Untangle the red tape

I recently watched a show where the presenter travels across America in search of adventure. In this particular episode, he went to Texas to explore the wild, which included going fishing. He met a man that was called the fish whisperer. This man would accompany him on his journey, take him to all the best fishing spots so that he would be able to catch the big fish. The fish whisperer understood the fish, given the weather on that particular day he was able to steer the boat in the direction of the biggest fish.

In the last post, we talked about how to bring the big-company mindset into your business and your team. This thinking will help you overcome the mental obstacles that keep you from being successful. To successfully sign up your ideal customer, you must know them. Today we will unpack a few of the things you need to work on as well as talk about the potential red tape you may encounter along the way.

The most important thing to know about your fish is their purchasing habits and procedures. Here are four things you need to know to be successful:

  1. Who: Find out who makes the purchasing decisions, this person will influence purchasing, they make the final decision and can kill the deal if they want. Not only do you need to know who they are; you need to understand what drives them. Once you know who controls the process, you need to make sure you do what is necessary to get in front of them. Perhaps it’s a coffee to introduce your services. Take some time to build a connection with this person, remember it is Who you know, not what you know!
  2. How: All big businesses have a procurement process. The process is designed to eliminate unsuitable suppliers and potential fraudsters. You must know what the process is, what information they will need from you and what you can do to make it easier for them.
  3. Lingo: You need to learn the company’s unique language and communications methods. These could include report names, buzzwords and even the nicknames they have for their employees. 
  4. Budgets: It’s essential you know the fishes fiscal budget, so you know exactly when they are planning their expenses for the year.

Now that we’ve talked a little about what you need to know about your fish, let’s a quick look at the red tape.

Bureaucracy might as well be a four-letter word with the emotions it stirs in all of us. Red tape is a necessary evil, but it offers a learning opportunity.  

There are two ways to learn from their system:

  1. Analyze their activity.
  2. Review their correspondence.

Being an outsider gives you a different perspective, and you can use that to your advantage. If the vetting processes irritates you, can you imagine how the employees feel! You can win some favour and potentially speed up the process by making sure you have your ducks in a row, and offering help where possible. When asked for information, find out if there is a specific format that they need it in. If number-crunching is necessary, do it for them, make sure that it is correct.

The things we talked about in this lesson will help you prepare for the big approach. If you need help with any of this, try our GUIDED TOUR to find the right tools to get the job done.

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