The lost secret of great sales, or the Only thing a successful company doesn’t do
Andrey Gusakov, Director of strategic development and marketing Dataforum LLC, talks about the importance of first contact with the main face of the company, in particular business writing: how to explore the potential recipient as to take into account its personal preferences and characteristics in order to “hit the target” of his interests
And now it’s finally a happy time when you can exhale and loosen your tie. The business has stood up in hard times, developed, got stronger and, it seems, everything is good, but still something is wrong. Old clients, who were the main bidder at the start of the business, can no longer give more than they once gave, and the tools for working with new clients are not yet sufficiently honed. There was no time to sharpen them, it was necessary to keep the business afloat in its first risky years. Therefore, sales gradually “hit the ceiling”. And what should we do here and who should we blame when the company’s clients are fenced off by an armored wall of secretaries, employees of the security service, as well as managers who have a close financial friendship with representatives of other suppliers? What should I do if the first call to the client becomes the last?
First of all, let’s answer the question: who is the person in the client’s organizational structure that you can reach and find an interested partner in? This can only be the Manager, and the Manager is the owner. The owner does not take “kickbacks”, he is interested in the development of his business, he will listen to any proposal, if it is on the case. But how to build a dialogue with him, if you can’t build even with the most ordinary employees?
The answer is simple — you need to write letters, or rather, just one. Maybe someone will think: “well, nonsense, we always do this.” But practice shows that no more than 10% of the companies whose profile I eloquently described at the beginning are able to write a single letter so that a strategic partnership can begin with it.
This is how it happens in life. A certain company has been trying for 2.5 years to start cooperation with a large mining concern whose shares are listed on major world exchanges. The result was not as long as the work does not come from a competent marketer. After the first letter, a meeting of the owners of both companies took place, and this was the beginning of a successful partnership.
But everything is usually smooth on paper, and in the process of cooperation, force majeure began to occur — or circumstances caused by third parties that caused damage to both sides. Given that in Russia, “the strong man is always powerless to blame”, the lion’s share of losses fell on the contractor company: fines and penalties for deviations from the terms of the contract. Thus, another 13 letters were written, each of which justified the contractor’s non-involvement in the delays and served as a basis for rejecting the claims. The President of the concern was tearing up and throwing up, but there was nothing he could do about it. Thus, the huge debt of the contractor was practically dispersed and liquidated.
Since then, three years have passed, everything has been corrected and forgotten, but some time ago the President of the concern flew to our city and demanded to include the same marketer in his rider: “I want to see this person. Let him explain to me why, despite the huge claims to the work of his company, I could not do anything with it, ” he said. That’s what this terrible weapon is-the first competent letter to the head.
In order to use it correctly, before writing the first appeal, you must clearly understand:
age and gender characteristics of a person;
business communication style (Western, Eastern, Russian);
the dominant channel of perception of information (what he likes — to read or listen to);
mentality (place of birth and residence);
features of speech turnover (analysis of his statements in the media);
corporate and strategic values of his company;
the main achievements and pride of his and his company;
level of education, areas of professional development;
the level of competition and level of competence of competitors;
how successfully competitors solve their problems with their products/services.
The answers to these questions will form the skeleton of the first appeal, which will fall “on target” due to the fact that it will contain answers to urgent questions of the head, and in a format that will not cause him resistance.
At the end, I will give a few fragments from the historical example that I described above. Please accept our sincere advice: do not underestimate the importance of contacting the first person of your potential customer. Good luck! Let you succeed!
“Today, all economic entities are in the paradigm that encourages them to work more closely and show more and more obvious signs of mutual assistance and common interests. In this regard, our appeal sets itself more significant tasks instead of the standard discussion of commercial issues.
The set of legal requirements set out in this document, taking into account the fact that their objectivity is forced and irreversible, imposes a number of additional conditions on the processes of formalization of our contractual relations with you.
I strongly ask you not to discount these facts, because the group conclusion on the current situation is not yet final. I will report on the progress of the campaign to fulfill the contractual obligations to you every day in the evening appendices to this letter.
On my behalf, I would like to note that we do not consider this example of third parties violating our business agreements as a Manifesto of an extraordinary nature. We do not doubt the outcome of the commitments that have already taken place in our dialogue.
The category of force majeure includes all justifications for the actions of those officials who, on weakly formalized grounds, implement coordination algorithms that do not lend themselves to comparative theoretical understanding.”