Kevin Price, Host of the Price of Business on Business Talk 1110 AM KTEK (on Bloomberg’s home in Houston) recently interviewed Drew Stevens .
About the interviewee
Drew Stevens PhD – President and Chief Strategy Office of Stevens Consulting Group
Tell me about your firm (number of employees, location, type of companies you work with, etc.).
Drew Stevens PhD is a 31 year business development thought leader. Dr. Drew works with organizations and leading medical professionals that struggle with discretionary time and revenue and transforms them into thriving work environments. Dr. Stevens is the author of 7 books including Split Second Selling, Practice Acceleration, Customer Momentum and the soon to be released Selling the New Norm and The Start Up Manual for Doctors. He is an internationally known keynote speaker and has over 700 articles related to business development.
Tell us about why it is important for your firm to reach the C-level executives as potential clients.
The C –Level executive is the key decision maker when it comes to customer retention and acquisition. Useful dialogue with C – Level builds relationships that illustrate value and leave less concern over budgets and time.
Why are those below C-level not as effective to reach to promote your company?
Middle Level managers are more concerned about personal politics and policy. They shy from risk and equate value to compensation, whereas a C Level is concerned about customer, organizational and shareholder value.
What techniques have you deployed to reach those C-level executives?
What needs to occur is something known as Marketing Acceleration or Community Building. As a person that wants to meet decision makers you need to build a web of activity that attracts individuals to your world. It is much easier to attract attention and gave C Level come to you simply because they are attracted by value and desire your need.
Low Hanging Fruit
We know so many individuals, yet we do not tap into the vital resources that can aid us. Sometimes seeking business opportunities is as simple as calling a friend or removal from the comfort zone to walk over to your neighbor’s home. Business requires chutzpah! You have two choices: 1. You can sit behind a desk pondering how to get business or 2. Step up in front of someone’s desk requesting it!
Truly the best professionals constantly network. Good professionals by nature require constant engagement with others to comprehend business trends and meet new opportunities. For over 31 years, I have attended at least one or two networking events per month and I can attribute a number of leads and new clients to this practice. Admittedly, there exist a plethora of networking associations and organizations. Choose those close to your location and aligned with your business. How can anyone know your business with just a shingle hanging in the breeze?
Proper networking and sales etiquette involves referral acquisition. Similar to gaining closure agreement many professionals abhor asking for the order! Business is driven by the ability to ask for new business. If clients are happy with your work they will gladly and willingly provide you with referrals. The best way to seek referrals is when you are first engaged with the client and they are in that emotional high. More importantly, you want to ask when you are in the account, since this is the best time to be top of mind.
Another imperative item to remember – there is strength in numbers – the more referrals you obtain, the fuller the pipeline. There is a story of an insurance professional who would visit clients and not leave without three new referrals. Even if the client provided one or two, the agent would not leave until he received three or more. Remember this is the easiest part of the lead generation process … ask for your referrals.
Sharing information in articles and on blogs is a tremendous method for building community. Important people will read voraciously to discover innovative methods. Many times I get phone calls from C Level simply because they have read my information.
The number one fear is public speaking. Aside from cold calling it, is the second most relevant way to obtain leads. Every business professional is an expert in his or her market and has something to share. Speaking is an opportunity to meet new individuals while allowing the leads to come to you.