Is this scenario familiar? You’ve done your research, identified a strong prospect, and initiated contact. You’ve had a pleasant and promising conversation. Yet, though your initial interaction was positive, your follow-up email or call remains unanswered.
Why has your momentum with this highly-qualified, “you-need-what-I’m-selling” prospect stalled? What does it REALLY take to get through to a potential customer?
Know your prospect.
To show the benefit of your product or service, you must first understand the prospect’s needs. Tailor your approach accordingly. For example, if your potential customer has 200 employees, share that your product is specifically designed for organizations with a head count of 100 to 500 people. Identify, through research or conversation, problem areas your solution addresses. Statements like “our product helps companies reduce workers comp claims” or “our team are experts in security training for customers with staffs that travel overseas frequently” show that you not only know the challenge the buyer is facing, but that you will deliver the solution to resolve it. Be specific when discussing the target audience for your service. Use qualifying language like “we specialize in assisting first-time home buyers” or “we have 20 years of experience working with pharmaceutical companies with drugs in Phase 1 clinical trials” or “our service is designed for first generation college graduates.” Adding this level of specificity will allow your potential customers to self-identify and help build confidence that you have the skills, expertise, and product or service they need to be successful.
Persistence is defined as continuing firmly in a course of action despite difficulty or opposition. The best salespeople are those who, when faced with a challenge, continue to move forward. Persistence comes in many forms. In today’s culture, we are only as good as our data, so persistence means being committed to a systematic effort to keep your database updated with the most current contact information. Persistence is having the discipline to make one more call, to follow-up even when you are not receiving a response, or to expand your reach within an organization to target multiple key decision makers or influencers rather than a single person. Getting through to your prospect requires action to overcome obstacles and maximize your opportunity to make the sale.
Maintain a steady cadence.
Sales is a process, which requires multiple steps (or actions) to achieve desired result of revenue. . Advancing in this process takes consistent and intentional outreach and cultivation. Follow the four-step call/email process when making contact: 1) introduce yourself, 2) say something that will get the prospect’s attention, 3) state the reason you are calling, and 4) describe the benefit to them. If you were referred to this prospect by a mutual acquaintance, be sure to mention that person’s name. Make it clear to the prospect that you will “knock on their door” repeatedly until they say something- a yes, a no, not now, etc. . You want to give the impression that you are assertive enough to keep at it, friendly enough that they want to call you back, and confident enough to expect a response. Remember the Rule of 7 — someone must hear a message seven times before they act — and be politely persistent.
REALLY getting through to a prospect requires persistence, a commitment to the process, and knowledge of their needs. When you put these into action, you will see a significant increase in number of calls and emails that get returned!