One tenet we abide by at Launch is: No prospect is ever “dead”. But I heard that put in a better way this week: No prospect left behind.
So, I’m sticking with that from now on.
What does that mean to your new business effort?
Two stats I’ve used in the past that I’ll revisit to set the table:
-The average salesperson only makes 2 attempts to reach a prospect.
-80% of sales require 5 follow-up calls after the meeting. 44% of salespeople give up after 1 follow-up.
Salespeople generally just aren’t following up enough.
But there are also those prospects who’ve been in your CRM for months and you haven’t broken through.
And way too often, one of two occurrences takes place:
- The new business director no longer considers them viable and forgets them, or
- Company Leadership doesn’t support the prospecting process for the long haul and doesn’t consider them viable either.
Sometimes that prospect should be left behind, of course, for various reasons: they should never have been contacted in the first place (wrong fit or wrong title) or they’ve specifically said not to continue reaching out.
But we’ve seen long-term clients where a meeting happened years after the prospect was first contacted. (And no, they don’t all take that long by any means).
The key is providing some type of value with every touch, over time, consistently, so that you’re not just reaching out over and over with the same message.
Ideally your firm is creating industry-specific content, for example. Sharing this original content not only gives you a valid reason (value for the prospect) to get in touch again but also it shows the prospect that your firm is continually evolving. Even without original thought leadership content, there’s an endless stream of third-party articles you can use to show that your company “gets it.”
At a new business development conference, a speaker summed it up best in her presentation, and while it was a slightly facetious comment, there’s some truth there:
“You and your competitors do the same stuff, so make yourself memorable.”