That’s right, I said hiding right in front of your face.
There’s a lost art in sales today called eagle-eye prospecting. With all of our sales and marketing automation, conference calling, web leads, emails, social media, etc. – sometimes some good old-fashioned field work wins the day.
Here’s how I landed a $100k deal this week using this technique.
On Tuesday I had one scheduled meeting when my daily goal is two. I needed that extra meeting.
While visiting my first client, I checked out the surrounding area and found that I was very near a new prospective client. I gave her a call to see whether I could ‘”pop by to say hello,” and the rest is history.
She said “yes, that will work well this morning.” We refreshed a conversation about a project that we were discussing in November that had just been green-lighted and I closed it on the spot.
How many times do you do your first meeting and then go back to hide in the office hitting the phones, emails, or administration tasks?
In sales, we make the biggest difference when we are face to face and belly to belly.
My new client’s direct quote? “…sometimes these spontaneous meetings work better for me than trying to schedule one anyway.”
So take a minute to do a search in your CRM by zip code, or just eagle-eye a new prospect while you’re out. Then challenge yourself to snag that extra meeting.
You could find $100,000!
Let’s face it. Most of us are in meetings (even if some are virtual – phone/web) most of the day.
Reaching someone live between the hours of 8am-5pm in today’s business world has become a near impossibility.
Just for fun let’s say you do get someone to pick up the phone. Odds are, you have just distracted that person from a task they believe to be a priority over whatever it is that you have called about. Just think of your own experience. How long does it take you to pick up an inbound call when you do not recognize the caller ID? Don’t hold your breath, right?
It is for this reason I now almost always leave BOTH a voicemail and email message when contacting a client or partner, particularly if this subject is important to them.
Try for a live discussion via phone first, of course. When you get their voicemail, leave a brief message and tell them that you will also send an email if that is a more convenient mode of communication for them. Then, send the email with “My Voicemail” included in the subject.
But don’t take my word for it. Marketing firm CCSI has this to say in their recent blog post…”Lead generation strategies that put e-mail and direct mail before telemarketing may be putting the cart before the horse and missing out on the optimal impact of each vehicle….” The gist of their post? Leave a voicemail before sending email.
Doing both has increased my response ratio significantly.
Here is a lesson on cold-calling ripped straight from my Tuesday…
I wondered what my post would be today – that is until I received a phone call at 1:30pm local time during a flurry of activity at my desk.
It was a salesperson pitching a seminar where I would be guaranteed 1 of only 20 appointments that several C-level executives will have booked during their stay at a nice hotel in Arizona. This guy was classic. He must have been breathing through his ears, because he would not listen to me. I said “I’m busy can you please call me at another time..” – simple, and more than an unwanted telephone caller deserves in terms of my politeness. BUT he would not stop pitching me his service.
As my grandmother said, you have one mouth and two ears, use them proportionately!
These days you are fortunate to catch a prospect on the phone in person. If they seem very busy and agree to schedule some time with you on another day – book the meeting. Send a calendar invite to them. Say thank you. And hang up. You’ve made an advance.