When and how often do you call high level decision-makers,
When seeking to set an appointment?
by Scott Channell
– 3 cycles of 3
– 2 weeks
– The Rule of 7
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– How to increase the number of conversations you have
– Anything done once, or infrequently, is the equivalent of doing nothing at all.
OK. You need to get in front of high-level people to make more sales.
How often do you call?
Let me briefly explain the basics of a call sequencing process that I believe maximizes the number of phone conversations you will have with intended targets for the hours you allocate to prospecting.
First, some surprises from someone who has personally scheduled more than 2,000 C-Level appointments by sitting in cubes smiling and dialing…
1. I never cared about the result of any one call.
2. I never researched a company before calling them
3. I focused more on the efficiency of my calling, than I did the effectiveness of my calling.
Here is a good calling sequence and how those 3 principles fit into it.
Day one – Call into company and identify the decision-maker.
Day two – Call the targeted decision-makers three times. The first two times, if they don’t pick up the phone, do not leave a message or voicemail. The third time, if they don’t pick up, leave a voicemail. Send a fax.
Day five (three business days later) – Repeat the above sequence. Make three dials attempting to reach your decision-maker. Leave a voicemail on the 3rd attempt. Send a fax.
Day eight (three business days later) – Repeat sequence again.
What have you done?
You made three cycles of 3 calls. 9 dials in total. To have any reasonable chance of connecting with a high level person you must expect to make between 9 and 15 dials… at a minimum. That number of calls must be part of your normal call process.
You left six touches. Familiar with the Rule of 7? It says you must touch people 7 times before they can begin to absorb your message. Literally true? No! But the point is that anything done once or infrequently is the equivalent of doing nothing at all. With this sequence your targets get 3 voicemails and 3 faxes at a minimum. More if you make additional cycles of calls.
When do you call more often? When you are able to determine that the suspect is more worth of your time? You do that by asking a few worthwhile pointed questions of gatekeepers. You are making the calls anyway, why not pick up some worthwhile recon info? Call those who have the potential to buy more more often.
How is this call sequence compatible with the 3 surprises above?
If you really want to increase your sales, your prospecting efforts must be very efficient. I always paid as much attention to the EFFICIENCY of my call process as I did the EFFECTIVENESS of my calling.
By EFFICIENCY I mean how many sales opportunities was I creating per hour of calling time. Put another way… how many conversations during which I could deliver my set the appointment pitch to intended targets did I have per hour of calling. The more conversations I had, the more efficient my process was.
How I converted those conversations related to my EFFECTIVENESS. Converting one out of three is more effective than converting one out of five.
Everyone focuses on effectiveness. Very few focus on efficiency.
Being effective isn’t going to help you if you talk to few people.
But if you are organized and highly efficient with your calling, you can see drastic increases in your sales even if you are only better than average at converting a conversation to a meeting. Why? Because you talk to more people.
I tracked the number of conversations I had and implemented strategies that moved that number. With conversations I had a chance to get a meeting. If you can have conversations you will get your fair share of meetings.
Why I never research a company before calling. Because it significantly reduced my efficiency. If I was ‘researching,” which usually means wasting time surfing the net looking at tell you nothing bland corporate websites, that was done at the expense of making more calls.
Everything you do comes at the expense of something else.
Some people believe that by “researching” you increase the chance of a meeting. Who are we kidding? What are we really going to learn that in the few seconds we have with a top decision-maker is going to be so insightful that it will make a difference?
I always believed that I was more productive making more dials into a highly qualified group than I was making far fewer dials into a smaller groups that was “researched.”
My concern was having a pitch or script that was of maximum effectiveness with the GROUP I was calling. I never cared about any one company said yes or no.
I cared a lot about whether 12 out of 100 or 5 out of 100 called said yes or no.
I focused on efficiency and effectiveness to get the more appointments out of a group I was calling.
By calling them multiple times within a roughly 2-week period and complying with the Rule of 7, I was able to maximize the number of appointments set.
There are more details to this. There is more to call sequencing. How to interact with gatekeepers. What do say. How to get recon info. How to setup and use a contact manager. How to design a fax or email or letter.
Best wishes for sales success,
copyright 2007-2011 scott channell