Hit the iron while it is still hot

Are you a leader? It is advisable that you hit the iron while it is still hot. When you wait for it to cool, however hard you try to hit it, getting it to a shape you want takes a lot of time and energy, if at all you can manage. You must be agile and act fast.

The same applies to tapping into business opportunities. If you delay, someone else will take them.

Always hit the iron while it is still hot. If you go to a party and meet a prospect, follow up the following day. Do not wait for weeks or months. Start by sending an email as a reminder. If you see someone you are attracted to, start following up while you are still in their memory.

After a day, make a phone call to the decision maker. If that fails, send a short message. And in these days of WhatsApp, send a WhatsApp message. You will know whether your prospect has read the message or not.

Remember not to ask for favors. Focus on giving them opportunities and favors. Let them be indebted to you. When you follow up, try to offer an opportunity. A strategic marketing and sales professional is more about making the other party feel obliged to do a favor. And what is the easiest favor than buying the products and services.

If you are an entrepreneur, you could say “it was great meeting you yesterday. Our HR is headhunting for someone good in finance. I immediately remembered you. Would you have someone you could recommend to me as a potential candidate for this position. If yes, do share your email so that I may send the job description details.” That way, you will get a direct connection. It is better to add “send me someone you know very well so that I don’t have to suffer in doing background checks. I trust you.”

The above trick works all the time.

You are not in the sales business. You are in the relationship business. Having a personal relationship with the true economic buyer is what makes a difference. Many people, if not all, do business with people they know and respect. How do you get your name on the table of the decision maker? Making impact to their career, business partners or their relatives and friends.

One time I wanted to meet a politician. It was too difficult. You know Ugandan Ministers can be tricky. After making appointments in vain, I devised plan B strategy. I was to meet the receptionist and befriend him; so that he gives me insights of the Ministers schedules and habits. I planned to waste one month in giving the favors so that someone is so indebted to me that they feel ashamed not to do for me some small favors of arranging a meeting with the minister.  I stated by visiting the reception often and made sure I chatted with all the people there. In the process I got to know their interests and hobbies. One liked movies a lot and the other KFC food. Two days later, I took them a movie ticket and KFC gift voucher.

They were so happy they asked, “how can we help you we see you are coming here often.” I said, I need to meet the Minister. Who can help. They said, “just be here tomorrow at 7:20am. The Minister is an early bird. We shall help you meet him.” And it was as simple as that. The following day, I met the Minister!

In whatever pursuit you are in, always be agile. Be first. Keep time. Hit the nail while it is still too hot.

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Mustapha Barnabas Mugisa is one of those rare people who provides business consulting and advisory to professionals and corporate entities who demand the very best. He is a prolific speaker and governance (strategy and risk) expert. His speaking involves making key notes at major conferences and business events on both technical subjects and leadership skills. A change agent and motivational speaker. Mustapha provides tools and proven methodologies to remarkable results through making people appreciate change. Visit Mustapha's LinkedIn profile to know more. Mustapha is the architect of #WinningMindset Leadership and #WinningTheGame strategy approach that combines Harvard Business strategy Playing To Win, with the Blue Ocean Strategy and Balanced Score Card to deliver a strategy that is easy to execute and monitor. Visit www.mustaphamugisa.com for special insights to improve your condition. Are you too good to be great?

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