It’s uninspiring (and ineffective) for a sales person to email or call a prospect to “just touch base”.
On the other hand, I’m all for sales people staying in touch.
So what’s the solution? If you must email or call, what do you say?
Here’s one idea: have an idea.
In my life, I’m sometimes a buyer and sometimes a seller. When I’m sitting on the buyer’s side of the world I realize that buyers have plenty of problems.
When I was only selling and had been prospecting hard for a long time I started to feel that buyers had no problems. After enough refusals I started to think that buyers had every base covered.
But in today’s crazy understaffed world where every executive is stretched as thin as a spaghetti noodle, buyers have problems.
More likely your prospect lives in a world similar to the one I have experienced and seen all around me. They need to achieve more with less (a lot less would be more like it.). They seem to have way too few resources—whether those resources are people or budgets.
Half the time, it seems executives are so busy running from fire to fire, that there’s no time to think. And then there’s the continuous deluge of information to process.
Meanwhile our CEO’s are always moving our targets higher-and-higher. Some good ideas on how to get this done would be close to a godsend.
So if some outside company could give me some ideas on how to meet my revenue targets with my scant resources, would I be interested in talking more?
I’d be up for milking every bit of information out of that company. It would be super-valuable to me find out how to hit my goals. If I thought that company had some strong ways to help me get there, I’d even try to get a budget to get it done! (Yes, even a budget we have not planned for.)
So when you’re prospecting, and if you’re really interested in getting into an account, have an idea. Or at least say you have an idea.
Have the idea match something your prospect cares about. For example, someone running a (small) business unit nearly always cares about increasing sales. Someone in finance nearly always cares about reducing costs.
Better still customize your idea to a trigger event (a change) that has occurred in your target prospect’s world or in the area your prospect works in, for example. “I noticed you just acquired such-and-such a company. I have some ideas on how to best integrate XYZ systems that I believe such-and-such uses and how drive down your costs as a result”.
To make this even stronger maybe you can back up your idea with some proof that you can execute your idea, for example “I noticed you just acquired such-and-such a company. I have some ideas on how to best integrate XYZ systems that I believe such-and-such uses and how drive down your costs as a result. We’ve just carried that out for Another Company Like Yours Inc.”
If this is an account you really care about, and are willing to invest your time in, you can take your research (and idea development) even further by meeting with people who know what is going on in your target account. These people don’t have to be employees of the target company. These just need to be people that know what’s really going on over there. They could be sales people from non-competitive businesses that have relationships with the account, and so know what’s going on.
So if you’d like to increase your chances of getting into an account, have an idea.
Your prospect probably really needs some good ideas. Can you come up with some? Are you willing to invest in your target account by spending some time and energy to come up with some ideas to really help them?
Update: If you are interested in an approach to help you connect with prospects and share your ideas, check out my free e-course here.