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That Perfect Prospect Hasn’t Returned Your Call? Think in Multiples to Multiply Results! by Dan McDade

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

[Editorial Note: Although this guest post talks about enterprise sales, the points made by Dan about persistence and relevance apply to any blogger trying to monetize by direct sales, whether to readers, advertisers or other partners. Stick to it and you'll be successful!]

Have you, a member of your sales team, or one of your inside reps ever called a prospect two or three times without connecting and then given up?
The answer is likely “yes” as the temptation is to assume a prospect isn’t interested and move on. Yet many of the best prospects need to be contacted multiple times by voicemail, email and direct mail over a period of weeks and months before a conversation occurs.
Here’s why: executives often don’t respond until a need’s priority has escalated. It’s likely that your first few attempts didn’t overlap with the prospect’s need window. Positive outcomes increase when the person calling makes multiple attempts in multiple media across several cycles.

My favorite stories are about client successes. The best one of these is work we did for a global consulting company where we deployed one of our people for a full quarter to make contact with CFOs at the nation's top 50 utilities.

The associate applied a B2B prospect development touch cycle that frequently includes the following at the C-level:
  1. The associate makes navigation calls to confirm target prospect contact information and administrative support.
  2. This is followed by a series of discussions with administrators to first sell them on our client's solution and then sell them on helping us get in front of their boss.
  3. The associate then engages in multiple cycles of contact that include calls, voicemails and immediate email follow ups. A cycle can include as many as six attempted calls, three voicemails, and three emails over 10 business days.
  4. On the last cycle of attempts, our voicemail explains we do not want to pester the individual, we would like to talk, but we won't leave another message.
So here is what happened:

  1. The CFO called us back after the 42nd touch and said, "Don't stop calling me… you are my conscience. I have listened to and saved your voicemails, and I have saved some of your emails. I want to talk to you. I have just been extremely busy. Call me back in two weeks on Tuesday at 10:00 AM, and I will take that call.”
  2. Two weeks later we generated a high quality opportunity for our client.
  3. It closed in five months for $1,000,000,000. Yes, a billion.
When you approach prospects by thinking in multiples – multi-touch, multi-media, and multi-cycle – you multiply results.

About Dan McDade

Dan McDade is President and CEO of PointClear, LLC, a prospect development firm that helps B2B companies drive revenue by nurturing leads, engaging contacts and developing prospects until they're ready to close. The Sales Lead Management Association named Dan one of the 50 most influential people in sales lead management in 2009 and 2010. Dan’s first book, The Truth About Leads, is a practical, easy-to-read book that helps B2B companies focus their lead-generation efforts, align their sales and marketing organizations and drive revenue. 




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