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How to (REALLY) Get Through to Your Prospect

Aim to find three prospects inside the company: decision makers, influencers, or someone who will refer you to the right person.

When clients have databases built for the purpose of selling to their ideal prospects, most of what we see is an attempt to reach only one person, per company- a division head, VP, or CEO. It makes sense. But it’s not enough.

If the companies you are calling on are small(er), and you know there’s only one decision-maker or influencer, then continue to call on just that one person. However, if the company is larger, your ideal prospect will be anyone with the power to make a decision or to influence amongst dominant peers.

When you have confirmed that there is more than once influencer, what you don’t want to do is put all of them in queue for your inside sales person or lead generator to make multiple calls to a few people in one week – yes, we’ve seen this happen, so we have to say it. It may be obvious but not to everyone. This looks bad. It can look to your client like desperation or (sales) operational sloppiness. Your prospect should sense assertiveness from you, not annoyance.

As an example, here’s an easy formula and it looks like this in the calling cycle. First, we recommend starting at the top of the organization or division:

President of Company (person #1)
4x contact process (call/email)
Call in September

Senior VP (person #2)
4x contact process (call/email)
Start calling process in October if no success with person #1

Director (person #3)
4x contact process (call/email)
Start calling process in November if no success with person #2

Each calling cycle can take up to two weeks, maybe longer if you find out they are out of office for any length of time. You can start calling the next person right after, or wait until the beginning of the next month. If the only numbers you have send you through to the same receptionist, you may have to schedule them a month out, lest he/she will pick up on your pattern of calling nearly everyone in the executive suite. Both ways work. It’s the principle of creating and maximizing your opportunity to gain a conversation.

If you’ve not been successful at getting through to the first person, when you start calling on the second person, SVP in this instance, it’s ok to even reference that you’ve called on their boss. People like transparency. I don’t know of any concrete evidence to the efficacy of this, but we do it and it feels natural: “Hi Brenda, this is Lilly Ferrick from the ABC Company. We left a couple of messages for John Buyer but did not hear back from him. We offer XYZ services for companies that (insert criteria here)…..”

Your objective is to connect with someone who carries the power to influence or decide. Unlike UPS or FedEx, who can drop the package at the nearest door in plain view, then text you that the package was dropped, you have to knock on multiple doors to get attention and win that first conversation.


About Lilly Ferrick

Lilly Ferrick LLC offers services in part-time or fractional sales management, contract sales, sales process consulting, and one-on-one sales coaching. We help companies win larger, more profitable engagements, decrease length of sales cycle, manage pipeline, and improve closing rates. Please contact us to learn more, or to schedule a complimentary session.



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