Our family experienced an unexpected loss this summer. As you might expect, most people want to help but often do not know how or what to do. I remain personally heartened by the many meaningful gestures by so many people. One of these people took me to dinner, making a statement that has stuck with me. She said, “I’m not going to say to you, call me when you’re ready, because you won’t.” Instead, she took responsibility to find the right time and avenue to connect and follow up with me.
I believe there is a correlation with this approach and business development efforts. Creating the right target list is important, along with being organized and having the resources you need readily available, to make a difference.
The key is for you to take responsibility and consistently reach out to create the opportunity to communicate voice-to-voice, or person-to-person. Decision makers are busy, so if you are not getting through, keep trying at different times. Talk to someone in the company and find out if there is a better time or number to call. When you connect and have gained permission to continue the conversation, be confident and share what other similar decision makers find valuable with your services. Most importantly, ask questions and listen. If the timing isn’t right, ask them to suggest a better time to connect and follow up with a calendar invitation.
If you leave the ball in someone else’s court to call “when they’re ready,” you may not be the one who is there when they are ready. Part of building and keeping strong relationships is staying connected.