When you lose business you should have captured, you lose twice. First, you don’t get the sale or the cash flow. Secondly, your competitor gets both. It is not your prospect’s job to remember you. It is your responsibility to make sure they do not have the chance to forget you. I share this advice from my friend Scott Plum, sales expert and sales coach, on demonstrating your commitment to your prospect, by making yourself unforgettable.
Prospects Define Value by Your Commitment And Persistence
by Scott Plum
Lately I’m hearing a lot of salespeople say they call prospects, leave messages and they never call them back. Most times the prospect doesn’t answer the phone. In an age where every phone has Caller ID, it is a split second decision to quickly ignore the interruption. When this is true most of the time, we want to ask ourselves, “Why?”
The strongest influence in personal behavior is weighing the consequences of any action. What are the consequences of answering the phone or returning a voice mail message of any unknown person? Another factor in determining what we do and don’t do is fear. Combine those two and here is what the prospect is thinking; “I don’t know this person; I don’t know why they are calling; I’m busy; I’m afraid if I answer, I’ll never get that time back; and if I avoid it, it will go away.”
And guess what, you do. You stop calling. The prospect was right!
Your prospect thinks they are doing just fine without you. Your job as a professional salesperson is to create wonder. No wonder – no change. It will take more than one attempt at a meaningful conversation, with a prospect, via the phone, to create wonder.
Try this; on the first call, leave an engaging message. After 2-3 days have passed, call them back and don’t leave a message. They will see you called. Then call back at different times every 2-3 days. Now they will start to wonder why you are calling them. After a while their curiosity will start to peak, because they erased your first message. For example, remember a person in a business meeting that stands up and says; “Excuse me, this person has called me three times in the last 10 minutes, and I don’t know who it is. I should take it.”
As they start to wonder why you are calling, they will start to notice your commitment to them. Here is the punch line – they don’t want to talk to anyone that is not committed to them, their business, or their service and your persistence in connecting with them will demonstrate just that. There is no other way for you to be tested in the eyes of the prospect. You have appeared on their radarscope and they are watching you since the first call. After all, if you stop calling, you are not committed.
When you focus on a niche and find a worthy prospect, based on the information you researched, you want to stick with them. They are a good fit and worth your commitment. Your prospect has many duties and activities that are important, but very few they can truly commit to. They want to see if you will make the same commitment.
Here is a technique to try on the 5 to 6 call when you have a chance to leave a message. It sounds like this, “John (first name of prospect), I figured it out. You are testing me to see how committed I am to my business, my future, your business, and your future. Because, you don’t have time to work with someone that is not committed. Thanks for helping me realize that. I’ll call you tomorrow to demonstrate my commitment to you and your company.” And you better call them tomorrow and every other day, because this is your last shot.
Ok, so then you ask, “What happens when they don’t call you back after making another 6 attempts?” Here is the message (if it is not the owner or CEO), “I get the feeling your role has changed and you are no longer the person responsible for this [project], I will connect with someone else in the organization to find out who has taken it over. Please return my call if I’m mistaken.” Hold on to your hat, because they may be calling you back hot. Be prepared and focused on the goal; to have a meaningful conversation to see if you are a fit for their growth.The phone is still the best way to meet new prospects and fill your pipeline. The bar has been raised with more every day distractions, prospects know more and have more options, but you still know more than they do. Your commitment is going to build trust, rapport, respect, and credibility that will be transferred to value. Prospects define and buy value.
Scott Plum is the Founder of the Minnesota Sales Institute. He teaches salespeople how to shorten their sales cycle, increase their closing ratio, generate more revenue and get in front of more qualified prospects. He also works to uncover the barriers that hold salespeople back from doing what they know they should and stop doing what they know they shouldn’t. He is an active member of the Nation Speakers Association and President of the Professional Sales Association. For more information visit: http://mnsales.com
Thank you Scott!
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