- Posted by Randy Hendriks
- On March 26, 2019
- 0 Comments
As spring officially kicks off, I’m excited to do some planting and growing in our backyard this year and spoke to a few experts over the weekend. There are several steps involved if I want to see my plants flourish in the months ahead. It reminded me of what it takes to nurture and grow a strong B2B lead generation network strategy. In this blog I’ll outline some steps needed to develop and maintain a healthy B2B lead generation network.
1. Know your Soil- Identify the Right Leads
Just like healthy plant diversity, aim to keep your network broad. I try not to be too picky about who I connect with on LinkedIn because people’s needs can be very diverse over time. That being said, if the person reaching out to you on LinkedIn has more than a few thousand contacts, and you’ve never heard of them they could be an “invasive species” that will begin spamming you once you connect. When it comes to networking events though, I’ve had to become pickier, with limited evenings available and a full roster of client projects to focus on. Be sure to ask yourself the question, “Will my target audience be at this event?”
2. Plant the Seed- Be Prepared to Share
Whether it’s a networking event, a social outing, or just a trip to a local business, you should always be ready to pitch your business. Be sure that you can share your story and what you offer in 30 seconds or less. If the person you’re speaking to has a puzzled look on their face, you may need to go back to the drawing board. In some industries a business card is a must. Don’t just think about what you’re giving or sharing though, but also what information you can collect from a prospect you’re speaking to. If possible, you might even be able to “qualify” them on the spot, understanding if they are a good fit for the product or services you offer. Be sure to ask them for a business card, or contact information, and be the proactive party. Reach out to them after the fact.
3. Water the Soil: Strengthen Relationships Over Time
I’ve had my fair share of plants wither for lack of watering. It takes a consistent effort to grow leads and develop relationships with contacts. Be sure you have a CRM to track your contacts, and schedule tasks for yourself on a consistent basis to reach out to high-potential contacts directly through email, inmail, or a phone call. This can be done on a one-to-many scale by staying top of mind through LinkedIn and other relevant social media channels. While respecting the focus of different platforms, I’ve found it is effective to share from a more personal perspective, such as posting a picture from a trade show I’m working at or celebrating a special accomplishment of someone in my network.
4. Transplanting: Sharing Your Time and Service.
I’ve been to some great plant sales where 90% of the plants for sale came from cuttings and transplants. When you share your time and pay it forward good things happen. VA Partners co-founder Mark Elliott calls it “Small Business Karma”. For that reason, he has encouraged me to give back to my community. One way I’ve done that in recent months is to become a volunteer mentor at The Forge, a Startup incubator in Hamilton. I spend a couple hours there per week, being available to Startup founders to discuss their sales needs and challenges.
I could continue with the planting analogy, but fear I’d digress into spreading the fertilizer a little too thick. If you’re interested in networking events around the GTA, Hamilton, and Kitchener-Waterloo area, keep an eye out for the monthly event listing on our VA Partners blog. If your interested in connecting to discuss your own sales challenges email me: [email protected] or connect with me on LinkedIn.