Getting in the Door

DoorThis week I came across two sales tools I plan to try.  The first one opens doors, the second may keep them from slamming shut.

According to this Journal article, Spoke Software's Group Connector lets teams add their respective contacts to a database that then can be quickly searched to find an entry contact at a prospective company.  I could see this having great value to my department as we frequently struggle to keep track of who knows whom.  But just think if you could convince even a fraction of your donors to submit five to ten contacts to such a database.  The doors it would open!

Regardless of what sales contact software you use, every sales team should have a shared database that is religiously updated with every meeting, communication and news tidbit that involves a client or prospect.  At BMC we use Outlook and Kintera Sphere to categorize our contacts and record notes.  The best way to collect intelligence is to train your team to use a keyboard like they would a notepad and type as they listen.  That way there's nothing lost and it eliminates the extra step of plugging in hand written notes.

So, using Spoke's Group Connector you zero-in on a great prospect, you have that all important first meeting and, back at the office the following day, you're ready to hit the send button on that thank you email.  But wait!  Did you attach your video clip?  You did if you work for Jane magazine.

The ad sales staff at the Conde Nast Publications title have started pitching its clients by video, attaching clips to proposals as cover letters meant to secure some extra attention.

The videos don't cheat -- there are no special effects, celebrity cameos or MTV-style quick cuts. But they do put the very fresh faces of Jane's staff on camera, offering marketers and buying agencies a little more entertainment than their work usually affords.

This is a great way to reinforce a pitch, and it plays to a sale person's naturally strong interpersonal skills.  And it's so new and cool who wouldn't watch it?  Sure, it's a stunt.  But stunts can cut through the clutter and put you on a prospect's radar screen.  Isn't that what we all want anyway?  The chance to get a prospect's attention long enough to make our pitch.  Then if the door hits us in the ass on the way out we can at least say we had our chance to walk through it.

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