At the end of 2010, I had lunch with a colleague, a business development professional for a large investment firm. He told me that in 2010, he went on 750 sales calls. I almost fell off my chair. That is a huge number of people to meet, get to know, serve, stay in touch with, and synthesize into your business and professional life. And that's what he does. Pretty impressive. (He was also looking forward to getting some rest over the holidays!)
How many calls to and meetings with prospective corporate sponsors did you make last year?
And sponsors, how many new opportunities with nonprofits, events, festivals, conferences, associations or regions did you explore?
It's a new year. Wouldn't it be a great idea to get out there and shake things up a bit? Go meet some new people. Talk to businesses you've never met with before or learn about a sponsorship opportunity you never thought about. Sponsors, you have no idea what great opportunities could be coming at you that your online system deters.
Selling today is pretty challenging. Besides budgets remaining pretty flat everywhere and ROI being an imperative, technology makes penetrating walls, having dialogues, connecting, finding common ground, and collaborating more difficult.
And more necessary.
One way to rise above it all is to stick your neck out. Show your passion for something. Generate some good ideas. Use your ideas – as long as they're relevant and aligned with the other's priorities – as a way to gain access. Who can resist someone with a thoughtful idea they're passionate about?
If you need a little ammunition, a little inspiration, watch this TED Talk. Then, go for it. Take a chance! Happy New Year!