What is a day in the life like of a business development representative (BDR) at a software company? Is it glamorous? Are we constantly getting gracious and polite people on the phones that are happy to receive our calls? The short answer is no, but that isn’t a reason to lose hope in making those important relationships with prospects! The same can be said for trying to close event deals at the right price, you just need to know the right bait to use to hook them on the line. Take it from me, an etouches BDR.
A day in the life of a BDR is calling leads and seeing how etouches can benefit them. The trick is to persuade the prospect to see how we can increase their events’ efficiency and show them that we are one of the leading event software solutions in the industry (especially because of our pink).
I’d like to compare my job to fishing-minus the excessive alcohol consumption. I can sit and dial all day without a bite, meaning I won’t talk to anyone or have any meaningful conversations, or I’ll get a bite but then another company comes along and snatches my fish off my line. The key is not to get discouraged. Being able to talk to a variety of different and interesting companies always keeps things exciting; Companies like Clear Channel Communications or various breweries. I always want to start my conversation like, “Hey I like beer! Do you like event management software?” I try new ways to spark an interest with my prospects so they are more inclined to at least listen to what I have to say.
Graduating from the University of Connecticut (go HUSKIES!) with a Bachelor of Arts in Communications, I’ve always had a passion for events, promotion and seeing things come together. Using this BDR position is a chance for me to brush up on my experience in marketing.
When it comes to closing deals with suppliers, venues and sponsors, event planners could learn a thing or two from a BDR. With constant rejection and amazing communication skills, we know how to win over a hesitant prospect. As an event planner you are under budget constraints, time crunches and ultimately your boss’ bottom line. You need a bullet proof plan that will allow you to successfully get the deal that will make everyone happy.
Here are a few tips on how to use BDR tactics to close deals:
- Be relatable. Act based off the persons attitude on the phone – don’t come off scripted or like a robot. For example, we are dealing with event professionals and express that we feel the stress of their job and are trying to offer a solution to potentially make their lives easier.
- Be clear on what makes you better than comparable solutions. Know your product and know the competition, this way you can explain your value add and your key differentiators. If you are looking to secure a venue, explain to the sales person how your event can help to increase their business – show your added value!
- Be convenient, put their needs first. Ask if they have a moment to talk. If now is not a good time, find a time that works for them.
- Don’t try and hustle someone. Some people are able to sell salt to a slug, but you need to be real with them. If you want the prospect or company to gain your trust, you need to make sure that what you or they are offering is actually a fit and can benefit both parties. This makes you and your company more credible.
- Approach. With every prospect you call, you should have a different approach. Research their company first and see what they are about so you can go into the conversation with some knowledge. Maybe this prospect is a lead from a trade show or maybe they came from a competitor list, knowing how they landed in your CRM can direct how you approach them and could lead to a better relationship.
By utilizing these five simple steps you are sure to be successful in persuading prospects and leads to hear you out on the phone, and that is the first step to reeling them in. Once you have their ear and you are knowledgeable about what you are looking for or selling, you are sure to at least secure a further discussion, or in my case set up a demo. At the end of the day, I love the challenge of what I do and when I do reel in a lead it’s the biggest accomplishment in the world. You could be hearing from me soon and remember, be nice!
Written by: Sara Erdos