Colin D. Baird- How to reach hard to reach clients


About the interviewee

I’m Colin D. Baird of Los Angeles based Sullivan Curtis Monroe, and Phoenix based Lean Synergies International.

I serve as a Vice President of Sullivan Curtis Monroe, a risk management consulting group. I also act as a lean leadership and sales training coach through Lean Synergies International, a lean manufacturing and operational excellence consulting firm. I’m a speaker, and contributing writer for Chief Executive Magazine, I provide color on failure to lead, how to improve America’s business culture, and why the CEO’s role in leadership is failing America’s future, but how to improve it.

I’m a 26 year veteran of the sales and leadership development business. The big difference is I eat what I kill, improve what I bring on board, and help my clients grow their businesses during the engagement. My job is never without excitement and great challenge.

Tell me about your firm (number of employees, location, type of companies you work with, etc.).

Sullivan Curtis Monroe, is a 50+ year old risk management and consulting firm domiciled in Los Angeles. We manage risks and insurance programs for organizations across the US whose revenues range from 25M to 1B. Our employee population is between 175 and 200 employees. Organizations seeking us out are looking for a fee based risk management platform with a special emphasis on workers compensation program improvement initiatives. In addition, SCM provides consulting for companies who are struggling to remain compliant with Obamacare.

Lean Synergies International specializes in helping mid-sized and Fortune 500 companies maximize their growth and profitability by implementing Lean, Kaizen, and Six Sigma training and methodologies. The organization currently has 4 consultants. The client list includes Kelly Moore Paints of Texas, Kaiser Aluminum, Oldcastle, Cosworth Racing Engines, and a host of others.

What type and size of companies do you have as clients?

Customer revenues range from 50M to Fortune 500 organizations whose revenues exceed 2B. Our sweet spots are organizations whose revenues exceed 100M, and are facing some type of profitability, sales, leadership, or risk management crisis. Sometimes they are all combined together, and these represent the best opportunities to help the organization transform itself into an efficient business with excess capacity to grow, and innovate while significantly driving down the cost of risk.

What comes to mind when you see this topic?

How difficult it really is to get through today’s gatekeepers to the person who actually makes the decisions. Yet, these same difficulties actually present opportunity when you know how to do things others don’t, or won’t do.

For example, this morning I met with the CEO of a mid sized hospital. At a cocktail party last year, I was introduced to a young person who sat on numerous boards of directors. I researched closely whose boards she sat on to see if they were potential prospects for my business model. After doing my homework, I found a prospect whose board she sat on met my criteria.

After the party ended, I met with her over breakfast, explained what I did, and asked her if she would make an introduction for me to the CEO. She agreed.

Selling is opportunistic. When opportunities avail themselves, you must be prepared to take immediate action. I keep a small pocket journal of names and details on people I meet at random places who may be of interest to get to know. I research them out carefully using google, linkedin, pitchbook, and a host of other products. Once I have enough information on who they know, where they go etc., I call and ask to meet with them using the data I’ve gathered, or through a friend who knows someone that knows them personally.

What are the best practices when it comes to this issue?

Networking, and giving to get.

When it comes to meeting the hard to get, networking helps a bunch. Someone you know often knows the prospect, but since networking is about giving, not taking, you must always care for those you wish to do business, especially partners. You must understand their considerations come ahead of your own.

To accomplish this, I bring my networking partners with me to meet new relationships I’m developing, or already control. Your clients need great service providers including lawyers, CPA’s, bankers, etc. When you’re committed to helping other professionals grow their business, they remember.

Give to others until it hurts, and I mean leads. Make personal introductions by shaking the hands of people you know, and then introducing them to people that would like to know them. Breakfast, or lunch are best. Oh yeah, when it comes time for help with introductions, they will.

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