By Allen Kutchins, Managing Partner, Kutchins, Robbins & Diamond, Ltd. Previously published in the GGI Business Development & Marketing Autumn 2019 Newsletter.
Several times a year I read or listen to a self-development book. The latest was The 60 Second Sale: The Ultimate System for Building Lifelong Client Relationships in the Blink of an Eye by David V. Lorenzo.
The 60 Second Sale speaks to how different the selling process is today, and how essential it is to invest your time and energy in relationships in order to build your business. This view is consistent with GGI membership, as well as shared by other business consultants and authors. For example, in Ken Blanchard and Sheldon Bowles’ book Raving Fans, they say that a satisfied client will be your best advertisement, ultimately telling their friends about your wonderful service.
Lorenzo believes that once you have established the relationship, the sale is quick. To build your relationship network, he suggests a three-step process:
- First, cast a wide net. Reach out to relatives, neighbors, school groups, jobs, recreational activities, professionals, vendors and organizations. Try to connect with anyone that you have touched in some capacity.
- Second, develop a “Honeypot” offer. This can be a book or articles you have written that establish you as an expert.
- Third, share your expertise by writing articles and speaking to groups. Offer your “Honeypot” to your audience. Collect email addresses and business cards in order to distribute your “Honeypot.”
Lorenzo also recommends and provides a detailed script for using the phone, voice mail, email and direct mail to reach out to your network, and constantly and consistently touching them. You do not want to be out of sight and out of mind.
Put Their Needs Before Yours
Have you considered how effective your networking activities are? Lorenzo advises us to make certain we select the right groups to join to maximize our return on the time we’ll invest in the groups. Then we need to be diligent about following up after we establish a connection. Send emails, handwritten notes and your “Honeypot,” always with a purpose, such as to ask a question or introduce the contact to someone they might be able to help. And when you have live conversations, 70% of the focus should be on your contact. People do not care about you or your interests until they believe you care about them. We should focus on the needs of others before we ask them to take action on our behalf.
As for clients, Lorenzo recommends these practices:
- Focus on attracting ideal clients – not just any client. We all invest in our clients’ businesses, so we need to make certain that our prospective clients meet our ideal client profile.
- Only work with clients who allow you to do your best work, and for compensation that both you and your client believe to be fair. Avoid “hit and run” sales. Instead, put your efforts into relationship sales and building a base of clients who bring long-term value to your company.
- Always communicate the value you deliver. Selling is helping your client to achieve greater success. If you can be a matchmaker and refer one client to another, helping them generate revenue or solve problems, you and your efforts will be valued.
Lorenzo’s suggestions and approach will help anyone who is responsible for generating business. I conceptually disagree with him, however, that the sale is made in 60 seconds. It takes a lifetime of effort to build a lifelong client relationship. Developing deep relationships with centers of influence is also vital. It is important to work hard to build trust with influencers and in turn they will share that trust with their network.