Find Out How Long It Takes to Move from Frustration to a System That Cranks.
This has always left me scratching my head.
People will spend tens of hours weekly trying to get face time with top decision-makers.
They work hard, get frustrated, little results, sporadic results and many many great opportunities are not captured.
You can keep doing that or you can turn it around.
It takes relatively just a few hours invested ONCE to prospect effectively, efficiently and 100% solely to high probability targets. No more kissing 50 frogs to find a prince… or princess.
If you want to turn it around, here is what it takes.
1. 90 minutes to profile your targets.
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The first lie you tell yourself is “I know whom to call.” You don’t. Reality is… I see this over and over again and it is so wasteful… is people spend 60%, 70% or more of their time calling companies/people who never should have been called in the first place.
This is just plain dumb. What’s more painful is that there is always a large pool of qualified high probability targets staring at the phone waiting for your call. Using a tool like SalesGenie or others you simply look up your best accounts and your competitors best accounts you would love to have and build a profile of them by SIC code, revenue range and employee range. Then guess what? You call only accounts that look like your current best accounts. Call them before you call anyone else.
I have never done this with anyone… never… and not seen an instant substantial gain in productivity. One 90-minute investment done right will get you an instant major gain in productivity.
2. Two hours max to setup your system.
If you are not using a contact manager, if paper is part of your calling “system” or you call using a spreadsheet… do me a favor. Next time you go swimming tie a cinder block to your ankles and see how far you get. You are doing the same thing with your prospecting efforts.
This game is not about dialing like a maniac. When you sit down to prospect you want to cover as much ground as you can for your time investment. You simply cannot do that if you are shuffling papers or working off a spreadsheet. You easily lop off 40% to 50% of your productivity PLUS… you don’t have the sorting capability to instantly zero in and invest more time with your higher value targets.
It takes typically one coaching session to install and customize a contact manager with the few special fields and couple of simple coding systems that enable you to allocate your time for maximum advantage and rip out all the drudgery you are currently experiencing. It takes another session to do the initial import of your leads. Then you are ready to rock. No more drudgery. You have the tools to set the maximum number of appointments.
3. Create your ancillary materials. 2-3 hours.
Your Emails, letters and your faxes (if you use them) You would be surprised to know the results still being achieved by using fax. Not fax in the way you are probably thinking, but fax used strategically very differently. You will need standardized materials written strategically with an eye toward getting a response that is consistent with your message.
4. Two to four hours. Write down the best words to use.
Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmm. Why is writing the scripts #4 on this list and not #1? Shouldn’t scripts be first? No!! Good scripts only help you if you are talking to the right people and enough of them. Your system, numbers 1-3 above, delivers you those conversations. That must be setup first.
Bottom line is you need a 30 second “Set the Appointment” pitch that explains who you are, exactly what you do, why you are credible, relates three specific benefits you deliver and tells people exactly what you want. You must cover these bases within 30 seconds. No longer. No exceptions.
Then you need responses to resistance for “Send some info.” “We are all set,” “We have a wonderful vendor,” voicemails and the other things you hear/encounter repetitively on the phone. 25% to 30% of your meetings will come from people who initially say things like that to you. You must know the structure and strategies to get the meeting when you hear these things. It’s not that hard when you have a lot of samples to refer to.
5. Create your call process. 20 minutes.
How often do you call? At what interval? Determine in advance when to let go. The most productive callers know when to let go. Frustrated callers dial endlessly because they don’t want to give up.
The five areas above represent Phase 1. The first steps you take to crank when setting high level sales appointments.
It usually takes 10 days to cover those bases and start calling with a turbo-charged system.
Once you are used to calling with your new productive system then I like to move on to phase 2, which may include…
A. Setting up your Plan B automatic follow-up system. You need this in place to get great prospects that don’t agree to a meeting initially into your sales pipeline at a level lower than a meeting. Must be automatic or reality is it won’t get done.
Plan B is critical to getting maximum results for your appointment setting time. People start calling you. When you follow-up after they have been on your Plan B system it is a very different call. They know you.
B. Integrating your inquiry system into your website.
You may or not do this. If you can, I highly recommend it as you get more of a lift from your calling. Your site must be inquiry friendly, most are not. You need a good opt-in page that gives desired qualified prospects a reason to identify themselves to you. Not that big a deal with a little experienced guidance but a wasteland if you don’t know the issues involved in converting web traffic to an inquiry.
C. Use of advanced techniques.
Once you are cranking on your foundation you will want to learn advanced techniques for even higher results. Usually takes 2-4 weeks before people are ready for the advanced stuff. This is where we get into what I call power calling, how to get extension and direct dial numbers, using a Hail Mary strategy with gatekeepers and a few other things that get you more appointments with the best prospects.
Is it reasonable for you to keep doing what you are doing?
If you break it down into pieces, there are not a lot of steps to this and overall it is not a big time investment for the productivity gains and increased results you get every week.
Best wishes for sales success,