Converting cold new business targets - six dos and don'ts

By: Sally Danbury

Date: 8 September 2011

So you already know that whatever claims are made, there aren’t actually any “one size fits all” magic treatments that bring business to your door in droves.

So, how can you work smarter?

I hope the following insight through hands-on experience provides some food for thought.

Know your targets

Not only about their industry, markets, challenges and issues, but also who they are as people. What switches them on? Where do they hang out – at industry or networking events? Behind a desk? On Linkedin or Twitter? Reach out to your targets in the places they are most like to be, and where they are most comfortable.

Tailor your content

Base it on your observations. Be concise. Be clear on why you’re getting in touch and what you want from them. Make your content engaging and compelling, not desperate: more a meeting of minds.

Be creative

Don’t take the easy route of email every time, not only is it a very competitive spam-heavy channel, it’s dull and there might be a better way of standing apart.  Think about your audience. As individuals with different tastes and interests, we should apply more thought to how we approach cold targets. Emails do work for some, direct contact with others, printed colourful material or even cakes can have the desired memorable effect.

Keep your messages fresh

Approach prospects with insightful relevant information, whether industry-led or a new case study you feel will be of interest. Also be persistent — contact every eight weeks is just about right.

Use a mixture of push and pull methods to engage

Offer to drop by or meet at an event. Invite them to visit you to get a feel for the culture of your business. Challenge them to trial you to see what they’re missing.

Be seen

Get involved in industry events to showcase your expertise and approach. Blog regularly and ensure your targets can find you easily — just as you research them, they will undoubtedly want to check you out thoroughly before welcoming you in.

Sally Danbury is the founder of Cake Business Matching and an expert contributor to Marketing Donut.