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Yes, Stop Stalking Me and Crickets

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  • Yes, Stop Stalking Me and Crickets

    Article provided by Tim Miller from Business Development Associates Inc. (BDA)
    Over my last three blog posts we’ve been discussing the fact that cold calling is not dead and that, because a single call rarely gets you a meeting (or even an opportunity to speak with a decision maker) you need to conduct a prospecting sequence of 8 activities over a 2 to 3 week period.

    This post will discuss the three possible outcomes of your prospecting sequence.

    The first one is “yes”. For restorer business development people this is NOT “Yes, you’ll get the next one,” because that is usually a lie designed to get rid of you! What we want is, “Yes, I do have some of the problems that you’ve brought up and I’m willing to discuss that with you a little bit now and then agree to schedule a sit down (At the Desk) meeting.”

    The next possibility is, “If you don’t stop calling, texting, emailing, faxing, stopping by I’m going to call the police!” otherwise known as “Stop Stalking Me”. Now, this is pretty rare because few salespeople are so diligent as to have enough contact to stimulate this but it does happen.

    If this does happen, it’s good to reflect as to whether or not your approach is too aggressive but most of the time, put them on your “Do Not Call” list and move on with your life.

    The most common outcome of your prospecting activities will likely be “Crickets”. If you’ve ever been out in the country, sitting on a porch as the dusk turned into dark, deeply relaxed listening to the rhythmic sound of the crickets then you understand the reference. No matter what you do to try and connect with your prospect, all you hear is crickets. Nice for a relaxing summer evening but tough when you are trying to build a territory!

    When you get “Crickets” you have two choices; “throw them back” or “extended prospecting”.

    When a prospect gives you “Crickets” that is “just another prospect” it makes sense to code them as someone that you have run your entire prospecting sequence with and simply “throw them back” into your database.

    Because you have coded them in your CRM, (you are using an industry specific CRM like Luxor aren’t you?) you can always take another run at them (run another prospecting sequence on them) a few months later. Who knows, maybe the fact that you made your first attempt will soften them up for your second campaign.

    When the prospect that gives you crickets is a big potential client, a large and complex organization to penetrate, someone that has a lot of losses, someone high profile in the industry or even someone that fills out a route for you, then you may want to choose extended prospecting.

    Extended prospecting simply means that you keep prospecting even after your initial 8 attempts are done. This is typically done at a less aggressive frequency so you don’t aggravate the prospect but you decide on an extended prospecting sequence (calls, emails, F2F stops, etc.) and frequency and simply keep going. A couple of attempts a month is probably a reasonable starting point.

    Let me leave you with some prospecting food for thought:

    In 2007 it took an average of 3.68 cold call attempts to reach a prospect. Today it takes 8 attempts. Most salespeople give up after two tries!

    Sad in a way but think of how much opportunity that leaves out there for the pros!


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