Connecting with prospects for the first meeting requires persistence, consistency – and simply wearing them down. You can speed your access time by integrating your communication strategy with multiple connection methods without frustrating prospects.
We’ve spent many hours working with clients on ways they can refine their prospect touch points, and improve their overall prospecting results. Touch points include phone calls, emails, direct mail, and many other forms of communication.
Most sales people I’ve worked with have a solid cold calling strategy to gain access to their prospects. They cold call once every 2-3 days, and send follow-up emails every week or so. This approach gives the sales person a chance to project their professionalism and their interest in working with the prospect, by voice over the phone, while also providing the prospect with the opportunity to respond easily via email. This thorough approach helps get a more immediate response, letting the sales rep know if they have a real opportunity or if they should move on.
While this successful communication strategy is very effective, there are several ways to enhance it and speed access to new prospects.
First, rather than periodically following a call with an email, integrate email into your cold call strategy. Send an email following every 2 calls, or in place of every other call. The prospect is still hearing from you, knows you are interested in connecting, and has an easy way of responding. A reminder tip: Email no more than every 3 days.
Second, consider integrating events, articles, or other marketing news that may be of interest to a prospect into your strategy. As you spot information that may be useful to a prospect, pass it along with a quick note. This will grab the prospect’s attention in a more personalized way, further demonstrating your interest in meeting, and helping you to stand-out from your competitors.
Some items you might want to pass along to a prospect include:
- A newspaper or trade publication article with information impacting their industry. This shows that you are paying attention to their business, and have solutions for their needs.
- If you are a member of a city chamber, industry organization, or other relevant organization, consider events a prospect might be interested in attending and invite them.
- Newsletters or news releases from your own company – sharing information that would be important to a prospect – should be sent with a personal note keeping the prospect current on the options available to them
Third, let the message you use for voicemail and email evolve. Begin with your initial value proposition, and integrate in new knowledge you have gained from gatekeepers, voicemail and email messages, events you are aware of, and information you have sent or read. Your prospect will become immune to the same tired message no matter how many times you reach out, so let it evolve just as you will during the sales process.
The more frequently – within reason – your contact hears from you, the more he will recognize you are not going away and are serious about meeting. The more you integrate your touches, the easier it will be for your prospect to respond.
To gain speedy access to new prospects, treat them more personally while staying in front of them. Finding ways to demonstrate you understand their potential needs, and communicate in a more personalized manner, will grab attention and yield the prospecting results you desire.