Biz Dev Questionnaire


Do you have a list of strangers you would like to meet? (Wish List)

The first step in the Selling Process is meeting new targets. (See more about the Selling Process in the Target Worksheet help link.) While meeting people through referrals or by attending events can be effective, simply reaching out to strangers may be very effective as well. In order to reach out to strangers, you can advertise. But advertising may not capture their attention as effectively as a direct approach.

If you want to implement a direct approach, you need to identify the names of the strangers that would be worth meeting and start making a list. We call this a "Wish List" because you will ultimately prioritize the strangers that you would really like to meet. You can maintain your Wish List by clicking on the Wish List link at the bottom of the Target Worksheets section.

Here are some ways to develop your Wish List:
1. Noting the names of contacts that your contacts mention
2. Asking your allies for suggestions
3. Making note of names as your read articles
4. Noticing advertising
5. Researching the Internet
6. Purchasing mailing lists

Once you add a name to your Wish List, you will be motivate to acquire their contact information. You can do this by asking your contacts if they have any ideas about how to connect. You can do research in social media and the internet. If you purchase a mailing list, you will also acquire their contact info. If you can, try to negotiate a guarantee from the list provider that the information you purchase is accurate.

When you obtain contact information, you can reach out. You could send a letter of introduction. You could offer to talk on the phone about some way of being valuable to them. Or, you could invite them to attend your webinars or seminars.

There are many obstacles to creating a Wish List of strangers. One obstacle is that you may feel that it is unrealistic that you will be successful in making contact. Of course, this is a self-fulfilling prophecy. If you don 't try, your odds of meeting are of course much worse. Also, you may be surprised at your ability to become skilled at this.

The key to being successful in reaching out to strangers is providing something of value so they want to meet you. It may be that your service is so valuable, merely learning about it will compel a target to interact with you. But, many of your targets will not immediately perceive the value you offer, so just informing them that you exist will not be enough.

If that is the case, you need to think about something of value that you could quickly describe in a letter, email or telephone call that would be compelling. A good example would be an invitation to a webinar or seminar.

Another example of a valuable offer is a brief discussion via telephone about best practices that they should be following in their business. Let's say you are a CPA. You could offer a best practices checklist for how to prevent fraud, or how to increase the value of your business.

Your success will completely be dependent on the value of your offer. If someone learns about your offer and does not accept it, then you need to improve your offer.

Another obstacle is the concern that reaching out to strangers is unethical. While you must follow the ethical rules of your profession, there most certainly will be ethical ways to reach out to strangers. The key to your success is to not assume that all outreach to strangers is prohibited, and then find out the methods that are acceptable.