One of the most important sales lessons I’ve learned is the power of leveraging channels to accelerate your sales cycle.
If you’re selling any sort of local or agency services or businesses like a restaurant or any of that sort, this strategy can help you dramatically grow your revenue in a very short period of time.
What are channels?
Selling to small businesses one at a time can be very slow, expensive, and difficult to make work as a sales model – that’s why you’ll be hard-pressed to find a good-sized company that has sold that way and made it work. The economics of working with small businesses just don’t justify the effort.
That’s why you need to leverage channels.
I define a channel as anyone or anything that has already done the hard work of gathering a large number of your ideal prospects together that you can tap into to accelerate your sales process.
Newsletter lists, trade shows, affiliate partners, industry associations, chamber of commerce, and in this case – PR firms that represent large shopping centers – all qualify.
Tapping into local channels
There is this restaurant named Snooze that is only a few minutes from my house. It’s a fantastic brunch restaurant that I love.
Snooze is part of a much bigger shopping complex that has a big movie theater, shops and lots of restaurants.
What they are painfully aware of is that they are about to get attacked by a new shopping center opening right across from them. It has been getting massive investment and bringing in a lot of hot restaurants and shops that will likely draw a lot of business away from Snooze and their shopping center.
Now, the PR team of the shopping complex where Snooze belongs to has brought my local media business in to talk about doing content for them. In addition, we will be doing events for them to help them be more competitive. This is a strategy to gain an edge over the new shopping center by building their own ‘Attention Engine’.
What you may not know is that as a requirement of their lease, businesses in a shopping complex like this is they have to pay a PR fee to the overall complex. All of these little businesses pay a PR fee to the complex every single month, and that budget gets rolled up together and used by the shopping center to promote the entire complex, not just the individual businesses.
So the entire complex has a big budget to do PR and advertising, and making a sale to them gives you ‘access’ to the marketing budget of all of the individual businesses they represent.
The power of the channel
Selling marketing services to the individual businesses within the shopping complex to combat the new shopping center coming into their neighborhood is going to be tough – they are already paying for the service you might offer as part of their lease, and they are unlikely to want to spend more individually.
But if you can get in touch with the shopping complex itself – or the PR firm that represents them – then you’ve got access to all of their budgets combined, and all you have to do is make a single sale.
If you’re selling to retail businesses, look for an opportunity to capitalize on a channel like this!
And no matter what business you are selling to, a channel that you can leverage exists, you just have to find it and take advantage of it!
Be on offense!