How much money and time do you need to “get things going” in your business?
When I started my business in the spring 2010, I didn’t have a lot of either.
There may have been enough money in the bank to cover the family budget for about 30 days. My wife took care of our two pre-teens but she was not able to work outside the home.
My two main goals were to help people with my web and social media marketing, and not go back into a traditional 8-5 job.
Sales was something I understood. Prospecting was second nature, but there was always a system or established roadmap to follow, provided by my employer.
Systems are good things. Being organized is something I have to really work on, so having an easy system for connecting with prospects would be important.
One quarter — 90 days(ish) seemed like a good test for independence. There was a need for digital marketing and many companies were trying to figure out how to use these new tools. Some good prospecting and hard work would lead to some work and perhaps I could make it to month 2 with some new business!
It takes hustle to start something right?
- My system would be meeting with 100 business owners in 100 days.
- In these meetings, we would talk about THEM – get to know them and try to understand their business.
- We would learn about their goals and what they knew about marketing.
- We would share any ideas I had about using social media to connect with an audience and to sell products or services.
- If I had anyone in my network that could help them, an introduction would be made.
To reach this goal, the system required an average of 1 meeting a day, every day for over 3 months. These could be stacked up, but needed to average 7 meetings a week.
The previous times I was independent, it was really just to earn some money until the next job came along.
This was different.
This was scary.
This system started working pretty quickly. After meeting 32 I had secured some monthly business and by the end of month two, several businesses had come on board.
To run an effective prospecting meeting, you need to think of it like building a new relationship. Decide ahead of time you’re going to be an active listener, and the person will be interesting.
It’s a conscious choice.
Leading with good advice is also something you can do. They don’t need to “earn” it. If you see an area that your knowledge can help, tell them.
Another secret is getting coffee meetings with busy business people is way easier than setting up a meeting at their office. “Let’s get together for coffee” is an easier “yes” than a “can I come by your office sometime?”
Coffee meetings are a cultural norm for us now, and the abundance of coffee shops make this an easy meeting solution. “Let’s meet for chocolate milk” doesn’t have the same ring to it. People don’t typically get together and share chocolate milk with each other and discuss life or business, plus there’s not a chocolate milk shop on every corner in a large city!
The magic is treating others well, listening, being consistent and understanding who your real target audience is. It’s understanding that this is a relational meeting and not a transactional meeting.
It’s leading with good information and not simply going in for the kill.
It’s following up and making introductions.
It’s being an encourager and advocate for others.
After multiple requests for teaching this program to others, I launched a course last year. This idea is spreading, and I’m sharing all that I’ve learned and templates for meeting requests, introductions, follow-ups and more.
This online workshop is called 100 Cups Academy. The format is a one hour video call every week. The calls are live, and you’ll interact with me and a group of other people with the same goal.
Later this month I’ll be taking new attendees, last year’s participants are already having success in their businesses.
If THIS type of sales and prospecting sounds interesting to you, you can get more info here: https://100cups.coffee/100-cups-academy/
Kickoff – Wednesday, January 29th 11:00 Central
1 Hour a week video call for 6 weeks on Wednesdays at 11:00
**Thanks to Justin Darby for going through the Academy last year! He is already feeling the impact with his insurance business.
Thanks for your attention! – Jason