They can’t eat you…Developing a Network…

They can’t eat you…But they defeat you

No matter how unpleasant the exchange with a prospect after unwittingly hitting a raw nerve, or simply stepping in it, there’s a limit to that pain. They can ask you to leave but as the old saying goes, they can’t eat you. 😊

The worst outcome is a bruise on your ego and a mental funk that takes a day to wear off. But that rejection can only defeat us if we allow it to fester and affect our attitude going forward. One way to replace that crummy feeling is to mentally review some of our favorite customers and the way those great relationships were started.

In all likelihood we’ll realize that those positive experiences started out pretty much the same way as the one that just went south. The difference  wasn’t us; it was likely the personality or mood of the prospect on that occasion. Who knows, had we made that call a day before, or an hour later the outcome might have been totally different.

The lesson? Do what we’ve always done: Dust ourselves off, take a deep breath and take that next step forward. Amazing how a positive outcome on that next cold call can erase all memories of that one bad one.

Developing a network…Getting the goods

Converting some of those unknown unknowns into knowns can be as simple as asking someone who knows the lay of the land. Armed with that intelligence you might have exactly what’s needed to turn a raw suspect into a qualified prospect, and potentially into a new customer.

But who to ask? As covered before, it’s likely to be an allied purveyor like the DSR who sells them food, or the guy who they use for heavy mechanical service, like refrigeration and ice maker repairs. And the best place to find those folks – aside from chance encounters in your accounts is your local restaurant association meeting.

Come to think of it, you’re not a member, you need to be. And there are more reasons to do that than just developing these sort of intelligence contracts. It’s also a prime place to unearth great prospects, as well as getting information on what’s happening in your market. Like who’s opening what and when.

Next up: Exploiting that membership.