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3 Pillars of Sales Success


Dakota is a 3rd party marketing firm that has raised over $22 billion since 2006. Dakota is also the creator of Draft Data, the only institutional investor database that has qualified, accurate and up-to-date contact information on over 1,700 firms and 7,500 contacts.

Our world is discovering data on all institutional pools of capital and that extends from the RIA Channel all the way through to direct pension funds. Data discovery and delivering that data to our customers is our #1 goal.

We believe there are very few things you can control as a sales person. The good news is that you can control finding new investors. However you cannot control the stock market, the recession, the economy, the trade talks, the elections, Trumps tweets, the protests in Hong Kong etc.

We have used these principals to raise over $22 billion and $5 billion in the RIA Channel alone. We have built a rich RIA database of RIA firms and other institutional investors that use outside managers. We have discovered data that few firms have been able to discover. Discovery is everything in sales.

Our credo at Dakota is to “Focus on What You Can Control”

There are three things within every sales professionals power that they can control:

  1. Know Who to Call – you always have control of who you call on and finding new investors. Every sales person should be finding new investors to call on.
  2. Know What to Say – completely within your control – what you say in a meeting determines whether you get the next meeting. Prepare, practice, bring your story to life. What comes out of your mouth is completely within your control. How well you prepare your buyer prior to a meeting is 100% within your control.
  3. Have a Killer Follow up System: 100% within your control. How you follow up immediately after a meeting and then in then in the subsequent months is a key determinant of your success. Organize in your CRM your past meetings so you can review them quickly and easily to follow up.

We put our sales philosophy into place in 2010 and as hard as I try, I cannot break it or come up with anything that is more effective. It stands the test of time.

To Further expound upon: The 3 Pillars of Sales are:

  1. Know Who to Call on – Most critical. This gives every sales professional career protection. My biggest fear as a sales professional: losing the new investor race. The group of investors you know is what gives you value. We must figure out who buys what we sell and connect with them. Your investor list needs to be big, accurate and ever growing. Profile your prospects and never stop working or growing your list of buyers. Your prospect list is gold.
  2. Know What to Say (be a master messenger): After all the effort to get in front of the right buyer, make sure you can bring your story to life. Send key information ahead of time to prep your due diligence analyst. If you get the meeting, but fall down in the meeting, it was a waste of time. Study, prepare, practice and know exactly what your buyer wants and needs to hear. Get into a conversation as soon as possible.
  3. Have a killer follow-up System. This is the place many sales people fall down. It’s hard for an uber type A sales person to follow-up because the chase it over and I don’t just mean after the meeting. I mean weeks and months after. Use a CRM system, input your accounts and contacts and create activity and pipeline reports to review regularly to trigger sales ideas. The more organized your data and reports are the more leverage you will give yourself. You can cover far more ground if you your investor information is organized.

After 25 years in sales I have never been more convinced that if you apply these three simple principals and you have a good product, you will build a big pipeline which will hopefully lead to raising assets.