When we start our businesses or start our careers in MSP sales, we are told early on that just because a prospect says “no” today doesn’t mean they won’t become a prospect in the future.
Yeah, yeah, but you need sales today to grow tomorrow, so we set up automated drip marketing campaigns to engage prospects in the long-term. But for the most part, if a meeting does not become a sale, we mentally move on and direct our attention to the next opportunities in the pipeline.
Prospects who do not close may still have massive potential, though.
“Prospects who do not close may still have massive potential” @BradStoller @SmarterMSP
Making a lasting impression
This is one of my favorite stories, and it illustrates this point perfectly:
One of our longtime clients met with a prospect through our appointment setting program. The prospect matched the ideal profile, the prospect and our client got along, but ultimately, the prospect opted to work with a much larger competitor.
More than two years later, our client was in town, remembered the rapport he had built with the prospect, and decided to drop in. No call ahead. No email. Just a pop-in to say hello. When our client walked through the door, the prospect’s mouth went wide. He had our client’s card in his hand and was about to have his secretary reach out to make an appointment.
That prospect became the largest sale our client had ever made.
The lesson here is not that every prospect will turn into a miracle story if you are diligent and follow up, but some will. And, that’s all you need to rocket your business into an entirely new level of revenue if you have the right prospects in your pipeline. When we get too fixated on the short-term ebbs and flows of profit-and-loss statements, we can let high-value prospects fade away, turning that some into none.
Benefits for MSPs
No meeting is a waste of time, and even what looks like a “non-opportunity” should be treated with the same engagement and attention you give to high-value prospects. If you treat a prospect well, they might look you up years from now. They might mention you to one of their peers. They might support your reputation in conversations you never hear about but that still impact your reputation.
When you keep your engagement quality high in every meeting, these are the results you’re likely to see:
- Prospects reengage because you were memorable and helpful
- Your network expands, giving you more opportunities for referrals and introductions
- Your reputation grows as more people have positive things to say about you
- Your audience increases, creating a larger platform for your thought leadership to spread
Prospects who do not close have value, and that value is spread across multiple facets of what a prospect could do for your business even if they do not become a client in the near future. This value represents a real opportunity for your business, and many MSPs have left it untapped. Reconnect with your previous opportunities, and make that a consistent part of your process moving forward.