Very often I get the question from clients and sales people as to how many times one should reach out to a prospect before being viewed as a nuisance. The answer is often surprising.
Until they respond!
In a consultative sales environment, a prospect is a prospect as long as they don’t tell you to never contact them again, which rarely happens when you adhere to certain rules.
I still do high level prospecting for a select group of clients and have been very successful engaging C-Level and mid management decision makers in meaningful conversations.
The key to successful prospecting is to add value and not to sell. Nobody wants to be sold to and once people think that the purpose of an outreach is to get them to buy something, the conversation is already off to a bad start.
Prospects don’t get upset when you target them frequently. They get upset when you are irrelevant, when you don’t know their business and when you pitch them.
being a business owner I get sales calls all the time and 9 out of 10 are bad. You can tell when they are dialing for dollars, the sales person didn’t look up my company and what I do, they pitch a service that is not a good fit for my business and sometimes they are rude or inconsiderate.
But once in a blue moon there is this sales person who actually took the time to identify what my needs might be. That in combination with courtesy leads to a good first conversation and even if I am not in a position to buy immediately, I don’t mind them staying in touch with me as long as they add value.
Be relevant and timely
Every sensible business person knows that they will be called on by other companies that provide services. Nobody in business will hold that against you. What they will hold against you is offering a service that doesn’t meet their need and then trying to push a sale where there is no fit.
Keep in mind that people are busy. Just because they don’t respond right away doesn’t mean that they are not interested. They might be traveling, they might have pressing issues to deal with that are more important than responding to your outreach.
Don’t give up, be relevant and stay on message.
Persistence pays off
Many, many times I have gotten replies from prospects acknowledging and thanking me for my persistence. People generally appreciate a professional outreach and sales people who are determined. It is expected that a good sales person will stay on course and try to engage, what is not expected and dreaded is messages that are about the product or service, rather than the value it could bring to your business.
For example, if somebody calls me telling me that they can provide leads for my business (which happens almost on a daily basis) I will probably not respond because the message seems very broad. If they however look at my client list and tell me that they are experts in the logistics or technology field (an industry that I target), they might get my attention.
Let your prospects opt out
Include an “opt out” message in your voice or email. Tell your prospect that you understand if they don’t have time, or of there is no interest and that they should call you back if that’s the case. This way you give them a graceful way out and very often (you will be surprised), the prospect will get back to you, one way or another. Many times I get a response from a prospect , almost apologizing for the lack of response.
In closing, if you are professional and you do your research you response rate will increase. As long as you stay on message and you are courteous, your outreach will be appreciated. Trust me on this, in my world the average sales cycle is at least 6 months up to a couple of years. If I would give up easily, my business wouldn’t survive.
Referrals for Financial Advisors Aren’t Dead, But They Need to Evolve. Here’s How.
This Thanksgiving Remember Your WHY
Beware of the Energy Vampires
When Financial Goals Aren’t Enough!
Finding Senior Care on Limited Budgets
What Is a Key Employee and Why Are They So Critical?
Listening to Understand Is to Stand Under
What Support Looks Like in Leadership
Don’t Make Your Financial Content Buzzkill
Legacy Vendors Are a Bigger Issue Than Legacy Systems
Learn24 hours ago
A Surprising Post-Election Investment Idea
Development24 hours ago
The Extraordinary Power of the First 90 Days
Digital Strategy24 hours ago
FINRA and Compliance In The Era of Fake News
Building Smarter Portfolios2 days ago
Beware the “Known-Unknowns”
Learn2 days ago
Cybersecurity Without The Commitment
Development2 days ago
How Freedom Resulted in $300mm to $800mm in Just 8 Years
Insights4 days ago
How to Start Your Journey to Be Different
Advisor4 days ago
11 Ways the New Tax Law Could Help or Hurt Your Tax Return