Welcome Miles Duncan!
Our very own Sales Director has kindly offered to do a series of 3 blog posts offering advice on how to generate leads and opportunities for Contractors and Freelancers. Miles has worked in a variety of sales roles from Drambuie to large car companies, and before coming to FW Accounting was a self employed Consultant himself – so he’s more than qualified. We hope you find his pointers easy to implement and worthwhile.
Failing to plan…
You have no doubt heard if you fail to plan you plan to fail; this could not be truer in the quest to generate leads that will result in winning more business.
I could write a book on this however here are some key things to consider.
Firstly before you dive in with all your enthusiasm it is really important to work out your plan of action.
Planning Your Objectives
Start right at the …. END.
Build yourself a road map…… with the destination in mind.
You wouldn’t drive a car in the dark, so turn the headlights on!
What is your objective? Let’s assume your contract is coming to an end and you need to generate leads which will convert to new and exciting opportunities for you. So, new opportunities are your ultimate objective.
Consider the circle of ‘influence’ that surrounds the role you are after.
Which sector? Which companies in that sector have your ideal role?
Then go in a bit deeper, what are the paths that lead to that company? This could be particular agencies; specific people within the potential company ……… key influencers; online and offline networking meetings where contacts ‘hang out’; people you know generally; and the hidden one – people they know…….
Mapping your plan
Now write it all down, don’t just store in your head. It is a proven fact; you dramatically improve your chances of success if you write your plan down and break it down into manageable chunks.
I personally like doing this on excel as I can write things down, then use different worksheets for different parts of my plan, and it’s great to go back to update and keep track (though there are mind mapping apps for iPad and iphone, such as iThoughtsHD)
You now have a crystal clear objective, and a plan of how to get there. You’d be surprised how many people (and businesses) don’t even have that! So already you’re at an advantage.
Next I would suggest you make the connection between your ideal client and you, your personal brand.
By this I mean you need to make yourself attractive to the market and the role you’re trying to attract.
So, consider your personal brand and what makes this up, here are some pointers; They way you look and dress. Always dress and look in the style of your potential client; dress in their reflection. Looking at their website could help – do they wear ties, do they look casual or super smart?
When you meet, they will subconsciously be fitting you into their organisation, so help them along by looking the part!
Make sure your CV looks and connects to the sector, company and potential employer.
There are many CV specialist out there and great online sites for help.
It’s vital that your CV looks good and serves up your skills, silver bullets, and career in the most appropriate way to best reflect you and the role.
Also consider key search terms, as you will be searched online and by agency databases. These days you will be personally searched online even before an interview or meeting is offered, 100% guaranteed. So use this to your advantage, ensure you look attractive.
In professional roles you are now expected to be on LinkedIn and have made quality connections (not quantity). If you’re not on LinkedIn you put yourself at an immediate disadvantage. People use LinkedIn whilst forming an opinion of you; usually they will be looking at your CV and LinkedIn together. So make sure your silver bullets are clearly visible. Get a nice photo too. You have now mapped your objectives’ and created your personal brand.
Part 2 on lead generation strategies comes on Friday so please stay tuned………………
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