Interview conducted by:
Lynn Fosse, Senior Editor
Published – December 19, 2022
CEOCFO: Ms. Kopp, the tagline on the Kopp Consulting site is “Helping Clients Find New Clients.” What is your approach?
Ms. Kopp: For the last 23 years we have been helping our clients find new clients which is one of the hardest parts of business growth bar none. We are a professional, outsourced solution for our clients. We hire senior level business developers who are great at opening doors with corporate executives. Our approach is strategic. We focus only on prospects who are important wins for our clients. We do 1:1 relationship building outreach, saying and writing what is of value to an individual prospect. We help our clients’ prospects to understand why having a meeting would be the best decision they make all week. Sales messaging is critical, and we have made a science out of choosing the right language. We are known for superior sales messaging.
We approach the market very strategically and identify prospects who are more likely to be in market so that our clients meet prospects who are warm and interested. Our Door Openers represent our clients as if they were a member of our client’s team (white label) so there is no confusion for our clients’ prospects.
While we will get in person or virtual meetings for our clients, most prospects these days prefer virtual first meetings. When it’s Zoom or Teams meeting, our Door Opener is on the meeting with our client, to do a warm hand-
CEOCFO: How has your approach in these different facets change over time?
Ms. Kopp: We have been in business, doing Door Opening for 23 years and it has changed. Initiating a new conversation with an executive requires a more personalized approach than ever before. When I give seminars on Door Opening, I ask sellers, “If someone you don’t know wants to have a meeting with you, what would it take?” Sellers immediately know the right answers including, do your research, say something meant just for the individual, give a reason why having the meeting would be of value and don’t expect an answer on the first email or phone call. Then I ask the same sellers, “What are you doing to get meetings with those you don’t know?” They laugh, because they know are cut corners by simply sending some emails, don’t do the research to personalize the approach, don’t add in phone or maintain consistently over time. Sometimes sellers don’t have the time to do door opening in a way that produces results, sometimes they don’t have the skills. And, sometimes, they have the time and the skills but would just rather not do this part of the sales job!
We research the individual, the company, the situation, the market and say something that is meant for that executive, the individual, and that is meaningful. You cannot say the same thing more than once. Phone alone doesn’t work, email alone doesn’t work, Linked In alone doesn’t work. In combination, done well, with the right relationship building sales messaging, these methods do work. We have the data to prove it.
What works to open doors has changed since the pandemic. A different way to reach executives working hybrid roles has definitely emerged. People who are learning or who employ sales techniques developed before the pandemic may not be as successful as those who know what works now, in today’s environment.
CEOCFO: How has it changed?
Ms. Kopp: What’s working in sales now is conversation, but that is not what most sellers are doing. They are hiding behind emails without picking up the phone and saying something meaningful to help prospects know why a meeting will be of great benefit and why taking next steps will be of great benefit. Sellers who engage prospects in conversation at every stage of the sales process will win over those who don’t. It has always been important to speak to the person, not the persona. But which prospects deserve your focus? That is another way sales has changed. Not all prospects who have challenges are going to spend time and money to solve them. Focusing on groups of prospects experiencing trigger events will lead to shorter sales cycles because these prospects will feel more urgency to action. How to reach prospects is yet another area where sales has changed. Executives can now be reached directly on their cell phones as they are used to receiving calls from those they don’t know.
CEOCFO: What types of companies are turning to you, and do they typically know what they want you to do?
Ms. Kopp: Companies seeking our help are B2B, need to meet Executives (C-
Companies today want more opportunities to close more sales. To do that, they need to meet more prospects and have more in their pipelines to accelerate sales growth. Some companies have a sales team that is successful in getting meetings and they just want more. Their sellers’ time is better spent closing deals than opening doors. Other companies have one principal seller (which is sometimes the business owner). They may not have the time or the skills to get the bigger doors open. They come to us for our Door Opener® Service as an outsourced solution and we will land the meetings for them.
Most clients say if we get them in the door, they can close. They just need someone to open more doors for them.
CEOCFO: What would you look for that would make a difference in how successful a company is in getting in the door with the right prospects?
Ms. Kopp: I would look for how the system is set up and how they are performing in a few key metrics. For example, how many of the first meetings result in second meetings and how much time is spent weekly pursuing the right group of prospects with the right message. I’d also look at the experience level of the sellers doing the work. If you are pursuing executives and the people doing the calls/emails are 2 years out of college, it’s a mismatch, not likely to be successful. There are 5 Planks of Door Opening Success including The Right Target, The Right Message, The Right Answers for Objections, The Right Door Opener and The Right Execution. If one or more of these planks is missing (or not working correctly) door opening success cannot be predictable. We ensure all planks are in place and working for our clients.
CEOCFO: We came upon Kopp Consulting from your recognition in the INC 5000, so clearly business is good. How do you continue the trajectory and how do you reach out to potential new clients, or are people coming to you these days?
Ms. Kopp: To maintain the trajectory we need to be ready to service new clients at the highest level of professionalism. We won’t sacrifice quality for growth. We have a bench of Door Openers interviewed and ready to be assigned to new clients. They are part-
On the client side, some businesses need to meet more buyers who are spending, others need to adjust their sales strategies because tradeshows, conferences, and networking may not be the best way to meet new prospects in their industries now, and others just want to meet more prospects to accelerate sales success beyond what their current teams can do.
Of course, we do our own Door Opening to particular groups of prospects, using the talents of our own Door Openers! Other companies hear about us through the seminars I do, such as The 5 Planks of Door Opening Success or Building & Rebuilding Your Sales Pipeline in a Virtual World, or the books I’ve written such as the best seller Biz Dev Done Right. I am a member of EO (Entrepreneurs Organization), WPO (Womens Presidents Organization) and the Sales Messaging Coach for Verne Harnish’s Scaling Up Coaches Worldwide. I post important sales content online such as Sales B12 with Jack Daly.
Many business leaders don’t realize that they can outsource door opening at the executive level to a team like ours of experienced business developers. They have not heard of this business model. When they do, they often say, “I wish we started with Kopp Door Opening six months ago!”
CEOCFO: You really enjoy what you are doing at Kopp Consulting!
Ms. Kopp: What we do is a happy thing. We are helping people with the most difficult part of business growth which is meeting new prospects who are likely to spend. If you don’t get in the door, you don’t get to do much of anything else in sales! Our Door Openers can get the meetings for our clients which helps them accelerate sales success!
Too often, companies hire the wrong kind of seller for the job of Door Opening, thinking any hunter can do this job. It’s a real blind-
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