Have a speech in your back pocket and always sell on value by Yoke van Dam

This month, the Johannesburg chapter met online, and we were delighted to have so many members from other chapters visiting us, and 4 guests.

Jabu Zwane couldn’t join us, but at the last moment, our President Arthur Goldstuck pulled a speech out of his back pocket and surprised us with his Pipeline Strategy. Dr Sharon King Gabrielides created a highly safe space, for interaction, sharing and delving deeper into our business models, and after our leg stretch, Arthur Goldstuck took the mike. Thank you to Frans Nortje for his incredible MC skills and for Bokang Kelepa and myself for doing the intros and thank yous.

Sharon took us through the business model canvas, as well as her STRIVE model but here are some of the major aha moments I had:

  1. Have an introduction video that establishes your credibility. Sharon shared her professional intro video with us, which set her up for success. How many times have you spoken at an event, where the MC simply doesn’t do justice to your intro, even though you’ve given it to them? By having this intro video you take control back, and this can be used for online courses too.
  2. Sharon shared how she took a gap year, started out as a Microsoft trainer, and her parents informed her that her rent was due at end of that month. She spoke about the 25-year journey of being an “overnight” success. And how she’s never ditched training Microsoft, and how she decided not to niche down.
  3. Value proposition: When you compile your value proposition, ask the question: I do …, for …, so that, or so what?
  4. Benchmarking is important to know your value and what you can charge, based on what is happening in the marketplace.
  5. Assessments: Can you find a pre- and post-assessment to give your clients so you can with data prove ROI based on your interventions?
  6. Track your numbers: Sharon has tracked her numbers for 15 years and can see trends based on what happened in the market and why certain courses exploded because of specific trends in the market.
  7. How can you give a personalized experience as a small business, with the systems and professionalism of a corporate? Sharon uses Karta for onboarding and off-boarding of her clients. This sends reminders of meetings, shares the resource links and assignments, and through automation saves her a lot of time and sanity.
  8. Have good cancellation terms in place: Sharon has a 4-week full cancellation clause. She does invoices for 30 and even 60 days.
  9. Last few Sharon tips: Help yourself, have great relationships with your clients and tap into a mastermind group. Be inventive, add value and bring energy and engagement.

Arthur Goldstuck introduced us to his pipeline plan to ensure future sales.

The plan works as follows:

  1. Identify 100 clients that you could do business with. Find these on directories, LinkedIn, and do proper research. Identify what their pain point could be and what your solution could look like.
  2. Contact at least 5 prospects a day via email or phone call. Craft individual messages based on what they could need and allow them the opportunity to say YES.
  3. Your database could be as basic as a spreadsheet showing: the client name, and the percentage of probability of the deal, but also track what was this discussed. What feedback was received by when, and when you last made contact.
  4. By the end of the month, you would have contacted 100 clients.
  5. If 1 in 10 (or 1 in 20) convert, you would be really thankful.

Arthur mentioned that most sales calls happen between the 3rd to the 7th contact with a client. Be persistent and follow up.

I have already started implementing Arthur’s steps today and if we base it on the success of his colleague (Bryan), who used this strategy while seeking sponsors for Wargames at Wits, it might just be written into our own constitutions soon.

We look forward to our next meeting in August with Janet du Preez and Liezl Blom speaking on Audience Engagement, and activating our inner superhero. We would love to invite you to this session happening on the 3rd Thursday at 7p.m., 18th August 2022. See you there!

To connect with Sharon, visit her LinkedIn. To connect with Arthur, visit his LinkedIn.

Blog written by Yoke van Dam.