I saw this image posted on the Institute of Sales and Marketing Management (ISMM) Facebook page last week – and although I’ve seen these figures before, they never cease to amaze me.
However, I don’t doubt they are true.
So how are you going to make these stats work for you?
Rule number 1: make sure that every single one of your chase calls or follow up calls does not consist of the old chestnut ‘are you any nearer to signing the contract yes?’. Yes, tough to believe, but you would be surprised how many people are guilty of this. Even worse, ‘just touching base’
We all know that nothing is guaranteed to get the sales person on the ‘blocked call’ list faster than that sort of dogged and unimaginative pursuit.
So – what do you do?
Let’s imagine that you have to take your sales prospect through 12 contacts – how might you structure those contacts? Here are random examples of how you can easily achieve your 12 contacts without too much efforts.
BUT before you go galloping off to get all of these activities scheduled with your outstanding prospects – let me throw a few warnings your way:
- Not all prospects are worth chasing!
- Not all prospects have sufficient value or margin to allow you to chase in a highly sophisticated or time consuming way – use your time cautiously.
- Not all prospects are worth chasing equally.
- No prospect that wants to do business with you will be waiting for you to call them – they will call you.
If your calls aren’t returned, emails not responded to, it doesn’t always mean the prospect doesn’t want to do business with you. It may well mean that they don’t want to do business with you NOW. Sometimes it means you have been binned, so, continuing to make contact (or trying to) will waste your time but can’t harm the relationship any further…and you never know.
So 14 Contact Points to adopt with your sales prospects that avoid the ‘have you signed the contract yet’ chaser.
- Be Social – Invite them to lunch – everyone needs to eat.
- Be of Value – Find out who they would like introductions to, their ideal referrers, their ideal prospects, ideal clients – and make the introduction. You can make the introduction via email or face to face.
- Flag – Send then a white paper/article/news story that will be of interest to them.
- Educate – Share your insights – as with any conversation – your thinking will evolve as the relationship progresses and you get more information. You might start your conversation off with something along the lines of ‘ I’ve been thinking about your plan to use our system/product to achieve a higher ROI, I’ve just seen it used in X company and they have an interesting take that you could use in your business to really accelerate results….can we have a chat about that, is now good or shall we slot a time in the diary?’
- Re-enforce your message – Send them a testimonial from a current client who has used your product/service – with a very brief overview of how they benefited – make it relevant
- Group Social – invite them to one of your business events, football, concert, races, early bar somewhere nice.
- Inclusion – Include them on the circulation list for the company newsletter
- Build Links with their network – Call then to ask for referrals, once they have referred you to colleagues and contacts, it will be tough for them to go and buy elsewhere
- Part of the family – Ask them to speak with some of your existing customers/clients
- Build Links with your network – take your MD, Head of Ops, Implementation, Customer Service Manager in to see them, just on a get to know basis, over a coffee, sandwich at lunch
- Inclusion – Invite them to one of your user/buyer focus groups
- Corporate Gift – USB/Pen/mouse pad/desk pad – all very cheap and they keep your name in front of them
- Hobbies – what hobbies do you share, find out and/share sites, newsletters
- And finally…don’t forget to call just to ‘Just to Touch Base’…if you really really have to!
If you want to be accelerate your sales performance, build a solid and stable sales pipeline, increase conversion rate, increase sales turnover and margins – call me
Alternatively – join us on our next Sales Improvement Workshop
So confident am I that I can turn your sales performance on its head – you get a full money back guarantee – come on, join us and see what you can really achieve.
Carol – firstname.lastname@example.org – 0779 002 1885