Salespeople pursuing a single point of contact when prospecting is like an engineer designing a system with a single point of failure. One mishap and your whole project crashes!
When Prospecting, Don’t Create a Single Point of Failure
My director of technology once told me about an experience he had in the early creation days of our call center. He said he had called into a local manufacturing company and was hooked up with the director of sales. He had done everything right, moving the relationship towards selling a set of training programs for the company’s sales team.
This post on cold calling was originally published on Oct 6, 2015 and updated on June 26, 2019.
When making cold calls and opening sales calls on the phone, you need guideposts, touch points of some kind to help guide your interaction. Now, some sales trainers would say you need a script when cold calling. However, I think a cold calling script is too rigid. A sales rep must be flexible and address people where they find them mentally and attitudinally, not where the script says your prospect should be.
Don’t get me wrong. I think picking up the phone and calling people you don’t know so you can sell them something that they don’t want is a colossal waste of time. And it generates a lot of bad blood to boot. But that doesn’t mean you should simply forego picking up the phone and communicating with people. Continue reading →
In my previous post I emphatically stated, prospecting is not dead! Many marketing automation companies may try to convince you otherwise, or you may have convinced yourself with all the information seemingly available at your fingertips, that you have all the data you need to make a sale.
The fact is, nothing can replace actual prospecting. It’s challenging but worth it.
Ultimately, connecting with someone involves gaining a prospect’s attention by communicating briefly about things that interest that individual. It’s in making that connection where research can help – trying to learn snippets that can help your conversation including education connections, places they’ve lived, companies they’ve worked for, etc. Just remember: don’t lose sight of the importance of back and forth communication in the connecting process.
The art of prospecting takes patience, persistence, and the understanding of prospect’s perspective. The following are critical tips for practicing successful prospecting:
Takes ten to fifteen phone calls to get a contact.
Takes three to six contacts to get an appointment.
If you call to confirm an appointment, you risk losing it.
Crucial to send a calendar invite immediately upon setting the appointment.
Phone appointments are at least 50 percent more likely to cancel/no show as opposed to a face to face meeting.
Getting the first appointment is the hardest part of the sales process.
Data changes constantly—the most accurate list is one you’re actively calling into.
Waste of time to spend much time researching a company online—pick up the phone and call! Ask the gatekeeper questions.
You’re competing not just with other salespeople for the buyer’s attention—you’re competing with anything else they view as more important.
When you get a Decision Maker (DM) on the phone, you have seven seconds to get their attention
Don’t talk about the product, talk about how the product relates to the DM’s world
If you can see the world from your prospect’s perspective, you will be in a better position to respond to their reactions when you interrupt their day.
Prospecting is difficult, takes time, requires a thick skin and an ability to be persistent. It’s no wonder there are companies looking to capitalize on this notion that with their product/service you won’t have to prospect anymore, because, who wants to experience all those things if you don’t have to? And yet, there is no replacement for prospecting done well. Your hard, persistent work will pay off. Read more about how to be an expert at prospecting by checking out Lance Tyson’s new book, Selling Is an Away Game: Close Business and Compete in a Complex World.
Lance Tyson is an industry leader in sales training, development, and management. Selling is an Away Game is a must read for any sales professional, sales leader, or aspiring candidate in the industry.
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