When you are cold calling / appointment setting and your sales prospect rejects you, does it make sense to call back?
If so, when?
You will learn…
– What is true today is not true tomorrow.
– Diminishing the size of the quality pool you prospect cripples success.
– What you hear is not literally true.
Lately, have had a rash of coaching clients relate matter of factly that when a prospect they call tells them “we are all set,” “we have a vendor we love” or “hell will freeze before we buy from you,” that they never call that company/contact again.
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When I inform them that practice is crippling their success and amounts to self-sabotage, they are incredulous. Why would you waste time calling someone who just called your mother names?
Let us count the ways. Lesson #3 is eye opening.
Your Sales Prospecting Call Is a Mere Moment in the Life of Your Prospect
Lesson #1. Things change.
We have all had the experience of being thrown to the curb and soundly rejected only to learn later that your prospect signed a bazillion dollar contract with a competitor ( a lousier more expensive competitor at that) nine months later.
Maybe their need for your offering was a mere seed not yet fully grown. At that moment, maybe they did not recognize a need.
Assuming you picked that prospect to call for good reason. Hopefully you picked them to call because they belong to a group highly likely to buy from you. That didn’t evaporate because of one call. Things change. Call back.
Lesson #2. What you hear when sales prospecting / appointment setting is not literally true.
Maybe they were having a bad day or you caught them at the wrong time. Maybe your approach sucked and they could not grasp your credibility or what you might do for them, so they threw you to the curb for wasting their time. Maybe the person you spoke to is a moron incapable of rational decision making whose rejection of your company saving solution is a big mistake (they are out there.)
Don’t assume that what you hear is literally true. So long as they continue to fit the profile of a prospect highly likely to buy from you, call again. Recommend six months give or take depending upon potential worth.
Lesson #3. You are self-sabotaging yourself by actively reducing the number of good prospects you can call.
A big part of sales prospecting and appointment setting success is profiling and calling companies that are most likely to buy from you. (Do that well and resist the urge to cast your net too wide and you can screw up a lot of prospecting things and still be successful.)
Many companies may only purchase or change vendors for what you offer every 2 – 4 years. The odds of your call coming at exactly the right time is slim.
When you decide not to follow-up ever again on people who tell you that, at that moment, they are all set or never going to buy, you are shrinking the pool of highest probability prospects to call. When you do that it becomes harder and harder to get results. Why? What do you do when you run low on high probability people to call? You call lower probability people.
Extreme case but true: Coaching client working way too hard for prospecting results. Whenever someone said they were “not interested” they would drop them from their list. Over time, due to this over-reaction and short-sighted thinking they had whittled down the pool of high probability targets to practically nothing.
Remember, things change. People who are rude to you one day could very well write a big check to a competitor six months later. It happens all the time. Don’t assume that what you hear on one short call accurately represents what is going on. Don’t self-sabotage yourself by shrinking your pool of good quality targets to call.
If you find out in your calling that a suspect does not fit your profile, wrong size, wrong number of employees or something, that is different. You stop calling them because they don’t fit your profile of high probability buyers.
But so long as they fit your profile of those most likely to buy from you… when they scream “No, never, I will die before we buy from you” and call your mother names… schedule a follow-up call.