Early in February, at an event I partnered on with the Boston Business Journal, Ray Hoefling, Senior Vice President, Commercial Banking, at Webster Bank was our special guest. Audiences had an opportunity to hear some of the creative ways Webster Bank, a well-known Connecticut brand, is engaging sponsorship, particularly with the nonprofit sector, to introduce its brand and build relationships in a competitive market.
When we opened it up to the audience for questions, the first one was a familiar refrain. A gentleman wanted to know how he could reach Hoefling or the proper decision maker, something that he was finding to be "very hard."
Hoefling looked straight at him and, firmly but compassionately, said, "It should be hard."
Corporations are inundated with proposals, a small fraction of which are really on target. Therefore, relationships matter. Your conduct, how you comport yourself, how efficient you are about getting through, and how you engage with corporate leaders all make the difference between successful sellers and others. Admittedly this can be tricky terrain, especially at a time when nobody has time.
You may remember a book I recommended a couple years ago, called SNAP Selling by Jill Konrath, about how to sell under these crazy-busy conditions. It's a terrific guide on how to navigate the terrain when your emails and voice mail messages are so easily deletable, when getting through is a challenge.
Here's a short video on how to be –– and not be –– a pest. If your sponsorship ideas are really well-aligned and you started a new relationship on the right foot, don't give up. Watch this: