Select your prospects as deliberately as you would select a fine wine
Patience is often the difference between a disappointing experience and great experience (in wine and in sales)
If improperly handled, great wine can go bad… Just like a great prospect
Unless you are a true wine aficionado, each wine on the list could appear to you to have the same potential for success. Perhaps the more expensive bottles are better. Or, maybe a name you’ve heard before.
The key to success is to become outrageously successful targeting and winning business. Targeting is much like a wine vintage chart. You want to define criteria that helps you focus your efforts on those opportunities that are most likely to have a positive outcome. In business, too often you hear someone say “I’m interested in any client over $50 million in revenue.” Or “we help companies with more than 500 employees.” Those targets are too broad, and may result in you, metaphorically, investing big dollars in bad wine. Here are three keys to select the right targets.
- Proper Pairing: Each wine pairs well with specific foods. Similarly, your products and services are not a great fit for every client. Think about the types of businesses and specific challenges they might be facing where you are strongly positioned to help them succeed. Focus more on the challenges you excel at solving instead of your features. Tough love – nobody cares about your features.
- Check the Vintage: The great wine at the wrong time can be horrible. Similarly, when you get to an ideal prospect, you want the timing to be right. Ideally, you’d arrive when they have identified a problem, but not yet the solution. In those opportunities, when the timing is right, you will have a high chance for success. When the timing is not right, they might be “a good wine that is not ready to drink.”
- Be Patient and Nurture: Even a great wine requires patience. You might need to wait a few months for it to be ready to drink. Even when you open it, you might need to let it breathe or decant it to have it reach its potential. Similarly, you often see companies rush to close the deal. Be patient and nurture the prospect to reach the full potential.
Don’t waste resources on the first bottle or prospect you see. Be deliberate in how you target business, and you might just become outrageously successful targeting and winning business.