There are two fundamental keys to successful selling.
The first is having a great resource of contacts which you know are either current or past clients, or individuals who are within your target market. This knowledge alone boosts motivation as you know that they are the “Right Fit” for your product or service.
The second essential key is understanding the world in which your clients operate, doing your research and being prepared to make multiple contact to get that first meeting.
I was recently working with a team of sales people and they couldn’t grasp the concept of sending an email, a hard copy letter followed by a phone call. They were in fact horrified by the idea and thought they would be seen as being pushy and a pest.
However, if at the point in the phone call, a prospective client still isn’t interested in meeting with you, then ask if you may keep in touch with them by letting them know about changes in their industry, or competitor intelligence, or valuable information and insights to help in their business. More often than not they will say “Yes”. Make sure you follow up on a regular basis.
This method of communication is so easy, especially when you have done your research and have something of value to bring your prospective client.
This really is a great bugbear of mine
So I want to make this absolutely clear that unless you are willing to make those multiple and ongoing contacts to the same prospective client you are simply not selling properly. You are not putting your prospective client at the heart of what you do.
Too often I hear the same lame excuses: “I have called them once – they don’t want the product at this time”; “What’s the point of calling – they weren’t interested before – it’s wasting company time”; “I don’t want to be seen as a pest”
These excuses are, at best, lazy. At worst, they show the sales person is not up to sales work or just doesn’t understand how sales works. So let’s take it back to the beginning and clarify the task in hand.
It is your duty to make multiple contacts
You do not have the right to make the decision as to whether your prospective clients want to have multiple contacts, or not. They will tell you if they don’t want you contacting them. Then and only then can you take them off your database of prospective clients.
Let me give you an example of WHY this is so important!
Imagine you are a Financial Adviser who is selling partnership insurance to businesses. You have sent one email and haven’t had a response. Because you don’t want to be a pest you give up and move on to your next prospective client!
The next month one of the partners of the firm where your contact is a partner, dies. Your contact now has to find the value of the deceased partner’s share to pay out to their beneficiaries. It doesn’t take long to realize that the impact of this scenario on your partner is horrendous.
As well as the emotional impact, your contact has lost the skills of the partner which will no doubt have a negative effect on the future profit of the business. Most importantly, where do they find the money to deal with the crisis?
Are there enough liquid assets in the business? Do they borrow from the bank and deal with the implications the repayments will have on the business? The worst case scenario: will they have to sell the business?
And where were you when this was going on?
This is what a financial adviser really sells! A financial safety net in the event of a crisis! By not being persistent with your contact strategy, where you knew there was a need, you have let your prospective client down. They are now suffering because they do not have in place your services when they are most needed.
All because you didn’t believe in the value of making multiple contacts and thought you would look like a pest!
Create a multiple contact plan
If you are going into your sales calls feeling you are a pest, you do not have the fundamental understanding of selling in place – and worst of all it is going to be your prospective clients who are suffering just as much as you, and your company do. You may be putting your client at a disadvantage by not making and keeping in contact! As well as a new mind-set you need a new plan of action:
- Be Brave. It is your duty to make multiple contacts with every prospective client. Only then, either through making that call at the right time, or through creating future “top of mind” thinking, will you be around when your client needs your services.
- You have to believe in your product. If you do not believe in it – what are the chances of you getting the prospective client to believe in it? It is very easy to become complacent with knowledge of company products and services. Regularly read up on benefits, USP’s and new product information briefs so you are always fresh with what is going on.
- You need to understand the product in terms of your client. How will this product solve his problems? Are there going to be times when they are going to be most in need of its benefits?
- Understand how the absence of the product/service will impact on the individual contact and their business. You can then use this information to help your client see what dangers he may place himself in by not taking on the product or service.
- Create a multiple contact plan. If you go into each call as the last before they buy, you will quickly get demotivated, frustrated and burnt out. Look at each call as a chance to see how your client is coping and a chance to find out if anything has changed. See it more as forming a business relationship that will benefit you both rather than a quick call that’s going to land you a much needed sale at the end of it.
BE BRAVE, BELIEVE AND MAKE THOSE CONTACTS