Telephone prospecting is an effective way to generate new sales leads. For an average prospector, one out of every 200 calls results in an appointment, and for most average companies, one out of every three appointments leads to a new deal.
If you want to get more deals through sales prospecting, you can do one or all of these three things:
- Make more calls so you get more appointments.
- Make better calls so you get more appointments.
- Get better at converting your appointments to sales.
Most business owners are making as many calls as they have time to make, so adding in “more” calls isn’t an option. That leaves you with the option of getting better at the calls you’re already making and getting better at converting appointments to sales. Hosting events can help you get above-average results from prospecting without increasing the number of times you have to dial the phone.
A fresh approach to prospecting
Most managed services cold calls begin with an attempt to get a decision-maker on the phone so you can pitch your services. What if your first call to a company began with an invitation to an event or an offer to help someone host an event of great value to their clients? Now you’re someone who is offering something, not someone who wants something.
Here are two approaches we recommend:
- Host an event and invite prospects to it while you’re making your calls.
- While prospecting, offer to help organize an event that a prospect will host for their clients and prospects.
Your calls now have two purposes. Your primary purpose is still to sell and provide managed services, though, not host great parties. If you’re able to connect with the decision-maker, you should always ask for a face-to-face appointment with them, not just default to the easier event invitation.
Taking the next step
How do you turn a discussion about an event into a one-on-one meeting? Once you’ve determined they’re qualified and interested in your event, you ask them for the appointment. If you’re inviting them to an event you’re hosting, try something like this:
“I’m looking forward to hosting you on Friday at our wine tasting, and please feel free to invite someone with you and let us know who that is when you RSVP. Based on our conversation today, it sounds like there might be an opportunity for us to work together in the future. I’d like to come in and introduce myself and our company. My calendar is pretty full until late next week — what day would work best for you?”
If they’ve agreed to host an event that you’re going to participate in (probably as a guest speaker on security or another relevant topic), it’s going to be necessary for you to meet with them to plan the event. This gets you an immediate invitation for a face-to-face. Ideally, this approach also gets you a warm introduction to their entire network.
We’ve got many more great suggestions and tips for using events to prospect for new business. On Thursday, Aug. 24 at 2 p.m. Eastern time, I’ll be joining Intronis MSP Solutions by Barracuda for a webinar where we’ll share more about how to plan and organize events, invite people to those events, and tie everything in to your sales process for amazing results. Don’t miss it!