Did you ever wonder why some sellers can get the “difficult to get” prospect meetings and others can’t? These are the meetings with high level, hard to reach prospects. Do you have some of these prospects on your wish list? Imagine what meeting these people could do for your business and you personally. It is possible.
Here are a few secrets from our Door Opening Team. We are a group of “for hire” business developers known for getting meetings others can’t get.
If your goal is to build relationships with individuals who will want to meet with you, customized, personal outreach is a must. The sellers who do this win meetings over the sellers who don’t. That’s a fact. We, at Kopp Consulting, interviewed key decision makers at Fortune 500 companies and asked them about their pet peeves when it comes to communications from sellers. Care to guess what topped the list? It’s the lack of personal touch. They know when they receive the same email as 300 other decision makers. And, they don’t like it.
Does this mean that sellers should stop sending newsletters and email campaigns? No, those are fine as long as the content is relevant to the decision makers. The real message here is that personalized communications build RELATIONSHIPS that lead to meetings. Non-personalized communications build awareness, which doesn’t necessarily lead to meetings. Think how sad you’d be if your email campaign created the awareness that enabled your competitor to win the meeting because he/she connected personally.
Personalizing is time consuming but the results are worth it. Here are three steps to the A.R.T. Method™ of personalizing your approach:
1. ANSWER. Why does what you do matter, really matter to the decision maker? Why would meeting you be the best decision this decision maker makes all week? Nailing the responses to the these questions is the ticket to engaging prospects and getting doors open. Few sellers take the extra time to think about and articulate their responses to the these questions. Those who do this well, win meetings. The seller with the best words wins.
2. RESEARCH. A great place to find the “why it matters” answer is right in your browser. Search the individuals and their companies. Look for recent press releases, quarterly reports, news articles, LinkedIn profiles/announcements to find the most compelling angle to personalize your message. When it comes to research it is not about the “persona” it is about the person.
3. TAILOR. Take the angle you just uncovered and use it to wrap “why it matters” around “why the meeting would be of such value” for the decision maker.
Example: “I noticed (Insert angle uncovered) and it prompted me to connect with you to talk about (insert how what you do can help).”
Practice your delivery until it doesn’t sound rehearsed. If you’re sending an email, proof it three times to be sure it is error free.
Stop wasting time on prospects less likely to say “Yes”
It’s ok to be choosy. Have laser focus on only those prospects likely to say, “I can’t believe we didn’t meet 6 months ago. I need you; when can we meet?” Take a close look at your prospect list to be sure it’s filled with only “A” level prospects. These are people who buy the right amount, at the right price, in the right time frame. Here are some tips to help you identify your “A”s:
- Analyze your best customers. Look for areas of commonality like: industry niche, geography, size of company, departments, level of decision-maker, etc. Then, go a level deeper in your analysis. Identify commonality amongst issues and challenges your best customers were facing at the time they agreed to initially meet with you. Why did they say “yes?” (Note: For more information on how to choose prospects more likely to say yes, watch this video).
- Use this new criteria to replicate the recipe.
- Review your current list of prospects. Does everyone meet your newly defined standards for an “A?” If not, move them to a “B” list. Use your new criteria to identify additional prospects that are worthy of your time and attention. Fill your day with “A” level opportunities.
Call on a Sunday night
Many decision makers start gearing up for the week ahead on Sunday night. They clear their emails and voicemails so they can hit the ground running Monday morning. What does this mean for you? High level decision makers will directly hear your message and read your requests without distractions from the office or interference from Assistants. Here’s how our Door Openers® suggest you do this:
- Pick 5 of the most difficult to reach prospects and call/email them on a Sunday night. (When calling on a weekend, call the office phone, not the cell phone.)
- Leave a voicemail detailing why meeting you would make their lives better. Then, if they have an Assistant, ask “Can you please give your Assistant permission to add this meeting to your calendar?” Let the decision maker know you will call their Assistant in the morning to see if it’s ok to schedule time. Follow your voicemail with an email that reinforces the same message.
- Contact the Assistant first thing Monday morning and ask if he/she has received permission to schedule the meeting. It works like a charm, and, your competitors are not doing it. Try it and see what happens!
Email alone does half the job and 50% is an “F”
Without your voice, the human relationship is absent. If you’re relying on email alone to start a relationship with another person you’ll likely come up short. Using voice and email together is what works. Vary your message, be brief and build your story over time. If you pique curiosity, prospects will want to meet.
Giving up is essentially handing sales to your competition. Some sellers assume that prospects who don’t respond are uninterested. Not true! People are busy. Maintain balance amongst the Three P’s of prospect follow up… Persistence with Patience without being a Pest.
When reaching prospects after several respectful, content-rich tries they often say, “You must really want my business if you’re trying this hard.” Or “I’m sorry I haven’t called you back, you’ve been on my list, but I’ve been swamped.” Hang in there and keep trying because your competition won’t!
Remember, your goal is to build intrigue, pique interest and lay the foundation for a solid relationship. As Chief Door Opener®, I always say, “When you focus on the health and depth of your relationships with prospects, the money follows.”