In our latest survey, respondents ranked “making contact and developing relationships with prospects” as the number one new business challenge.
In our own experience, primary reasons we see for this:
- Time-You tend not to have much to spare
- No process-even if they make the time, reach out to prospects tends to be haphazard and ineffectual
- Don’t have the ability-This is not a knock, just a fact-some people have the new business chromosome, but just as many don’t, not in their wheelhouse.
Many people also tend to get new business through referrals, so reaching out with ongoing awareness and a strong value proposition isn’t urgent-until it suddenly becomes so.
2 pieces of advice to help you break through more effectively:
1) It’s not cold-calling if you create initial and ongoing awareness
Map out your strategy with the understanding it typically takes 6-8 touches to break through. Plan in advance what those touches will be in regards to emailing, social channel interaction and ultimately calling, over the course of 4-6 weeks. If you initially reach out with messaging and content that speaks directly to your prospects challenges prior to ever picking up the phone, you’ve made what could be a cold call warmer.
2) Use every channel at your disposal
Continuing from #1 above, in order to have enough material/content to amount to those 6-8 touches, you have to use every channel out there: direct mail, email, phone and social. Understandably, budget and time are a factor. You may not have the ability to create an engaging mail piece (and yes, that’s still effective.) So write a letter instead-yes, very old school, but still a powerful tool.
Ideally, you’re creating some type of content to bolster your position as a thought leader in your category or service offering, but if that’s just not possible, there’s a bevy of third-party content out on the web. Use that to your advantage, showing your prospects you understand their world and their challenges (the same way you’re showing your current clients, through the work you’re doing for them).
Breaking through is harder today than ever, that’s true, but you have to meet that challenge head on with a plan.
Are you a B2B firm? Do you need more leads? Drop us a line (firstname.lastname@example.org).