Yes, I’m one of those old-fashioned guys who still does acquisition, and often cold-calling – just ringing ‘em up. I’ve done it for years, rather intensively, especially once I opened up shop for myself. Even today, I notice that people around me find it fascinating and quite remarkable. And when I ask them why they’re so surprised I put effort into acquisition, I typically hear the following:
1. People think it’s scary to approach people and ask them to buy something (whether you know them or not);
2. Why should you? There are plenty of leads to be had from social media;
3. There’s no need for that, you all have plenty of work as it is.
I’d like to address the last two points for a moment. It may very well be true that social media can help to generate leads. But no matter who I ask, I can’t seem to get a straight answer as to what and how many B2B leads social media might provide. And that’s without even considering the quality. It’s still in its infancy as far as I’m concerned, although we will no doubt find ourselves embracing this phenomenon more and more in future.
And then the third point. I hear this regularly, too, when I ring clients and pitch the idea that our company can help them land new clients of their own. “We are busy enough as is; we already have our hands full with our existing clients.” In other words, no – acquisition, new clients and so on, that’s not our priority. The economic crisis is over and we can see that in the orders coming in. I always find myself rather flabbergasted at the end of such calls. These are commercial organisations, and they’re admitting that they completely neglect acquisition. When business is on the upswing, that’s precisely the moment that companies should invest in acquisition. After all, that’s when potential clients, who may be insufficiently familiar with what you can provide, have resources available to purchase your goods and/or services. In times of crisis, everybody starts putting effort into acquisition again – but then, money is tight.
And there’s yet another reason to keep at the acquisition: you’re in control, you make it happen, and it’s an amazing rush to land a client you approached ‘cold’. In fact, that rush might just be the best part of acquisition…
I wish you all a fantastic, acquisition-filled 2018!