by Tibor Shanto – firstname.lastname@example.org
In Monday’s video I mention the fact that voice mail is just one of a number of ways to reach out and touch prospective buyers. There is e-mail, SMS or text message, all forms of social media, traditional snail mail in the form of a letter or card, or other more creative means of reaching out and touching a prospect. Why is this important, because with all the things buyers have to deal with these days, it takes many more touch points to just get on someone’s radar, or have them react to our approach.
Back around 1999, I read a book that suggested that it takes anywhere from 5 to 7 touch points for the reaction to potentially happen. Since then, technology has evolved, mobile is pervasive, people are expected to do more with less, more than ever people need to pack 16 hours’ worth of work into a 10 hour day, which makes getting their attention even more challenging. Because of that, and this is confirmed by some of the things I am reading today, it may take 9 to 12 touch points for that initial reaction to occur.
So if nothing else, say you diminished expectations to no call backs at all, zero, there is still a value to leaving voice mail, it is a touch point, and touch points are compounding. This is why I don’t worry about the depth of the content of the voice mail message, because it will lead to one of two outcomes:
1. You’ll get a call back, and speak with the prospect (the XXX accompanying video talks to that outcome Or 2. You will achieve a touch point which when executed in context of the overall approach is a plus.
Yet in a recent unscientific poll, only 52.5% of respondents answered ‘yes’ when asked: “When you are prospecting by phone, do you leave a voice mail message on the very first call?” What a wasted opportunity. First off, they could be getting calls back from 30% – 50% of people they leave messages for, leading to engagement and sales. Second, no touch point, no start, and what you don’t start you can’t finish.
One important take away from this beyond the fact that you have to leave a message, is that you have to map out a touch point campaign whenever you target or pursue a potential buyer. Not only do you have to make the commitment to touch them enough times in a given period to facilitate contact, but plan and write it out, and the of course execute. My minimum goal is seven touch points in two business weeks.
You can leave a voice mail on Monday morning, follow up with a brief, not Tolstoy style, e-mail after 5:00 pm that day. Another voice mail Wednesday; the e-mail that follows Wednesday’s voice mail will have one additional element, you will tell them that you will call them again say Thursday at 9:30 am. I am not naïve, I don’t expect them to be chained to their desk at that time, but, if they were mildly interested in your message but were busy running around this could provide the focus they need. But more likely they will not be at their desk, and you’ll leave another message. The BIG BUT and GAIN, is that you will have demonstrated that you follow up on your word, something many sales people are falsely accused of not doing. Talk about laying a pebble of trust. So here we are five touch points by Thursday morning, and I don’t think we are near an injunction order. Repeat the following week, you’ll have more conversations, but it starts with commitment and execution.
Sadly the same survey showed that most sales people give up after three or so tries, priming the pump for those of us who are willing to go the distance.
What’s in Your Pipeline?