“Persistence is more important than perfection!”
“If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.”
We’ve heard these inspirational mantras hundreds of times while we were developing into the go-getters we are now, but how many times do those of us in sales let our persistence turn us into the caller who gets sent straight to voicemail?
Read on for a few prospecting tips that will allow you to stay on your prospects’ good side while staying persistent. (Full Disclosure: This is coming from someone who was told that she is “as persistent as smallpox” this week…but who got the meeting!)
Tip #1: Go the Extra Mile (but be sincere).
Sure, we’ll go the extra mile – sometimes just because we should, sometimes because it sounds nice for our own egos to be able to say we did – but do we mean it? Not only do the words of your message matter, but so does the tone. Most people can spot a “telephone voice” from a mile away, as well as faux enthusiasm. Be sincere in your interest and in your ability to help the person on the other end of the phone. Sincerity goes much further than a fake smile.
Tip # 2: Go the Extra Mile (but be clear).
How can you get a meeting if you haven’t asked for it? How does your prospect know you can solve their problem if you haven’t provided solutions? Before you began this process, you had an end goal in mind. Be clear about your goal. Ensure that you’ve established why you’re contacting them. They have a need, and you’d like to help them with that. Be specific about how you can help them, and be specific about the steps you’ll be taking to do so. (i.e: “I’d like to schedule a quick call, and I’ll be following up with you on Wednesday afternoon.”) Bonus points if you actually follow up on Wednesday afternoon, like you said you would.
Tip #3: Go the Extra Mile (but be creative).
Chances are that your prospect gets dozens of calls like yours daily. Separate yourself from the masses by making your message personal to them and exciting. If you’ve stalked your prospect on social media, as I am positive that you have, then you should have picked up on some of their likes/dislikes and things that are important to them. For example: If your prospect went to a Big 10 school, its very likely that they would perk up if you mentioned the upcoming football face-offs. If their company got some big press, congratulate them! Small personal touches have a big impact!
Still, keep in mind that if you have called someone daily since 2009 and haven’t gotten a response, that person is simply not interested in what you have to say and has probably reported you to the authorities by now. Part of keeping perspective means knowing when to set something down and when to pick it back up.
Stay tuned for the next in the series: “Disqualified: Rules of the Prospecting Game.”