Have you ever come across a person with the potential to be a great prospect? There’s just one problem: You don’t know them. How can you change that?
Let’s look deeper. This person might be a high-profile person mentioned in the news. They might be a local philanthropist you do not know or a senior executive who recently relocated to the area. You want to get on their radar. You want them to know your name, so they connect your name with your face. How can you do it?
- This relocated executive might work at the company that is the major employer in your area. You may already have clients at that firm who are in senior management. Ask if they will introduce you.
- Is there a connection? You research them online. For example, you could look up their LinkedIn profile. You might find that you both graduated from the same school. Perhaps you have some second-level connections on LinkedIn. Send them an invitation to connect using the common link or shared connections as your rationale.
- Attend the same events. This person is a philanthropist. They could be a big donor at the local museum. You could become a museum member and attend its events, including ones sponsored by the person you would like to know. Walk over, introduce yourself and thank them for sponsoring this event for the benefit of the community.
- Write a letter. Today we communicate by text, social media and email. Letter-writing has fallen out of favor. This means it stands out! Using good quality stationery and envelopes, write a letter of introduction. Good quality paper and the personalized approach work in your favor.
- Frame and deliver an article. Let’s say you learned about the relocated executive from an article in the business section of the newspaper. Get the article professionally framed and deliver it to their office.
- Magazine and overnight mail. A financial advisor told me about this strategy years ago. Most cities have a local magazine carrying the city’s name. Once a year, they run a “Best of” issue listing top schools, neighborhoods and golf clubs. He would buy a stack of copies. When an executive moves into the area, he would write a letter welcoming them and send it with the magazine by overnight mail. He would follow up with a phone call, reminding the call screener he was the person who sent the magazine. This helped his call get through.
- Call them. Gatekeepers are a barrier against unexpected callers. Since they are real people, they aren’t in place 24/7. Many business owners and executives work long hours. Try calling early, late or on weekends. People in roles where sales are important will often answer a ringing phone.
- The chamber of commerce connection. This connection deserves its own category. Your business owner is a chamber of commerce member. You call them, leading with you are a chamber member calling another chamber member. Chamber membership speaks to an interest in helping other members do business.
- Hearing you speak. Ideally, you both belong to the same organization, such as a local alumni club where they have regular speakers at dinner meetings. Become a speaker at the dinner meetings. Being a featured speaker showcases you, presenting you as an expert.
- Send a seminar invitation. If they are mailed, it’s usually a hard card, similar to a wedding invitation. They often get opened. Your name is featured as the speaker. Regardless of if they attend (or not), your name is in front of them. If you call afterward, they may remember your name because of the invitation they received.
There are many ways to get on someone’s radar. Which do you like best?
Bryce Sanders is president of Perceptive Business Solutions Inc. His book “Captivating the Wealthy Investor” is available on Amazon.
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