It has been a tough time for many businesses, with some going to the wall, or having to shut-up shop for the duration, with the hope of clinging on until restrictions are lifted. While some industries have had to pivot their offering - through service and product diversification - Mobile Wave Solutions has largely been able to maintain our output, albeit with a large amount of the team working from home. We haven’t had to reinvent the wheel to survive - we are fortunate. But what about growing outbound opportunities with new clients?
“Being in charge of business development, it has been my responsibility to generate new leads and discussions in a time when face-to-face networking opportunities are zero, and the buzz of London enterprise is effectively on hold. I have been fortunate in my sales career - even in quiet times there’s always something around the corner: a conversation to be had, an introduction to be made, an event to attend - enough bubbling away with the the benefits of being able to physically meet people, host a breakfast, speak at a show, or even a humiliating round of golf - sowing the seeds of business relationships through being there.”, shares Andrew.
All of this has been practically impossible for a year. Organisations have arranged virtual networking - trying to recreate the flame of business connections through video conferencing - some with more success than others. All these attempts are worthy, but we all know that they can only go so far. Essentially we have had to re-learn how to generate new business - but using the same principles that we’ve always employed to build lasting commercial relationships: Identifying supply and demand. Open and honest communication. Personal trust through good manners, respect and professionalism. Clarity of message, of the product or service details. Value - fair pricing for a service of quality.
But how can a salesperson focussed on new business - as opposed to enhancing opportunities with existing clients - generate discussions while gripped in a contact-cancelling pandemic? “My approach, while not perfect, has given me confidence that new clients can be found during these enterprise-stifling times, by focusing on three simple themes:
Traditional new client entertainment is a no-go, so find a way to engage with new clients without sending them to sleep on zoom calls. Mobile Wave Solutions was proud to sponsor the recent British Bulgarian Business Associations’ virtual wine tasting event. From the moment we heard the idea suggested, we were keen to be involved. We realised it was a way of engaging people who might otherwise not be open to hearing from us. It was a leap of faith - do people really want to sit in their homes drinking wine that’s been sent to them in the post, while watching a broadcast from Bulgaria? It turns out that they do. The event was a success and our sponsorship put us front and center. You can read more about the event here.
Use the tools available to you - such as LinkedIn. Post original, good-value, and occasionally ‘personal’ content a couple of times a week; try to build a following. Don’t expect every avenue to work immediately, but over time, your connections will take note of your activity - and the good work your company is doing.
We all have a responsibility to talk the economy up. Positivity brings confidence and confidence can be self-perpetuating. Make a point of seeking out good economic news, and promote it to your business and connections.”, advises Andrew.
As a growing business, we have managed to keep a regular flow of enquiries coming in, through initiatives, contacts and innovation. We can’t predict the future post-lockdown, but we can take confidence from the fact that our tech development services are ever more in demand as the world adapts to the new normal, and digital plays an even more central part in all of our lives.