How to Find New Business Opportunities in the Digital Age
John: Hey everybody, welcome to Life is Digital. I am your host, John Bianchi. Get ready to learn about digital marketing as we share our knowledge and perspectives, current trends, best practices and actionable tips to help you grow your business in the digital age.
Well, I am so excited this morning, I have our Chief Sales Officer, Jason Biggs, here with us today, and I’m really looking forward to a conversation because when we talk about sales and marketing, I think often times marketing is kind of the fun and exciting side of digital and promoting your brand and your product, and sometimes I feel like we lose that sale side of understanding how to really drive revenue for a company, get leads, prospects, and turn that into business. And, ultimately in the marketing spirit, that’s our job for our clients. We have to help them grow their revenue and bottom line. So Jason, thanks so much for being here with us this morning. I’m really excited to get into this conversation with you.
Jason: Yeah, appreciate you having me on and look forward to us learning some more from each other possibly today as well, and hopefully people out there will get a few tidbits that’ll help them as well.
Using a sales system for your business
John: Absolutely, you know… Jason, Before we hopped on, we were talking about this concept of having a system when it comes to sales and lead generation, so I thought maybe you could elaborate a little bit more on that because this is something that I think a lot of businesses may struggle with is knowing where to start, or knowing what to do to develop sales conversations, qualifying contacts that turn into business.
Jason: Yeah, I agree. So coming from a really a non-traditional sales background for probably the last 12 years, and now over the last year being in a system, I think it really helps you develop a way to walk a prospect through the sales process, and that’s very important because it keeps you on track, and it keeps you them track without them really knowing as well, and it also helps you really quickly determine: “Hey, this person, there business or this product or service is not the right fit, so you can really determine that really quickly. Whereas before, I didn’t have much formal background training in sales, probably we would try to drag out things longer and longer, which could make the sales process longer and grueling, a little bit more trying to forgive and get and then return around and do that again if that makes sense.
Sales strategies to generate revenue
John: It does, and I think what I’m hearing from what you’re saying is kind of removing the ambiguous nature of sales. I hear this a lot where people say, “Oh, we just don’t know how they do it.” They bring in business to a company or they develop new relationships, but there’s this mystery to the sales individual, the sales role, and then ultimately the process, but if we take that, and we peel that onion back, there is actually a methodology that you can use to accurately qualify and move a prospect down the sales funnel through the sales stages, so that ultimately, it’s not a game. It becomes about driving value for each other. So, what are some of the things that you do here at BOS that we do together to really find new business? How do you generate new sales? What are some strategies that you use?
Jason: The one thing I think that I’ve seen for myself that made some success is consistency. Now, everybody says that they are consistent, but for me, consistency is always being engaged in the moment. So, it doesn’t matter if you’re out to dinner with people and it’s not a business situation or it’s golf, or you’re at a weekend with somebody. I’m always asking people, “Hey, what do you do for a living? What’s your business?” “Oh, you do this, you do that.”
So, I try to really get the conversation going where I can increase my network of people, even if I know right now, I may not get anything or receive anything or might be able to do something for somebody, but if I can always be in that conversation, then that somebody will always be in my mind. Now, when I’m doing that and it’s a social situation, I’m not really like giving them the whole sales pitch now. Usually what happens is when I ask them enough questions, as you know, they start asking me “What do you do?”… and things like that. So, it all goes into asking them what they’re doing, how they’re doing it. I love asking them how they do their sales because I’m intrigued by other people and how they make their sales. So, I feel like that’s my number one thing, is always trying to work a system of people that I meet or run into of finding out more about what they’re doing.
John: I love that because I think what you’re talking about there is really the core of active networking. I notice sometimes there’s a lot of people at networking events, and sometimes they might stay in the corner or only talk to the five people that they know, part of active networking is to go out and meet new individuals, and as you said, expand your network. Another misconception I hear when people think of sales is that they feel that sales people are pushy or that’s all they do, and I think that that’s actually when sales is being done the wrong way. Expanding your network and looking for opportunities to add value is extremely important for businesses that need marketing and sales, either internally or help in training for their sales people.
So when sales is done right, it shouldn’t feel like you’re at a used car dealership, the old stereotype. It could be, like you said, expanding your network, looking where you can add value and ultimately giving someone the opportunity to have the idea themselves that maybe what you do is good fit for their organization. I think great networkers also use the principle of what you sow, you are going to reap by helping other people find great connections, by building your network, that’s how people begin to see that value overall, and then… great opportunities arise.
How to take action on prospecting
John: So, I think in this, when we talk about the sales process, what are some day-to-day activities that a business owner can do to begin prospecting now? Everybody hears prospect and they automatically think cold calls. Sure, that might be part of that cookbook and recipe for success that you have, but what are some other areas that we employ or we see value and success in that so people can start getting that prospecting train rolling?
Jason: Yeah… one of the things that I like to do on a day-to-day basis is comb through maybe not as much social media now, but more maybe LinkedIn and looking for people that I know that may know somebody and they’re connected to these individuals that I want to get a conversation with… I actually kind of over the last two weeks, I’ve just been trying to get some more conversations with higher level people as well. So, I’ve got a call with somebody that was in sales for 30 years. They’re an angel investor. They’re retired, but they may know somebody that knows somebody else, or you may talk to them and get some information, but I think in sales, the more you are connected throughout different ranges on areas and business sectors of people, I think you’re going to be way more successful. It’s just like anything else, right?
