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One and Done? I Don't Think So!

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  • One and Done? I Don't Think So!

    Article courtesy of Tim Miller



    Several years ago I was working with a Business Development Consultant (BDC) in a major metro in the Southwest. We had trained him to go after the agency market and he was getting good initial results. After a few months he came to me and said that he was out of leads! Out of leads? He had a list of about 2,500 agencies in his market. There was no possible way that he could have worked all those leads in just a few short months.

    “Well, I did”, he asserted, with a thrust out chin (I assume, since we were on the phone. But it sure sounded that way!)

    Now, let me digress just a bit. This is a perfect example of why you need a high degree of transparency when you are working with your salespeople—ideally utilizing a shared CRM like Luxor. What had happened in this case was some combination of miscommunication, stubbornness (and not the good kind) and an inability on my part to clearly see what the salesperson was doing in his territory.

    You see, back in those days I based a lot of my evaluation of the people I worked with on the number of referrals and the dollars of closed collected jobs they brought in. Now those are still crucial KPIs but I have learned the hard way that you have to look deeper.

    Back to the story. What had happened with this salesperson is that he had run through his entire database making a single phone call to each agency. If he was able to get a meeting, he pursued it. If not, he moved on. That was it. One single phone call. On the vast majority of them he never spoke to the decision maker. Just one and done and now he needs more leads!

    Given that, for this vertical in his market there are no more leads (!) we have to be more efficient at getting to decision makers and having our initial conversation to see if the prospect has any of the pains we can address.

    There are two pieces of marketing research that influence our prospecting process.

    The first is that it takes seven contacts for a prospect to realize that you are making a concerted effort to reach them. However, the average salesperson only makes two attempts to reach a prospect! So, while you are getting frustrated and indignant at your rude prospect for not returning your calls he or she isn’t thinking about you at all!

    The second piece of research is that prospects have better recall concerning you and your message if that message is delivered to them via multiple different media. In other words, a mix of phone calls, emails, faxes, letters, bulky mails, face-to-face calls, etc. is far better than seven phone calls or seven emails if you want to get the decision maker to actually talk to you.

    read more on BDA's blog HERE
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