My View from Beyond the Wall:
By: Rob Ryan
Friends, Favors & (lack of) Follow-up isn’t a Strategy
Four to five times per week, I get a call/DM/WhatsApp asking me for a “favor” to help an organization find relationships.They “hope” I tweet or repost it on IG/FB or just send a bunch of messages to my “network”. Big organizations, startups, CEO’s and program staffers hit me up, and it sounds like this; ” Can I ask you a big favor buddy? We’ve got a big event or program coming up in a week or so. Can you help us find people/startups/investors/strategic partners to attend, sorry to bother you. Thank you.” My replies always go like this, “Of Course. How can we help you? Lets have a brief call at your convenience so you can tell me more specifics of who you are targeting and why, so I can help the best I can.”
This is where things start to go sideways:
– about 30% send me another message saying “OMG, thank you, yes let’s talk, maybe next week, thanks so much for your help.” Then no further follow up.
– About 50% of the time I get a “thank you, that’s great, thanks for your help, anyone will be great Rob,” but no further communications. Ghosted. I don’t hear from them again until next time when I get a last minute “Hey, can you help us again?”
– About 10-20% of the time, I get a specific reply. We have the call about “who” they’d like to attend but to say it’s specific profiling would be exaggerating. Most go like this; “honestly anyone is great ,we just need people in the room or to fill our open call. I ask them to tell me more about their plan, so I can help suggest who they should target. Their reply, “Ummm, honestly Rob, any investor, any startup, from anywhere, would be great.” That’s It. That is their “professional relationship development plan.” That’s their “strategy” and those are their “tactics”.
In Latin America sales is thought to be a nice to have soft skill while we pour endless resources into training everyone to code or become a founder. What I describe is how far too many organizations “sell” and “build community.” I am here to challenge us all to understand that building professional relationships is not a soft extra skill, it is CRITICALLY important to the growth of our founders, of our organizations and the growth our local and national economies to complete globally.
Professional relationship building is THE GREATEST opportunity for improvement in Latin America because it’s the greatest weakness. It kills more growth than any other skill deficit. At Growthhax we mentor a number of organizations on how to become their better/best. Every founder we mentor hears these principles from us. But part of solving any problem is, of course, admission that there is a problem and they want to be better. As I always say, “we’re here to help. Of course. Lets have a call to learn more about who you want to know and why so we can help you to develop the sustainable relationships that will help you and your organizations grow to become your best.” If we do this work together we will all grow the Latin American economies through entrepreneurship. I’ll be waiting by the phone…
ATTENTION TIJUANA: Join us for Start Up Weekend Tijuana at Universidad Xochicalco on June 13 & 14. Team Growthhax will be there presenting and judging. Come find us and say hi.
- What’s your company about? At Club Lia We make fun and accessible education possible for all: by democratizing access to transformational education to develop the creative minds of the future.
- How did you get started as an entrepreneur? I started my first company selling computers at work, while I was still in school. But I have always loved education. I just linked my passion for technology to the area I loved most: Kids & Education. While helping schools with other IT solutions I came up with a software to solve those and other problems as well. So my WOW moment made me start creating software for kids and teachers 15 years ago! (My first Edtech startup)
- What has been the hardest thing starting your business? I have been through several rough times that I had to overcome. Including financially, lack of focus and having partners (after having been the sole decision maker on how to manage the company). Learning to make decisions together is not easy but was what made it possible for us to survive and grow and has brought some of the best things for the company to date.
- What’s next for your company? I’m very excited! We are launching a new model that will change the way education is being done in Mexico and hopefully LATAM, #EducationMakeover. Besides growing nationally we will be starting international efforts very soon.
- What’s your biggest dream in life? To be able to facilitate new generations with easy ways to reach their highest potential and find their talents. I want to empower kids’ futures while making the educational process easy and fun.
You can follow Club Lia at the links below:
- What’s your company about? Music is my passion so I started Pro Indie Music to help bands and music industry professionals gain the knowledge and tools they need to succeed in the music business through a web platform that works with AI.
- How did you get started as an entrepreneur? I started in this world by coincidence, I just wanted to know more about how to develop the idea I had and I discovered there was much more.
- What has been the hardest thing starting your business? Raising money and clearly explaining what it is that we do.
- What’s next for your company? We are working on the development of our web platform and winning more clients worldwide
- What’s your biggest dream in life?
I’m not sure, maybe having all the things I need to give my mother and my family a good life.
You can follow Pro Indie Music on the links below:
By Chris Stock
There are two things I’m asked on a regular basis by budding and even experienced salespeople:
- How do you build a relationship with customers
- What is professional selling?
As you might expect, I’ve got my answers down pat — and they’re actually , somewhat intertwined, since building a relationship is a key element of professional selling.