This week I discovered what an “ECP full immersion” is, and I almost loved it. Surely opening the office at 9 AM every day, Monday to Friday was not my favorite part, but a good dose of coffee is often enough to wake my brain up and start looking for new hot leads.
Result? Almost 100 new leads added to Salesforce, ready for being “cold called”. Someone may ask where these leads came from, and the answer is very straightforward: Iris passed me a bunch of old leads that have not been updated for a while, some brilliant, most good, others bad, few terrible! A terrible lead might be a company out of business or, in other extreme cases, close-minded and skeptical firms that do not want to work with university students. You got to hear something like: “I am trying really hard to see how a bunch of students can help my business expanding to Colombia, but I’m sorry, I don’t see any”. Then you don’t have much choice but saying: “If I can fix this for you, will you be happy to sign the project off?” and expecting to hear: “How can you fix it?”; a first contract and we will show them how, but usually, the only place where opportunity cannot be found is in a close-minded person. Better not to lose time with them.
Apart from turning old leads into great potential clients, I have been looking for sustainable energy companies, as well as NGO’s projects in Colombia. I had a couple of interesting phone conversations and a Skype meeting with a Dutch firm working with renewable energy, but unfortunately, they have not led to a concrete result yet. Some leads deserve special attention: warming them up with a brief e-mail before calling is sometimes an effective technique to increase the chances of scheduling a Skype or a F2F meeting when it’s time to play the cold calling game.
I have also been trying to enlarge my personal network, where new potential leads came up, and I called them straightaway. Hopefully these efforts will lead us to sign new contracts. I’ll keep you updated!