One question or concern many reps often raise is how frequently they should go back or call back a potential prospect. Their concern being that they do not want, or appear to be bothering or over calling a specific prospect. As a result, sellers tend to leave too wide a gap between calls.
So here is the good news, which some sellers have a hard time accepting:
Unless you were rude or really blew that first call, the buyers have forgotten you, your company, your product, accept it. You are but a blur among the dozens of similar calls they chewed through that week.
I know some of you are thinking “hey, I am different, I am good at this”. Well sunshine, if you were that good you would have gotten the appointment and we’d be talking about something else. Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying you are not a good sales person, but on that one call that day, you were not good enough to overcome the elements, all those things on the buyers agenda that consumed his/her attention more than your call.
Why is this good news, well first because as they forget, and they will forget, no, they have already forgotten; you get to call again, you are going to call again, right? It’s OK to, because your call is a blur, like so many faces on the subway platform as the train picks up speed, how many of those faces do you remember by the next stop?
The other reason it is good to call again sooner rather than next year, is based on how well you did your work to begin with. Assuming that you can impact the buyers world, you have had success doing that with others, then what you can solve for them will likely move up their priority list, and when you call again, or the time after, they will be ready to engage.
To make it work you need to have a communication strategy, what is commonly called a nurturing program.
Between calls you need to do some messaging, newsletters, blogs, other tools. But again based on experience, you need to schedule a task for yourself to call them again. How long depends on your product and audience.
As a simple example, I target VP’s of Sales; VP’s of sales are born again four times a year, at the start of each quarter. So the second week of a given quarter is good, they are assessing where they are and what they may do differently in the new quarter. You need to figure out what the appropriate timeframe may be, sometimes it is monthly, other time semi-annually (contact me if you want to discuss or get input).
By way of example, a couple of years ago I called a VP in March, and in a very gruff and direct way he told me to go away, “I use Miller Heiman”. When I called him in July he gave me the appointment; when I got to his office, after the small talk, I asked “so you still using Miller Heiman?”. He look at me with great surprise and said “how d’you know that?” “you told me when you blew me off in March.”
What’s in Your Pipeline?
BTW – If you want to brag about your selling skills check out www.mybestsaleever.com, more on that next week.