At a recent Sandler Training Session, I was inspired by a Sandler trainer, Emily Yepes, who spoke about the challenges of prospecting. In this competitive environment, we all need to “up our game” to reach the prospects we believe we can help. Prospecting is often the biggest ‘pain point’ for my clients and to meet this need, I’ve become a student of different prospecting approaches.
What is most attractive about Emily’s approach, which she refers to as “Combo Prospecting,” is her simultaneous use of multiple channels to reach a targeted individual. She uses LinkedIn outreach, phone calls, and email to reach a targeted client. She also leverages video in both email and LinkedIn. What’s important is that the targeted individual is someone who she knows is likely to be interested in her solution at some point. She personalizes her messaging by incorporating a topic that is relevant to the individual – something they’ve posted about recently or even recent media coverage that impacts their business. She attempts to engage by asking a question. She does not start to sell to this person immediately. Her mission is to engage them and stand out. Doing a bit of background research on each person enables her to do this.
As an example, on day one, a targeted prospect might receive a phone call, an email, and a LinkedIn message. While this may seem like overkill, remember that your prospect is not 100% focused on any one of these channels. Some people don’t go to LinkedIn often, others never pick up the phone, and email is easily overlooked. From consumer research, we know that it takes multiple exposures to get a consumer to recognize a new brand or name. Likely, the message a targeted prospect takes away from this type of outreach is that you have prioritized reaching them. Over 30 days, you can alternate between using one or two methods every two to three days. By day 30 if there is no response you can send them a final goodbye email. Like other outreach methods, you develop a routine that you should stick to, and over time the number of responses should accumulate.
I’m trialing this approach by targeting 20 prospects. I reached out with an initial phone call, followed by an email and a LinkedIn message. In none of these contacts did I attempt to sell. My subsequent contacts will alternate between two of the three channels and will incorporate personalized videos. What was striking to me was that in just 47 minutes I was able to make an initial outreach to 20 individuals through multiple channels. Think about how long would it have taken for me to visit 20 prospects in person! And, if I only used one method to reach out to 20 people, imagine how much lower my chances of generating a response would be.
Ultimately, I believe this approach will yield great results. As I have just initiated this process, I don’t have the final numbers, but I am impressed with the productivity. (Stay tuned for a follow-up in 2024.) And what we do know is that sales is a numbers game and the more outreach you do, the greater the opportunity for a sale.
If you’d like to learn more about this approach or if you have an organization that needs help generating leads, please reach out to One of a Kind Sales – we are experts at cold calling and we can help your team generate the sales you need. Give us a call at 908-879-2911.
When it comes to lead generation and closing new business, it’s probably not going to be a surprise to hear me say that I believe that cold calling is a critical component. I have had potential clients challenge me, asking: “Why not just ‘drop in’ to a likely customer? If you drop in and they’re willing to talk to you, you might even be able to close business that day.”
As owner of One of a Kind Sales, I work with businesses that provide solutions that may represent a significant investment for their customers. In my experience, a successful, same-day close is highly unlikely for this type of sale
The Pitfalls of the “Drop-In” visit
- An in-person visit requires non-productive travel time. A 30-minute drive means an hour wasted.
- If you happen to catch a prospect who is willing to talk to you, this person may have agreed because you’ve asked for a very short period – not what you’d need to close new business.
- You may be unprepared to have an in-depth discussion because you can’t predict which of the prospects you plan to visit will be able to see you.
- It is unlikely your prospect is prepared to have the conversation that you would need to have to close new business.
Ultimately an in-person visit to someone who does not know you (a cold visit) should have the same objective as a cold call: to qualify the prospect and make an appointment for a more substantive meeting.
Why Cold Call?
- Since the objective of the call is to qualify the prospect and set an appointment, there is no need to do any research on the prospects you speak with. Preparation is minimal.
- You can qualify more prospects more quickly by cold calling. There is no wasted “windshield time”. There is only the gap between one cold call and the next.
- Making an appointment allows your prospect the time to collect their thoughts so that the discussion will be more fruitful.
There is a direct relationship between the number of appointments with qualified clients and your sales numbers. Increasing the number of qualified appointments we make will result in increased sales. As an experienced cold caller, I would place my bet on using cold calling to drive sales growth any day. Cold calling is a skill that is often neglected in sales training.
If you would like to explore how cold calling can impact your business, please reach out to me at 908-879-2911. At One of a Kind Sales, we are experts at cold calling and would love to help.
Salespeople hear the word “NO” often, and that can be very demotivating. If your business depends on a sales team for growth, it’s important to ensure that the team can weather those disappointments and not lose momentum. Cold calling, in particular, is one of the most difficult aspects of sales. As an expert in cold calling, I know we will hear a lot of NOs before we hear the YES response that makes all the negative feedback worth it. In my experience, it’s critical to keep the team motivated. Here are some steps I recommend you take to keep your sales team moving towards their next win.
Develop a personal relationship. Show interest in your sales team members as individuals. Set aside time to meet with them individually, get to know them, and let them get to know you. You’ll begin to develop a deeper understanding of what motivates them.
Facilitate a “team-centered” approach. Encourage the team to share wins and losses in an environment that is non-threatening. They can learn from the successes and failures of team members, and this will make your team stronger and build trust within the team.
Be open to and seek feedback. Being on the front line, your salespeople may be the first to recognize gaps. By engaging and addressing these issues directly with your team, you demonstrate your respect for them and their important role in the business.
Set achievable goals and compensate them for what they deliver. Competitive salespeople are goal-oriented, and they will have a good sense of what is realistic versus what is not. For cold callers, the goal is to make an appointment with a qualified prospect. When that happens, they should be rewarded for it, and they should not be penalized if the appointment must be rescheduled.
Invest in your team. I’m a strong believer in ongoing training. If you value your salespeople, you should want them to have the strongest sales skills that they possibly can. This will drive excellent performance and increased sales. Investing in your salespeople with training communicates to them that you value them. This will maintain their motivation and increase their loyalty.
Cold calling is our specialty. At One of a Kind Sales, we create the plan, establish the tracking process, build the skills, and make the calls. If you need help creating an environment that supports an effective cold calling team or want to add cold calling to your sales mix, give us a call at 908.879.2911.