Partners: Escape Velocity Begins Now!

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By Mike White | Jan 19, 2021

Well thankfully, it’s a new year! As you do all that you can to reach “escape velocity” and set the table for great things in Q3 and Q4, I caution my clients to make a psychological commitment to put things in motion now to create a rich set of opportunities later in the year.

I spend time with many of my clients during this time of year to encourage them to initiate many “January-February meetings.” My recommendation takes two steps: i) between now and the end of January, send out emails to suspects, prospects, or target-rich existing clients inviting them to join with you on a 20-30 minute call; and, ii) between February 1 and February 28 have your “January-February meetings” with those who responded to your invitation.

What are “January-February meetings?” January-February is a time of year when your CSuite contacts are: i) no longer hassled by year-end 2020 issues; ii) thinking about 2021 priorities that they can point to with specificity and clarity; iii) not yet consumed by this day/this week 2021 urgencies; iv) most open to engaging in high value “thought partnering” discussions with smart people like you; and, v) most forthcoming in sharing with you all of their gaps/exposures, as well as their hopes and dreams for the coming year.

Executing on this strategy requires you to have a sense of urgency. Many of you are managing a number of well qualified, well developed discussions with mature prospects. In other words, between handling your existing client work and advancing your mature opportunities, you have plenty to say grace over. However, I encourage you to resist the urge to blow off current efforts to set up your “January-February meetings.” You have an unusual luxury now to put leverage to work for you that will soon evaporate.

Leverage? What leverage? The leverage you can and should make use of now is the single email template you can send out (with minor recipient-specific tweaking) to get many people to consider your request for a “January-February meeting.” A single email form sent out to many recipients- now that is leverage! In business-speak we call this “doing something at scale.”

So, what does this “email” look like? Subject to recipient-specific customization, your email could look like the below:

“_________,

This time of year, I try to schedule time in January and February with select companies to learn more about what the year ahead is going to look like. Given what we do, I’m always particularly interested in the ‘experiments’ companies are planning to run beyond ‘keep the trains running’ and normal course priorities.  At this time, businesses are coming out of their planning cycle and isolating areas, gaps, and opportunities deserving of unusual attention. While these discussions on occasion reveal to us ‘engageable’ subject matter, more typically our listening tour helps us learn unconventional insights about company types/sectors on which we focus. In short, it helps us be smarter about you, and other companies like you.

Push me out as far as you need to but if you’d be game to get together this month or next, I’d welcome the opportunity to set up a call or schedule a virtual coffee . .  .”

Get going- now is the time to strike!

Mike White was a practicing attorney for seven years prior to founding and operating two enterprise software companies — Sirius Systems (sold 1997) and MarketingCentral (sold 2007). He owned and managed ClientQuest Consulting, LLC for 10 years serving law firms. He holds an AB in History from Duke University and a JD from Emory University School of Law.