In 2016, I was tasked by a client to help them increase their sales and industry presence in the UK market, specifically with the top 200 fashion and apparel brands and retailers in the region.
A huge challenge
The challenge for me was, unlike in my home country of Brazil, a networking one. I only had five business connections in the UK – hardly a robust portfolio. If I wanted to succeed in the UK, I was going to have to grow my network almost from scratch.
Despite my lack of initial contacts, I grew my network to over 300 connections, many of whom were major players in e-commerce and apparel in the UK, Dubai, Turkey and Romania. These contacts led to 11 meetings (I’m talking whales) with some of the largest e-commerce players in the world and a grand total of 2.132 million US dollars in new business opportunities in the pipeline for my client.
Structure to the rescue
I credit my success to a technique that is less commonly utilised by individuals and smaller teams: a sales cadence.
For the uninitiated, a sales cadence is a structured system for the frequency that you (or your team) reach out to prospective clients and the methods that you use to contact them. Cadences vary greatly, but they all have the following in common: the frequency, method of contact and time of contact are structured and consistent.
Whether you are a team of one or 50, implementing a well-defined sales cadence can provide a huge boost to the efficiency and effectiveness of your client prospecting process. Here are just a few of the advantages you can expect from a well-defined sales cadence.
Focused effort – follow the cadence and eliminate the risk of sending the same email, or making the same call, twice.
Easy Tracking = Easy Refinement – Start off basic and then refine your approach according to your success rate.
Scalability – Don’t depend on your memory to track your progress. It will also make it easier to enlist others to work with you.
Preparation or onboarding – Understand who your prospects are, what industry you are best equipped to serve, at what business stage your ideal client is at, and what region you want to focus on.
Know your prospect – Do not leave anything to chance: from their name and company size and location, to who the best contacts are and how they operate on social media.
Understand their world – Write specifically to them, understanding their needs, fears and challenges.