I Believe I Can Help You - Bob Sherman
Published: April 5, 2011 at 01:32 AM GMT
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Last Updated: April 5, 2011 at 01:32 AM GMT
By Bob Sherman
That's a magical phrase, if you do the work to get there, and mean it!
I consult a handful of companies. This activity is one of the most pleasurable of my career. The reasons are different in each case. Diversity of challenges and needs in these varied, mostly start-ups, keeps tedium at bay. The tenacity, vision and brilliance of the entrepreneurs couldn't be more stimulating. And their willingness, perhaps in some cases acknowledged desire, to be mentored by the "been there and done that" guy is, I admit, affirming.
I have also turned down, graciously I hope, other opportunities to consult, and rarely because of time, or the economic constraints of the company. It's always been because I didn't think their particular needs suited what I bring to the table. And that brings us back to the title of this blog.
Don't take anything from anyone. Always give instead. Or at least always think you can, and then try, to give. And how will you know if you can? That is where the work comes in. Who is this potential client? What does he do? What product or service does he provide? What product or service do I provide? Who are our respective competitive sets? What is his differentiation from his competitors? Does what I have to provide improve his differentiation, make him more desirable? Or do I at lease believe so; honestly believe so?
That's the work that hopefully gets you too "I believe I can help you"
When you get there: "Hi Mr. Jones, I've been doing considerable researching of your company efforts and I believe that I can help you." He of course responds "blah, blah, blah" none of which means "how quickly can you get over here?" To which you say, "Mr. Jones, the half hour you commit to me (choice close on days and times--call me if you don't know what that means--) may be of real importance to you. I'd like to help. Commit the half hour and if after five minutes you wished you hadn't, I won't be offended by your ending the meeting. Fair enough?"
He'll see you.
Now what if Mr. Jones isn't in your Rolodex? You don't need a Rolodex. Its value is highly overstated. Those with a humongous Rolodex have them populated with a significant percentage of people who hope that they never call. Let Google be your Rolodex. If you do your work, want and are skilled enough to help, you'll get the appointments--and new clients. I do it all the time--and so will you!
Happy to answer questions.
BTW (ask your kid). Have a story to tell or a selling philosophy? Email me and get famous)
Bob Sherman has 40 years experience managing relationships between media companies and advertisers in old and new media from radio, cable and TV to the Internet, and from sales executive to chief executive and from the biggest media corporations to his own entrepreneurial companies. He is currently in partnership with Pilot Group, LLC. Bob can be reached at email@example.com.
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