“How long should a salesperson continue to contact a prospect who doesn’t return their calls/emails or voicemail messages?”
The first thing we need to establish is: What kind of sales lead are we talking about here?
Is it a new lead or is this a prospect that you’ve been in communication with that has suddenly gone cold? You will have different strategies depending on which sales situation you are dealing with.
In either case, my philosophy is this:
I have no desire to “chase” a prospect that doesn’t want to be caught.
The last thing I want is to be continually calling a pipeline full of prospects that will never buy from me.
We Reap What We Sow
And all too often, salespeople waste their most valuable resource (phone time) chasing prospects that aren’t going to produce revenue for them.
As the saying goes, “If you want corn, plant corn”
Meaning, if you want to produce sales, you can’t do it while harvesting the wrong prospects. You are much better off cutting your losses and investing that time prospecting for higher probable opportunities, rather than continuously calling the same old contacts day in and day out and getting very little in return.
There is no “right or wrong” answer to how many calls you need to do.
As long as you are committing to replacing those closed/lost leads with new fresh ones that meet specific criteria, it won’t matter if your “cut bait” number is one, three, five or twenty. But never cutting your losses will certainly sink your ship.
Keep in mind, not all leads are created equal, and it helps to have different sales strategies for different lead types.
Here’s an example of what I mean:
My Outbound Sales Playbook for Calling Leads:
One of the sales strategies I follow when making outbound sales calls is the “Three Strikes, You’re Out “ rule which means, I will contact a prospect three (3) separate times. It works like this:
DAY 1: CALL > VOICEMAIL > EMAIL
DAY 2: CALL > EMAIL
DAY 3: EMAIL
This is a total of six (6) touches on three (3) separate attempts.
If they do not respond after that, I drop them back into my drip marketing campaign and move on to the next fresh new lead(s).
I will then use marketing automation tools that will notify me if this lead starts to have “movement” by way of revisiting certain critical pages on my website, indicating that they may have a renewed interest; to which, I will start the process over again.
Keep in mind; this is ONE of my outbound sales strategies. It’s not the only one. What’s important is you develop or pick an approach as a baseline and follow that consistently, and you will see improved results.
– Michael Pedone
Michael Pedone teaches inside sales teams how to pick up the phone and close business. He is the CEO/FOUNDER of SalesBuzz.com – An online sales training company.
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