If your sales prospecting system consists of psycho dialing a customer until they pick up then you have problems.
That may work for my niece when she’s calling me but it won’t work outside of the family.
In all seriousness, prospecting the same way every single day, week and month of the year can be mind-numbing!
The solution to this involves developing a system of activity around your prospects.
Let’s call each time you do a prospecting activity a “touch.” How many touches do you think it takes to get an appointment with one prospect?
Are you crazy enough to think that it only takes one?
Well study’s show it takes at least 5 touches to set an appointment.
Here’s a HINT: Do something other than the “psycho” dialing over the phone 5+ times in a row.
Whatever “touch” you choose to do my recommendation is to have at least 5 different ones that you plan to do in sequence when you know the prospect is worth it.
This is where you go there in person to see if you could set up an appointment, qualify the opportunity and collect information.
If you want to learn how to effectively cold call in the field, I give away a few secrets on how to get past the gatekeeper and to become a fearless prospector here.
Prospecting over the phone is your go-to for speed touches. I recommend using this “follow up” strategy after each of your other 12 in this post. You should always be closing the loop on your recent touch with a good old phone call.
Email is something you can collect when prospecting and it can be another “touch” if you know how to use it properly. Keep in mind that people get flooded with emails as it is so make sure your message is good enough to rise above the rest of the sea of information flooding your client’s inbox.
The dreaded voicemail. Tread lightly with this one. When I figure out who is calling me from their “voicemail” I can easily make the decision if I’d want to talk to that individual.
Now, with phone systems, you can automatically block that caller from reaching you by having the ringing go on forever and you never actually get a chance to connect. Your client could be doing the same thing! The key here is to be mysterious.
Clients typically will ask for you to “send them information.” When that happens, what do you send?
I recommend you put together a personalized collateral that introduces who you are, how you could address challenges in their industry and a message that you will be following up to review the information later that day.
I’m a big fan of doing the creative drop off. Keep your job and the act of prospecting fun by incorporating some creative items to bring a smile and possibly a laugh to your client’s face. It could disarm them and make the next interaction a positive one.
Cold calling in person and a strategic stop by differ on execution. In the strategic stop by your goal is to walk in and ask to meet directly with your contact. When done with confidence, your contact just might come out to see you.
Snail mail sometimes can be faster than modern sales prospecting techniques. It takes thought to craft something and have it sent via the mail person to your clients’ finger tips.
Do you think they will open something addressed personally to them? Of course!
A strong email strategy is to send a meeting invitation (through your email service) to meet for a few minutes over the phone to connect to introduce yourself.
I’m telling you, this works! It also works to use it for a brief face to face meeting in person.
LinkedIn has made a killing over the whole 6 degrees of separation philosophy. Have you tried connecting with your client over that social media platform?
You would be surprised about how many deals started there. Give it a shot.
When’s the last time you asked a current client in the same industry if they personally knew one of your prospects? Have you checked LinkedIn for a connection and asked them to introduce you to them?
HINT: Maybe you should start! This is a proven strategy of top performers so get it into your system today.
I recently interviewed a few decision makers at a large organization we work with and asked them about their preferred ways of meeting new salespeople…you guessed it.
At networking events!
They are open to it and there are usually some drinks included. Are you a part of any networking organizations? Preferably a networking group that works with your products or services.
There you have 12 proven “touch” points. They are all proven to work.
Now it’s time to develop your own personal system. Choose some you can commit to sticking to every single time you prospect.
I don’t know what line of business you are in but I recommend you choose at least 5 that you plan on incorporating into your own personal system of prospecting.