Does Your Prospecting Plan Include This?

by Paul Castain on February 9, 2014

I love to share the story of Colonel Sanders when he was struggling and trying to get what would later become “KFC” on the map.

The long and the short of it, is that he took over 1000 “Nos” before his first “Yes”.

Pretty amazing when you think about it but who really cares about him!

Seriously, this is a great motivational story but . . .

What does it have to do with you?

Unless you’re selling fried chicken!

But, it actually has everything to do with you when you answer this simple question . . .

How many “Nos” do you have in you?

If you’re like most sales reps, you might be giving up after only 3 attempts with a potential customer.

Heck, there was even this self appointed Cold Calling guru who attempted to contact me in my former position and gave up after 2 attempts.

And just to be clear . . .

This wasn’t after 2 conversations . . .

This was after 2 (really bad) voicemails within 3 weeks.

And this dude is teaching people to cold call!

So, why do we give up?

1) In many cases it’s a fear that we might be pestering the other person. Unless you’re calling them everyday (and immediately emailing them after every voicemail) I’d say you haven’t been at it long enough to pester them.

I did a consulting project for a very successful entrepreneur recently who asks his team “If you knew someone was bleeding and you had a way to stop the bleeding, would you worry about pestering them?”

2) Sometimes we give up because we haven’t mapped the communication properly. That basically means we just aren’t creative enough to think of a quality message in that split second between when the alert in our CRM goes off and when we reach for the phone.

My suggestion would be to create a generic map of what your typical communication will look like with your potential customers.

Example:

Touch #1: Intro email. If no response then 2 two days later

Touch #2: Intro call #1 or Intro Voicemail #1 If I connect but they turn me down, then handwritten thank you. If I leave a voicemail and no return call then 1 day later

Touch #3 Fed Ex or snail mail. If no reply 1 week later

Touch #4 Email link to a private 60 second YouTube video. At the end of the video tell them a specific day and time you will call them.

Touch #5 Call them. If voicemail then  Voicemail #2 then wait 3 days

Touch #6 Send a useful resource to them

Get the idea?

Taking an approach like this keeps it interesting for them and you too. It makes you less predictable.  It also acknowledges that everyone has a preferred venue for communication. When we limit our efforts to just the phone, we limit our opportunities. It embraces a concept I teach my clients called “utilizing an effective sales mix”

3) We’re too busy looking for instant gratification. I do believe it’s important to focus on your highest probability prospects but that doesn’t mean you should come to that conclusion in the first 3 attempts.

4) Our ego. Sometimes we get so caught up in some “Callback Entitlement” thing we say “Screw them if they can’t see how awesome I am” and we move on. And how dare they not return your call and buy from you? After all, you’ve busted your ass and spent all of about 90 seconds leaving them voicemails. Right?

Here’s my crazy philosophy . . .

You will buy from me. It may not be today or tomorrow but if I’ve set my sights on you, you will buy from me someday between now and my retirement dinner.

And Uncle Paul has a long way to go before the retirement dinner.

Taking a longer term “courtship” approach helps put it all into a bigger picture.

You sort of need the patience to court with the urgency to keep showing up!

Time Out: This doesn’t mean that I focus only on those long term courtships, it means that I don’t exclude them from my overall efforts.

Well enough about me, this isn’t about me.

It’s about you

It’s about your team and . . .

How willing and how quickly you’re giving up.

Just out of curiosity . . .

How is 2014 shaping up for you?

Soon, we’ll be two months in to this not so new, new year.

Are you getting the results you expected?

I work with sales reps, sales leaders and business owners who want to sell more.

Click here for more info on how I can help then email me paul@yoursalesplaybook.com when you’re ready to get to work!

  • Mike MacDonald

    Great stuff! Most people stop 3 feet from gold and quit to soon!

  • http://yoursalesplaybook.com paulcastain

    You’re absolutely right Mike!

    Thank you!

  • Larry Edwards

    Paul, another great topic!
    I have been struggling with this for the past 6 months. I am launching a new firefighting foam technology that is many times better than what is being sold in the marketplace. What I don’t understand is why people will not take 4 minutes to view a video comparing our foam to what they are presently using? If I could get them to view the video, they would pick up the phone and ask me when I can come in to do a live demo. Are they lazy or afraid of change. I equate my product as selling a car that can go 0 to 50 mph in 2 seconds, gets 85 mpg and costs $20,000. In fact, I have used this example to explain why they might not believe our product is that incredible.
    What really frustrates me are the oil companies I am trying to get my foot in the door. The products they are currently using are totally ineffective to extinguish refinery fires, yet they will not return calls or emails. However, in some cases I have been calling them and emailing them since October. My plan is to be polite and to continue to be as excited

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