Today my article, Use the News, was nominated for Article of the Year on the Top 10 Sales Articles website. I’ve included it below for you to read.
I’m frequently asked what I’m looking for when I’m reading the newspaper, trade journal or websites. Basically, I’m looking for any event that might create opportunities. They could be inside the firm (new strategic alliance, rapid growth, expansion to Mexico) or outside the company (new legislation, acts of God, collapse of a competitor). These events have cascading effects throughout an organization, causing many decisions to be revisited, new priorities to emerge and new needs to come to the forefront.
Several years ago, while scouring the business section of my local newspaper, I came to a screeching halt when I noticed a small headline. It read, “Local Firm Acquires eBusiness”.
“Very interesting,” I thought. The company, an international manufacturer, was not in my targeted market segment – but this high tech acquisition certainly was.
I committed to staying abreast on what was happening at this firm. I sent for their annual report, periodically checked their website and kept up on any press releases. After 18 months, the manufacturer announced it was spinning off several divisions – the eBusiness was one of them.
Bingo! That was the day I knew I had a new client. As a product launch consultant specializing in the hand-off from Marketing to Sales, it was clear that my services were desperately needed.
The lackluster financial performance of the eBusiness could no longer be hidden in the profits of the manufacturing giant. Wall Street would demand results soon. Short-term results. Immediate results. And I knew I could make a difference.
After several unsuccessful attempts, I reached the president. This is basically what I said:
“I’ve been following your business. I know it’s imperative for your company to have strong financial results immediately. You’re counting on your new products to achieve your objectives … and I can help shorten time-to-profitability.”
Following a short 5-minute conversation, the president told me to call a key marketer on Monday, giving him a chance to talk to her first. Essentially, it was a done deal. The outcome – a highly profitable 6-month engagement with the firm.
Why am I telling you this? Because business opportunities for consultants are everywhere. In fact, they’re staring you right in the face every time you pick up a newspaper or turn on the radio or television.
But most consultants don’t use the news because they’ve never connected these events with the potential for business. Once you know what to look for, opportunities for consulting are readily apparent. They just need to be acted on.
I’m frequently asked what I’m looking for when I’m reading the newspaper, trade journal or websites. Basically, I’m looking for any event that might create opportunities. They could be inside the firm (new strategic alliance, rapid growth, expansion to Mexico) or outside the company (new legislation, acts of God, collapse of a competitor).