It’s a big tree. Has a lot of branches. You can get a lot of things from them. So, I think day-to-day for me now is really trying to do a better job recently is asking for referrals…
Oh, I was with somebody at the beach this weekend, and they knew this guy. He was a builder in Raleigh, and he’s a big builder, so I’m going to try to get the intro to him, and there’s a guy that runs a trucking service, so asking like, “Hey, I know we talked about this during the weekend, would you mind asking so-and so if it was okay if we struck a conversation? And, I think that just goes into the people that you associate with, who you hang around with and who you are involved with. I think those are people in business that can really expand your network, but you have to ask for it, because they are not going to just send you somebody right?
John: Yeah, that’s such a great point because I think what you’re describing is activity breeds opportunity. When you’re active, when you’re out there, when you’re getting your name out there and telling your story, people will be attracted to the vibrancy and the expressiveness of what you’re relating to them. Ultimately, you want to attract people into your ecosystem, your process of doing things, and you want them to be attracted because of the human element in the human side of what we’re producing. Ultimately, we know that people buy for emotional reasons, but they back that up logically.
So, if they know that you are good at what you do, you’re logical, you have a great project management process, they can trust your team, their emotion for engaging with you as a representative of that is… That ultimately, they just want to be a part of that because they want to be a part of the team.
John: And, that’s where I think that great sale actually coalesces all together to that point. And, I think that’s an excellent point there that you’re making about activity, breeding opportunity, you know. Jason, as we kind of come to a close today, what are maybe three key takeaways you would give to the audience when it comes to sales? Something that they can take away and maybe implement today, and then maybe some things that they can grow with along the way? And, ultimately, obviously, we help our customers with these types of challenges as in lead generation, so what are some things that you see might be worthwhile for them to think about and maybe some areas that they can say, “Hey, yeah, I can put that into improvement or I can grow in that process.”?
Jason: Yeah, I think a couple of things I thought about. One was, you got to be willing to put yourself out there. If you do a lot of sales and marketing research and you look around, what do you see that comes up, somebody that’s doing something different, they were willing to do something different or innovative and put their selves on the line, and so what do they get? They get more eyeballs on it. Right, so it’s just like that whole network. If people don’t know what you do, then they won’t possibly use you for something down the road, so I think you got to be willing… Willing to put yourself out there and tell people what you do. Show them some value data. We talked about this a little bit the other day. The second thing is, go for it.
I think people talk about going toward, but they really don’t know how to go for it. If you want to be a part of this company or that company or something, you just got to go for it. And, that’s what I think people are scared of, that failure… They won’t go for it.
I can’t get this brand because it’s too big… Well, I’m totally opposite. I’m like, I can get this brand because I’ll just work my way in there and do it, so I think going forward is huge. I think people should really go for it… And then communication. Then it comes back to being in front and communicating with people, connecting dots, asking for referrals, those type of things, and telling people what you do. Those all three, willing, going forward, and communicating what you’re doing, what you’re looking for. I think people respect that.
And that communication is always asking other people what they’re doing, how they’re doing it, because what do people like to do? They like talking about their business or their product. Now, more than ever, I’m intrigued by like, “Oh, you started this. Well, how did you do that? Was it in your garage and you put something together and then, now look where it’s at… That’s what you hear a lot of people say… Most of the time, the people that I’ve seen succeed are the ones that were told, “Oh, that’s not going to work, that’s not realistic.” Whatever, and then, what? Boom.
So I think those are three valuable takeaways for somebody in sales and marketing…
John: Well, I think those are valuable takeaways for me today. I think being willing to do what might be outside of your comfort zone sometimes, like you’re saying, and just the day-to-day. There’s that consistency of activity and that stamina that you have to have to keep the course, keep moving forward even when it might be tough or it might not be what you want to do that day. It’s what’s going to be profitable for you and your business. Like you said, going for it… I think that’s extremely important. Challenging yourself, how much do you want this?
If you’re saying you can’t do something, then it should be maybe because you don’t have the right tool, not because you’re not willing, like you said, to have the mindset to go for it, because then you can get the right tool and you can accomplish what you want to do and move forward.
And, I love what you said about communication because ultimately that is our entire business, and that’s really the business of the world. If we notice obviously the rise of social media platforms, everybody wants to communicate what’s important to them in a timely, real basis and create and develop genuine connections. That’s really the key of marketing is effectively communicating your value proposition to your target customers where they want to consume valuable information about you, and possibly where they consume information about your competitors, and that’s where you want to stand out.
So I think people need to also think about, “Hey, is this the right platform for me to communicate on? Is this the right networking group or event for me to head to? Is that going to get the most visibility for myself, my brand, and for the types of clients that I want to work with as well? So I really appreciate, Jason, you sharing this with us this morning, because I think this was really extremely helpful to re-focus in the second half of the year.
And help our listeners understand that sales doesn’t have to be a daunting process, it doesn’t have to be ambiguous. You can have a sales system. You can effectively communicate. You can be yourself and you can go forward if you put yourself in the right position to talk accurately about what you do and what’s important to you…
Jason: Yup, totally agree. I think the last thing I’m going to leave you with and we talked about this again the other day, is the system. If you write down what you do every day and then you highlight what you’re doing different than another sales person, you probably maybe won’t highlight anything because you’re doing the same thing that other tell people are doing. So that’s a challenge for you right there. It’s like, okay, you could write something down with what you’re going to get accomplished today. What’s different? Find things that are different and innovative.
John: I love that, I love that. Well, I appreciate you joining us, Jason, and I appreciate you the audience for joining us for this episode of Life is Digital.
I am your host, John Bianchi, so great to have you again today. Please remember to rate, review and subscribe to the show. Check out the comments below. There’ll be some links, and obviously share these posts if you can… Until next time. Don’t stop marketing.