How to be Strategic, part 1

Partnership development would be a lot easier if it was not for all of the work I have to do.

Someday I intend to write a book on “Partnership Development Best Practices”, and one of them would be “Work on PD a few minutes every day”. If I spent the first 15 minutes of my work day with TNT open, wrote a thank you or made a call, my financial support would probably be phenomenal. [The same procrastanative delays I face in PD are the ones keeping from writing this powerful book that would make me famous.]

In the meantime, I tend to work in fits and spurts. One thing I do from time-to-time—oh, once every few years—is challenge my regular partners to increase. Again, a whole book could be devoted to this topic, so you’ll get my best idea in one short blog post, summarized in 3 words: Use Saved Groups.

For new contacts/referrals, I can just use the TNT Phase to move them through the cultivation cycle. But for existing financial partners, I cannot change their TNT Phase. Using TNT’s Exclusive Saved Groups is a great way to manage this.

For me, an increase strategy encompasses four major components:

  1. Select (the contacts to challenge)
  2. Initiate (the interaction, via appt. or letter)
  3. Engage (write letter, make the calls, do appts.)
  4. Decide (bring to conclusion)

Here is how I do this, in broad strokes:

  • Create a (non-exclusive) Saved Group named “Increase Strategy” and add all of the names I intend to challenge. This is my “Control Group” that I use for reference, so I can recall the whole list of contacts throughout the strategy. (Not necessary, but I find it helpful.) The list is not exclusive because each contact will be duplicated in the exclusive groups below.
  • Create a series of Exclusive Saved Groups for each aspect of the strategy. I name them starting with a number for each phase of the strategy.
  • Using the Control Group as the source, I add each contact to the method I am going to contact them (e.g., Appointment or Letter)
  • I then move each contact through the exclusive saved groups until every contact has either reached a decision or I have abandoned [“deferred”] the effort for this contact for some reason.

By using exclusive groups, each contact in the strategy can only be in one place at one time.

Here are two examples of a series of Saved Groups. The first is a flat list just moving contacts through phases. The second is two separate tracks (appointments vs. letters) that are managed in parallel.



Tip: When I get the final decision for a contact, I log history using the same Saved Description, such as: “2018 Increase Decision: +$25” or “2018 Increase Decision: No.” By doing this, I can easily review the results of this strategy at any time in the future.

Read More: How to be Strategic, part 2

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