In BD and marketing departments across the country, managers are telling their teams that we need to go get the low hanging fruit out there. These are the perfect prospective customers that will set our company up for a record year in sales and set us up for long-term success and a legacy of great work.
Sounds great, right? Low hanging fruit implies that these are extremely easy prospects to cultivate, and all we really need to do is exist and they’ll come running for us. They need us so bad, that we don’t need to do anything except be around. Any idiot could close this deal and open themselves up to years of commission payouts from the easiest sale they could’ve ever completed. Who wouldn’t want that as a marketer or business development lead?!
The thing is, the idea of low hanging fruit is a myth. Low hanging fruit doesn’t exist. It’s a lie. It’s a way to diminish how important sales and marketing is for any well run business around the world. Again, it’s a way to make it seem so easy that anyone could do it.
The reality is that low hanging fruit are customers/clients that would hypothetically be a perfect fit, in other words it fits the ideal client profile.
It takes a lot of upfront work to understand what the ideal client profile is. In order to determine this, you can look at a number of different factors from company size, location, types of services/products, how long they’ve been in business, annual revenue, etc.
Once you’ve determined what the perfect metrics are for the ideal client profile, you then need to do the research on who fits those parameters.
Then you’re done, right. Those customers will show up because they need you, right? NO!
You then need to make sure you build the right message around the solutions you provide, deliver that message at the right time to the right person, and then follow up with the pertinent detailed information that the prospect requires.
Then you’re done, right? NO! Stop it!
Then you need to build a relationship around trust and accountability that could take months or even years when their need gets large enough that they finally pull the trigger to use an outside service or product.
Now it’s done, right? NO! COME ON!
You then need to spend years to continue to build the relationship to the point that they know they can trust you for any need at any time in your area of expertise.
Now you need to ward off those other competitors who also consider your client as low hanging fruit, because they fit their ideal client profile.
What I’m getting at is that just because you think you have low hanging fruit and brands and companies absolutely need you in order to hit their goals, there is a ton of work that needs to be done in order to pick that fruit. I’ve even oversimplified the process here. There’s even more that goes into it. So don’t think because you get that perfect direction of companies that will work with you that your work is done, it’s far from being done!
Oh and these are “easy” prospects. Imagine how difficult it is to get the “hard” prospects. Happy picking!