Can a Sales Trigger be the Beginning of Something Big?

How could this special event turn into a sales opportunity?How could this special event turn into a sales opportunity?

Last week we talked about triggers. I got several notes over the weekend asking if I could give a specific example of a trigger event. Then show what I would do with the information I receive to drive forward my relationship with clients and partners.  The stars aligned and I got a great trigger event Sunday!

This weekend, the Hannover Messe Industrial show kicked off in Germany with some high profile visitors visiting a former partner’s booth. I saw in my social media streams that it was going to happen on Sunday, when President Obama and Chancellor Merkel were going to be at the Siemens’ booth. I thought this was a great way to drop a quick note asking a former client how it went. This opened the door to a wider conversation. Here’s the process I went through. I hope you can see the possibilities.

I got a good response saying we must talk when he gets back to North America, but did I know that the CEO of Microsoft, Satya Nadella was also at the booth on Sunday doing a video program together with Siemens’ CEO Joe Kaeser? Now, this was a trigger event. Any time you put two leaders of this caliber together, you know something great can happen.

Well here’s the video. It was called How to Survive in the Economy 4.0 at  This went out to my CEO list that I developed in my NIMBLE software for software and Internet of Things (IoT) key words. I used my own email and a great assistant to write personal notes to key contacts on my nurturing list. I then shared it on my social platforms to see what response I get. I will be sharing it over the week several times.

The early response has hit the target and I will be following up with several key leaders inside several clients and partners to discuss what this meeting might mean to their relationships with Siemens and Microsoft. The good news is this is a higher level discussion about a single event, but should allow me to move to a different level of relationship with these key clients.

One idea I use in all my client tracking activities is I track the organizational senior leadership team in both NIMBLE and LinkedIn Sales Navigator. Many times, they may have been clients in the past or they are new to the organization. Either way, I’m likely not to miss what is happening inside their organizations. I work primarily with CXOs in my consulting work, so I not only get to see what they are doing, but I’m also watching to see what else their peers are doing. Many times, I uncover bigger forward leaning trends that are coming up for potential discussions with these leaders.

When they move to full client status, I update my setting and add them to my daily watch list. This is the list I use to see what clients are talking about. At any one time, I’ll have between 9-12 clients I’m watching through the various timelines. I have specific senior level trigger events I’ve used for many years. It just so much easier with the tools available today.

You might be wondering what kinds of trigger events I track. I thought it might be helpful to share several trigger events to use if dealing with a Vice President of Sales or Marketing. I’ve learned in my prior life not to judge what is going on inside an organization, but to look at this information as a great conversation starter. Here’s my list of trigger events I’m monitoring in potential clients:

  • Changes in senior leadership
  • Missed earnings
  • Competitor wins
  • Spin off of different divisions
  • Drop in sales revenue
  • New product rollouts
  • Analyst reports
  • Hiring new people for organization
  • Layoffs or firings of people
  • New business acquisitions
  • Increased recruiting activities
  • New competitors entering their markets

These are just a few I use. Depending on the client, I may have specific trigger events I look for from their organization’s history.

The key idea I was taught about trigger events was you can learn from almost any source of information you have access to.  I learned to look for trigger events that are tied to the organization’s goals, challenges, or needs.

My specialty is larger trigger events that might require several of these events to happen in a short period of time, for example within a 30 day period several of these events occurring can help me get to know new potential clients very quickly. If you always use similar triggers you can develop a nurturing process that is repeatable and can provide significant value to your potential clients. We will talk about this on a future blog. I hope you see the value of trigger events to help you grow your business faster.

I just took on a special project for a former partner and I will share it with you later this week. I’m very excited about the possibilities.

See you Friday.

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