After leaving corporate America in the early 2000's, I began selling as an independent insurance agent.
With the Fortune 500 corporate branding stripped from my prospecting arsenal, I found it difficult, at first, to call white-collar small business owners like attorneys, CPAs, dentists, plastic surgeons and any professional with letters after their names.
Corporate branding is powerful when contacting business prospects. In my group health insurance market, there were only 4-6 competitors and every business prospect knew the main players. Adding new clients was a matter of timing and the current dissatisfaction levels prospects had with existing vendors.
Why did I have this anxiety to call white-collar small business owners?
During that time, my brain underestimated my accomplishments compared to white-collar small business owner education levels. Although my education and experienced were on par, for my sales management profession, I was overwhelmed by the success of others.
The year was 2010 (the year the national mortgage and real estate crises hit California hard). This is the year when I began to suffer financially from not contacting enough qualified prospects. But I was not the only independent contractor or traditional small business suffering from 2010 economic conditions. Just about every small business owner in Northern California experienced significant revenue shortfalls.
My best friend, Eduardo, orginally from San Juan, Puerto Rican, worked for a Sacramento auto repair shop. Eduardo was a master mechanic and earned top income. It was at a networking event in downtown Sacramento that I met Eduardo's boss, the auto repair show owner.
The auto repair shop owner spoke at the event to say he would have to layoff workers if the shop did not bring in more customers. The owner did not know that Eduardo and I were friends.
Over the next days, I made an appointment to see how I could help the auto repair shop owner because the networking events delivered no new customers. Mechanics were laid off, but not Eduardo.
Fast forward about six months later, around Christmas in 2011. Days before Christmas, as 321 Biz Dev was being formed, I contacted a local CPA. Two days after Christmas, the CPA called back to meet with me at his office.
As I asked questions about the CPA practice, I felt the anxiety fall away because the CPA was being very candid about the need for more clients. And, 321 Biz Dev had solutions to help the CPA practice.
But, the most shocking discovery happened at the end of the appointment. The CPA asked a question and made a statement that have served as confidence builders, to this day, to continue working as a consultant. The question and statement were:
Question: "Rick, how did you get the confidence to pick up the phone and call my CPA practice?"
Statement: "As a CPA for 25 years, I have never had the confidence to call another business to promote my practice."
That question and statement blew my mind! I was on a high for weeks because I seemingly cracked the code on something big.
I finally found the missing link to get over my relatively low self-esteem about contacting business owners I feared the most. There are two other stories I will tell on the podcast episode version of this article about a call to a San Francisco CPA practice and working with a Dentist.
What's the connection between Digital Networking Sessions and white-collar small business owners?
321 Biz Dev LLC knows other business owners are mesmerized by occupations and titles like Attorney, CPA, Dentist, Plastic Surgeon, General Contractor, Real Estate Broker, Psychologist, and others.
People respect the knowledge, work, credentials, and education attached to white-collar business owners.
The Digital Network Session (DNS) is created to help white-collar small business owners by building a network of other business owners and consumers around respected, true influencers.
It's likely some white-collar small business owners do not see themselves as true, business influencers while focusing on their practices and keeping up with industry regulations. The media get most of the credit of boosting the popularity of lawyers, CPAs, dentists, doctors and financial advisors. Television shows and movies elevate white-collar business owners as movers and shakers.
Just imagine how many business owners would love to connect with networking groups led by white-collar business owners!
321 Biz Dev LLC has designed Digital Networking Sessions to give members and attendees the best networking benefits and features while removing traditional networking challenges.
Harley Gordon is a Boston-area elder law attorney who influenced me and his influence, and content from this video, were instrumental in launching 321 Biz Dev LLC.
Please watch the videos at the bottom of the website: https://www.ieadvisors.net. Harley, to this day, a great influencer.
Thanks for reading this article and listening to the related podcast episode.