Simple things that take virtually no time can do great things for your prospecting results.
I really think that it is the last 2% of your effort that can generate 50% or more of your results. If you are banging your head against the wall with too little to show for it, try these two tips which lay the foundation for advanced strategies.
1. Always ask when you can call back… but ask it this way.
You get Mr. or Ms. Big on the phone and slay them with your meticulously crafted 30-second set the appointment pitch that conveys credibility, value, benefits and tell them exactly what you want. They say “No,” muttering a common form of resistance.. All set, send some info, etc.
You are ready with surgically crafted response that is successful in getting the meeting now a good percentage of the time… but they say “No” again.
What do you do?
Say something like this… “Ms. prospect I don’t want to be on your back… we do an awful lot of this… could you suggest a time for me to call you back?”
Notice I didn’t ask them to call them back suggesting a time with them giving me no information. I reminded them of my experience, asked them when might be a good time to call back and then I did the hardest thing for a salesperson to do… I shut up.
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It shocks me still how many people will say call me back in two weeks… in one month… after they have told you “no” twice. Many will suggest a later time frame.
Do one more thing. Say something like this…. “Sure, happy to. Is there a particular reason why you would like a call at that time?” Again, shut up and listen until they are done talking.
What you will get many many times from a call that was supposedly at a dead end… was specific information FROM THEM as to when to call and why.
A simple question at the end of a go nowhere call will help you fill up your sales pipeline.
On the scripting CD’s I go into this in much more depth but the point is clear. If you can’t get a meeting, get something of value. Ask them when you can call them back.
2. Get recon info from gatekeepers that determine worth or will help you actually speak to your targeted decision-maker with a future call.
When you can’t get your decision-maker on the phone, you can still get substantial value from the time spent on that phone call… you have to get value from those calls or you will be very very frustrated.
Ask a question that will help you determine the potential worth of the account, or get the direct dial or extension number.
I can’t do total justice to this in a few paragraphs but essentially you call in and the gatekeeper throws you into voicemail, you may or may not leave a voicemail depending upon where you are with your call process. But whether you leave a voicemail or not, call back the gatekeeper and say something like this…
“Hi, I just called for Jane White and left a voicemail, but wondering if you can help me, I’m sending out a package and to know what to send I was wondering roughly how many blanks you have… or, how much blank you use, can you help me?”
The idea is you already did the hard work, calling in. If you have no info on the potential worth of that suspect, have some calculated questions you can ask gatekeepers which will give you some idea as to whether they might buy a little, a lot, sooner or later. You then give them a worth code and allocate your time accordingly.
What is most critical here is that you are enabling yourself to PROPERLY ALLOCATE YOUR TIME. Time allocation is crucial to getting prospecting results.
How can you spend less time with the less worthy prospects if you don’t have a strategy to determine who they are? Same with those more worthwhile. Use those gatekeeper interactions as an opportunity for you to determine worth and allocate your time properly.
Less time spent on those less worthy creates more time to chase better prospects.
The 2nd part of that, if you have the worth info, get the direct dial and extension number. You get it by asking for it but I have found that you need to ask for it with the SECOND QUESTION.
So when you call the gatekeeper back say…. “Hi, I just called Jane White and got her voicemail, I’m sending out a package, can I confirm the address and title? Sure. Yada yada yada… thanks, for the next time I call, do you happen to have the extension number?
Ask the second question as if it was an afterthought and you really don’t care whether you get an answer or not. I have found that you get that info a lot more frequently and guess what? When you have more direct dial and extension numbers you set a lot more appointments and sell more stuff.
These are just two examples briefly presented of simple things that can be done to drastically increase your results.
The point about time allocation is important. If you are not properly allocating your time you will not be successful prospecting. To allocate your time properly you need to have a process and strategic questions and scripting that get you there.
Keep smiling and dialing,