There is no substitute for putting in the effort
Every quarter the leadership team at MyDoc sits down in our conference room to flesh out a comprehensive plan for the next quarter. During the discussion, we usually do a deep dive into what had been successful in the past and what we should keep. One thing that has consistently stood out was our ability to get in front of the right people on a regular basis.
Because of this, we’ve landed customers that include AXA Insurance and AIA insurance, which make up over 50% of the corporate health insurance portfolios in Asia. We’ve also secured or are in the process of securing all the other major insurers in Asia.
Here’s how we did it
When I first joined, my job was to take what I learnt from almost a decade in agency life and bring it to a startup culture.
The first thing I did was to put myself out and accept rejection as part of the process. There’s no such thing as ego when you’re trying to build your business. I spoke to or introduced myself to about 70% of the attendees at every single event or networking session. Through every contact I reached out to even more people until I was able to meet the key decision-makers that I really wanted to connect with.
However, of the 70% whom I spoke to, almost all never responded to my email follow-up, requests for a quick coffee or I assume, even kept my name card. In fact, I estimate about 4 out of 5 people never responded to me at all.
But we never let this hold us back and we kept at it.
The ‘knock-on effect’ is a thing
Nothing helps convert a lead into a customer faster than showing them that a competitor is using your service or product.
We put a lot of effort and time into securing key clients in different verticals. We rightly assumed that if we wanted to capture the whole insurer market and the major healthcare providers in Asia, we needed a big-name client that was instantly recognizable.
For insurers that was AXA or AIA, and pharmacies it was Guardian Pharmacy.
Now potential customers reach out to us.
Never stop grinding
The more successful we got, the harder we work. As clichéd as it sounds, but I’ve personally seen teams glide through on their past accomplishments during my time working in Singapore. This doesn’t really help you build your business and you are more focused on maintaining the status quo.
For an expanding startup that is at the top of the game, this is almost as bad as regression, since standing still is the opposite of what you should be doing.
Therefore, at MyDoc, when marketing and communications budgets started to expand, we never took our foot off the pedal and kept up our lightning pace.
For us, more people meant being able to do so much more, at a more efficient rate. If I alone was only able to attend 3 networking sessions a week, I know expect MyDoc to be attending at least 10 similar sessions a week.
If you’re a new startup you should be …
Focusing on a single key goal and then build tasks around that to succeed. I personally believe that efficient multi-tasking is a myth. If I was going to an event, I had my goal in mind – 5 high quality leads. This was further broken down into 30 name cards, 3 long conversations and 3-5 immediate follow-up emails.
Getting feedback from everyone you speak to. It goes without saying that you should always improve upon everything you do, and everything I got a rejection email, it was followed up by a thank and a simple request to find out what I did wrong. From the responses I received, I was able to fine-tune my process and improve my success rate.
Working as hard as you can. There is no substitute for putting in the effort. Just think about this, if you’re relaxing, there is almost definitely a dozen people working hard to take you down.
Featured Image Credit: 123RF
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