January’s feeling a little weird so far. We have a vaccine and it’s being slowly administered. Meanwhile cases escalate daily and the numbers are worse than they were during the crisis phase back in March, April, and May. Combine all that with trying to forecast our annual sales and shake vigorously to yield our current day-to-day rhythm.
During our year end planning session in December we set a goal to grow our revenue 10 percent by asking our sales team to develop and commit to their 2021 numbers. We encouraged our sales people to focus on “lead behaviors,” which are controllable in order to influence “lagging behaviors” like closed business. One of these key lead behaviors is prospecting through networking and cold calling. I don’t know about your company, but ours is word-of-mouth driven with lots of chance encounters with prospects at meetings, receptions, and dinners. There aren’t any meetings, receptions, and dinners to attend right now, so we decided to brainstorm how to meet new people during the pandemic. I want to share the most successful example we’ve found.
Also by Henry Clifford: Virtual Burnout
Our customers have asked us for years to host in-person events where they could come and learn about their technology and ask questions. We never got that off the ground, but a virtual version of the same thing seemed like a no-brainer to us. I decided on a format where I could be a moderator and host industry experts, peppering them with questions and getting to know their brands a bit better.
We called the show Livewire Connections and just filmed the first episode (embedded below). I didn’t expect much (my Mom said she’d show up, which was nice), but I was blown away by the attendance. Around 40 customers showed up along with Sonos rockstars JT Pruitt, Casey Clemens, and Nick Dolansky.
The show came off exactly as I’d hoped, and the audience engaged by asking a ton of great questions. We required registration to attend, so the sales team now has a list of potential customers to farm over the next few days. The show is also posted on YouTube where we can reference back to it in future social media posts.
Livewire Connections cost next to nothing to put on and I think we’ll end up doing a few large Sonos jobs as a result. Next month we’re doing the same thing with Alarm.com.
Also by Henry Clifford: Fighting the Battle of Next Week
What could your show look like? Have your customers ever asked you to host a Q&A event? We all spend so much time chasing the next job and it’s hard to slow down and focus on marketing. I get it. It’s not often that opportunities come along like this where so little is required upfront with such a high potential return on investment. Please feel free to copy our format and get rolling! I would love to hear your success stories.
I guarantee your customers will love it if you follow suit.
Stay frosty, and see you in the field.