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“A Shot in the Dark”

By: Dave Brock

 

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I recently received a prospecting email on LinkedIn entitled, “A Shot In The Dark.” The individual opened with the usual, “I was looking at your profile, you appear to be the right person…”
 
The rest of the email isn’t really relevant, I think I was the “right” person because I’m CEO of my company. I suspected rather than taking “A Shot In The Dark,” he was using a “Shotgun In The Dark.”
 
But I reflected on the phrase, “A Shot In The Dark.” I’ve used it a lot, in the past, I’m sure most of us use at least the concept very frequently. But as I was thinking, it struck me there is really no longer any excuse for taking a shot in the dark.
 
For the most part, we have the tools and ability to be very pinpointed and purposeful about who we contact.
 
We know our “sweet spot,” consequently we have a very rich profile of the type of customer (enterprise) and the type of people (personas) that we can help the most. But this is just the starting point.
 
 
We have the research tools to be able to understand the customer (enterprise) very specifically. For the most part, we can determine their strategies, priorities, how they want to be perceived in the markets.
 
We probably can understand their business performance (certainly if they are a public company), their relative importance/ranking with their competition.
 
We can pretty much understand their challenges, issues they might have, opportunities they are missing if we understand their industries, markets, and their business.
 
Likewise, we have the tools to be able to pinpoint the people we want to go after—if not by name, certainly by function and persona. But, with a little research through tools like LinkedIn, asking leveraging people we know in the industry, perhaps even in the company.
 
If they have engaged with us in any way, are on our mailing lists, have requested collateral, are a current customer, we should have much deeper insight into them based on those interactions.
 
Overlaid on this, we have all sorts of analytic tools that can be leveraged to help better refine our knowledge of the company and the individuals, identifying those with a higher propensity to buy.
 
We can know the instant someone has asked for something on our website, leveraging that knowledge, contact them within seconds, engaging them in a conversation about something “hot on their mind.”
 
Most of this isn’t very complicated. It takes good knowledge on our parts, and a few minutes of research. The other stuff just makes the whole job much easier.
 
When you start thinking about it, there is really very little reason to have to “Take A Shot In The Dark.” Increasingly, we have the ability to be very pinpointed, both in our targeting and very relevant/impactful in our initial conversation.
 
It strikes me that “Taking A Shot In The Dark,” is an indication of not being knowledgeable, not being prepared, and/or simply not caring.
 
This article was originally published by Partners in Excellence
Published: April 29, 2015
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Dave Brock

Dave Brock is the founder of Partners in EXCELLENCE, a consulting and services company helping to improve the effectiveness of business professionals with strategy development, organizational planning, and implementation. Dave has spent his career working for and with high performance organizations, ranging from the Fortune 25 to startups, including companies such as IBM, HP, Nokia, AT&T, Microsoft, General Electric, and many, many more. The work Dave does with business strategies is closely tied to personal effectiveness of the people in the organization. As a result, Dave is deeply involved in the development of a number of training and coaching programs.

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