Hi this is Scott Channell and I have a question for you. Are you missing out on great prospects by an inch or a mile? Lets review two scenarios. You are prospecting for discovery calls with qualified prospects from a great list. You hear Hello and deliver the words you feel a great prospect would want to hear. But what do you hear? All set. A blow off, get lost. Hmm, was that meeting lost by an inch or a mile? 2nd scenario, you have a discovery call with a great prospect, you speak for 30 or 45 minutes, it seems to go well. You know you can help them, they are just like many you have helped before, but the discovery call ends with no follow-up, you get ghosted or it dies quickly. Ask yourself, was that opportunity lost by an inch or a mile.
If it was a mile, don’t worry about them, throw them down the stairs, they were not a fit, a mismatch to begin with and no matter what you said or did, there was no deal to be had. But, but but but, how many do you think you are losing by an inch, not a mile.
In my experience business development improvements are made inch by inch, not mile by mile. When prospecting, on the front end of your sales process you deal with three groups. The layups that have been staring at their phones and email inboxes waiting for someone like you to reach out. Then there is another group on the opposite end, the totally non-qualified that do not recognize or have any needs you can help with and are going to be annoyed or immediately dismiss you, no matter what you say or how you say it. click. But there is a 3rd group, a middle group between the layups and the unqualified that you should be focused on. This middle group might be on the fence, or they intend to make changes, switch vendors in the future, but not now or they are in active buy mode but because of reasons we are about to discuss, you just don’t seem like you are worth the time to discuss it.
The best at sales prospecting, appointment setting and advancing discovery calls are able to get yeses deeper and deeper within this middle group. That progress is made inch by inch, by multiple small improvements that combine to create a lollapalooza effect. That’s when multiple factors combine and strengthen each other to add up for extreme results. This is how you win big in sales, prospecting and marketing, you combine multiple small improvement that work together for much bigger results. You get more and more yeses deeper and deeper within that middle group.
Ask yourself, how many appointment setting conversations am I having with great prospects yet losing them by an inch? How many discovery calls am I conducting with perfect prospects that would be fantastic future ideal clients, that fail to advance due to a few things or doubts that could be fixed or erased. Just a few inches of progress can make the difference between an opportunity won, or lost.
In my heyday of prospecting, true story, when a prospect picked up the phone I imagined them balancing on a fence. On one side of the fence was the yes pile. On the other side of the fence was the no pile. I imagined that the prospect was balancing between yes or no and it was the words I chose to speak, and the way I delivered those words, that provided a breeze that would blow the prospect into the yes column. You have only your brains and words to work with. Every word matters. Perceptions formed with every phrase delivered matters.
The best at setting discovery calls, the best at conducting those discovery calls and moving great prospects through the sales process, are those that combine multiple small improvements to get big results.
When setting discovery calls it might be delivery or clarity of message that can be improved a bit. Or maybe it means punching up credibility or benefit statements or how you ask for the meeting. When it comes to conducting discovery calls, if you are choreographing a 20 -60 minute conversation how you open that session and set the table for the discussion might need to be improved, maybe the questions you ask should be better and there should be more of them, maybe you are not pouring enough salt on wounds to provide enough reason to speak again, or maybe, even though you are definitely worth more time, your prospect doesn’t perceive you as being worth more time, usually due to a number of small things that can be identified and fixed.
So let me end by asking you, are you losing opportunities by inches or a mile? If you are losing them by inches, what are you going to do about it.