Recently, Managed Sales Pros has closed two new clients. What’s special about these engagements? Nothing, except that we’ve been pursuing both clients for around four years. The value of those clients totaled about 42,000 in MRR. A decent win, that I will take.
Humble-brag as we may, the point of the story is that long term follow ups and intentional follow throughs will win your company new business. You can’t expect to win a new client after just one cold call and one meeting. We often need to dial a client a minimum of 17 times before we’re able to even engage with a gatekeeper or decision maker.
Once we’ve connected with that initial person, it may take several weeks of following up at identified times to have a meaningful conversation. We’ve met with both clients in person a half dozen times each.
Even if interested, there may be dozens of reasons why a prospect isn’t ready to pull the trigger. Budget, pre-existing relationships, timing, even politics. We’ve gone through entire team changes and started the process over from ground zero in some circumstances.
You can abandon leads at the first or second “no.” A better option that you can employ is what we describe as a “buy or die” prospecting approach. In this approach, we schedule regular interactions with prospects who aren’t ready to buy yet. That follow up activity could be a quarterly check in, or even just an annual “has anything changed” type phone call.
“You can abandon leads at the first or second ‘no.’ A better option is a ‘buy or die’ prospecting approach, where you schedule regular interactions with prospects who aren’t ready to buy yet.”- @coldcallcarrie
What leads to long time “buy or die wins?”
First of all, actually staying in touch. Don’t ignore your follow ups. Approach each new call as if this may be the day you win the business. If you’re ignoring the tasks that are popping up on your CRM by pre-judging the previous conversations you’ve had with this prospect, you are doing a disservice. A lot can change in a quarter or a year.
Any time I see an agent with dozens of aging tasks in their follow up inbox, I get concerned for the health of that company’s long term success. People buy for irrational reasons – timing is a consideration, but the right chat at the right time can finally get you the audience you need to close your deal.
A process built in to your CRM system can ensure you never miss the opportunity to be top of mind for your long-term prospects. Are you inviting them to events regularly, whether they attend or not? Are you checking in on their requested timeline? Sometimes that prospect is genuinely considering a change within a year, and you skipping that follow up potentially loses you a big deal!
Don’t give up
The statistics say that most sales reps abandon leads after six attempts. As I mentioned earlier, we often need to call 17 times just to have the first chat. If you’re abandoning leads on the sixth attempt, you’re never going to get there.
Most sales reps abandon leads after six attempts. If you’re abandoning leads on the sixth attempt, you’re never going to get there. #MSPsales
This is often the part of the conversation where people say, “There must be an easier way to do this!” Maybe there is, but it hasn’t been found yet. I have no problem making a few extra dozen phone calls to long term prospects every year if the payoff is a half million dollars.
Are you giving up too early in the process? Is your prospecting strategy too short-sighted? If you’re not building a sales prospecting strategy that fills your pipeline for years instead of months, you’re neglecting many opportunities that your competitors will win. All you must do is simply make one call at the right time.
I don’t know about you, but if I’ve worked hard on a lead for four years I want it on my roster, not theirs. Stay top of mind by staying on top of all your open tasks and not skipping over the ones that you’ve pre-judged as too hard or uninterested.
Anyone who is willing to continue speaking with you is still a prospect. Buy or die. Or as we like to say around our office, don’t leave one minute before the miracle happens.
Photo: Berkeley Communications / Unsplash