help right now.
The next question is: how do we get the attention of that audience?
In my former life, I was the Chief Learning Officer in a large company and I was responsible for a seven-figure budget that was spent on training and developing our employees. In this role, I was approached by all kinds of experts who wanted to work with our company.
I learned a lot about what works and what doesn’t work when trying to get in the door with corporate clients.
Here’s how you need to think differently about getting in the door with corporate clients:
It all comes down to focusing on the person you are reaching out to and thinking about what their day to day life is like.
This is even more important in the times we are in. Companies are facing new challenges that they desperately need help navigating. When you are a decision-maker who buys training, coaching, or consulting inside of a company, you get approached by a lot of companies. Some approaches are effective and most of them are not.
Let’s look at two examples that DO work.
Example #1: Jim makes a phone call to Sharon, Director of HR
Jim, who has the Wackadoo Products Company, makes a phone call, gets lucky, and happens to get on the phone with Sharon, the HR director of the company he hopes to land as a client. He leads with, “Hey Sharon, this is Jim of Wackadoo. I see that your company does x, y, and z. Here’s what could I do for your company…and these are all the reasons we are really great at doing what we do. This is why what I can do is so valuable to you…I’d love to come in and talk to you about it.”
The problem is that Sharon is at her desk in between the fifth and sixth Zoom meeting of the day, eating her cup of noodles at her desk, while supervising her 2nd grader’s homework, and she’s got urgent things she needs to get wrapped up before the end of the day.
Reality: Talking to Jim about his Wackadoo service is not on her priority list and that’s why Sharon gets off the phone with Jim as quickly as possible.
Jim didn’t get through the door because Jim is talking about what he offers.
At the end of the day, Sharon has to deliver certain results and she’s looking for somebody to help her do that (especially right now when her responsibilities have shifted quickly). If you can be really clear about how you can help her deliver those results, you will be in the door.
Example #2: Maya mails a package to Sharon
Sharon is at her desk and it’s lunchtime again. She gets this lumpy envelope and opens it right away. Who doesn’t open a FedEx package immediately? She looks inside and finds some cool resources and a handwritten note.
The handwritten note reads, “Hi Sharon! Thinking on the fly, going with the flow… How do you teach this? Improv is an art and a skill, and I know your company values creating amazing customer experiences, especially right now when most customer interactions are virtual. I love that about your brand! I’d love to follow up with a call to see how you’re enjoying the guide that I enclosed here. Enjoy, Maya.”
Maya is a drama teacher who leads an improv workshop. Inside of the package is an improv guide for leaders. Sharon thinks, “Hmmm, I just attended a meeting where we were talking about how to help our customer service team think on their feet. I wonder if this could help?”
Sharon needs to help the people in customer service think on their feet and respond without scripts. She has a call center virtual training coming up in a few weeks and wonders if Maya would be an ideal guest presenter.
Guess who gets a return phone call? Maya.
In this example, by the way, I was actually Sharon. This was a typical day in the life. I hired Maya for the training because she linked what she does to how she can help. Maya ended up teaching classes throughout the whole company because she was able to help with the problem of encouraging creative thinking.
Maya got in the door because she looked at her expertise and connected it to a problem she could help this company solve.
How can you help a company solve a NOW problem? What does this person I am reaching out to want to achieve? How can I help them achieve it?
There are so many opportunities in times like these, and if you swim up and look at how your expertise can solve a problem companies are faced with, you can get in the door. I’m excited for all of us to tap into this multi-billion dollar opportunity to serve in a much bigger way with your work. What questions do you have about landing corporate clients?