Prospecting: How Many Attempts Should I Make?
“How Many Times Should I Try to Contact a Prospect?”
First we need to identify which sales situation we are referring to. Are we discussing contacting a “first time” prospect, meaning you have yet to make contact with a new prospect / lead or are we discussing a “follow-up” sales call situation where you’ve done a presentation and now you are trying to contact them again in order to advance the sale? These are two very different situations.
For today’s lesson, we will go with the “first time” prospecting call.
Although there’s no “right or wrong” answer, there are “good and bad” answers. So today I’ll share with you one sales prospecting strategy that has proven to be very successful for me when executed properly and consistently.
The THREE STRIKES YOU’RE OUT PROSPECTING RULE
One of the dangers salespeople face on a daily basis is constantly chasing dead-end leads. But that is just as bad as not making enough attempts. The results are the same: Lost sales.
So a rule of thumb is three attempts (hang with me here before you formulate an opinion OR you think you’ve found your “answer”)
Sure, there’s data out there that will say that “X” amount of sales people stop after the third attempt, so go for “four” attempts. And if you stop there, someone will come along with stats and say “X” amount stop after four attempts so go for “five”. And so on and so on. The reality is this, you have to stop somewhere, but you never really have to stop at all if you are smart about it.
Here’s what I mean…
I like the three attempts rule and have a specific system (what I say / do on each attempt) that gets me great results. But after that 3rd attempt, I stop chasing them, but I make sure I continue to be on their radar so that when a “trigger event” happens on their side, they call me (trigger event = something that happens in the prospects situation which causes them pain, want a solution and know I can help them solve it)
This is where each and every salesperson should have an automated drip marketing campaign in place. One example could be this:
Have 10 pre-written articles (or on-demand webinars) that focus on solving hot topic problems that your targeted audience deals with.
Rules of the Articles:
Solve a problem. Ask for NOTHING in return. No pitching, self-promoting or any stupid marketing ploys. Have these articles set up in your CRM and after your third attempt with no reply’s / feedback from your prospect, remove them from your contact attempt list and activate your automated drip campaign that helps them solve a problem.
You’ll do two things:
- You’ll stop wasting time chasing dead-end leads which will allow you time to go after fresh new prospects and;
- You’ll brand yourself as a value added-resource to your non-responsive prospects so that when a trigger event happens, they will contact you (That’s called generating a “warm lead” btw) and you’ll start to notice you have less time for cold calls because you’re too busy handling all the inbound leads / warm calls.
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.
PHONE SALES SKILLS WORKSHOPS
- Eliminate “No, Thanks”, “Not Interested” & “We’re All Set” Responses
- Learn a step-by-step process for Cold Calling and Warm Calling
- Neutralize Gatekeepers & Get Voicemails Returned
- Ask Engaging Questions Instead of Probing
- Improve your Qualifying Skills
- Learn more effective Sales Questions to ask (and ones to avoid)
- Give Stellar Presentations & Handle Objections
- Close Follow-up Calls and Get Targeted Referrals
- How to Set & Achieve Your Toughest Sales Goals
- Improve Your Time Management Skills
Duration: 1 hour per week for 8 weeks
Where: Online @ your desk, conference room or home
Presenters: Michael Pedone