#33 Approaching your IP prospects
As an IP professional, there will be times in which you cannot rely clients just flowing your way. Sometimes, you have to approach your prospects. Approaching is a numbers game. The more approaches you do, the more positive and negative responses you will get. The fact is that you will face a lot of rejection. Ultimately approaching comes down to mind-set. How can you endure rejection? Bouncing back after defeat is what separates the rainmakers from the rest.
To avoid unnecessary rejections, the most important thing to do is the qualification of your prospects. Qualification is something you do before entering into the sales call. You do not want to waste time with prospects that have no chance in becoming your client. Your most important asset is time and you have to make sure to protect it accordingly.
None of your prospects will wake up in the morning wishing that they had more IP attorneys. Therefore, the first thing you should assess is that whether your prospect has a need for IP service. Sometimes they already have all of their assets protected. Sometimes they don’t. There are great business development tools specifically aimed at IP experts. These tools allow you to use filing data to identify the red-hot prospects, instead of you just guessing. If you are practicing in a large IP law firm or law firm, you most likely have a business development department, which is your gold-mine. They have all up-to-date data and you should exploit that relentlessly in your qualification process.
When approaching prospective companies, you want to be sure that you talk to the correct decisionmaker. When a family comes to a car dealership to buy a car, you shouldn’t try to sell the car to the child because obviously the child has no authority over the purchasing decision. Instead, you should try to figure out how this family makes the purchasing decisions and who has the final word in this particular situation. That is what you should try to do with your prospects as well.
You should prioritize the prospects that have an urgent need for your service. People tend to procrastinate with their decisions if there is no compelling urgency. If your data indicates that your prospect has a deadline coming up, they have the incentive to make the decision fast. Strike when the iron is hot!
Some sales trainers make approaching too complicated. If your prospect has a painful problem and you have the solution, they are happy to hear from you or at least discuss the problem. You may approach through email, LinkedIn or cold-calling, whatever works the best for you. There is no universal rule as there are no similar IP prospects. You learn best through trial and error. When approaching, you should not pitch right away because that will feel intrusive. By qualifying, figure out whether you are able to help and then move forward towards a sales call or a meeting.
If you an IP Expert who wants to improve their business development skills, enroll to IPR Leads Institute now!
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