sales productivity - voicemail

It’s a new year and you have new sales goals but you can’t dismiss the facts gathered from 2011. 92% of executives you try to contact will not return your phone call. You should already know why, unless you have an amazing reason for them to listen to your message, they will delete it in the first 5 seconds. If you don’t give them a compelling reason to spend the time to call you back then you get forgotten about.

When calling on a prospect for the first time there are some simple steps you should take to make sure they return your call.

Leveraging existing connections

When doing your 2012 prospecting, make sure you focus on people you are connected to. Your customers (if they are happy) should be willing to make introductions or serve as references to other companies that you are trying to engage with. 84% of the people you try to connect with leveraging an existing connection will respond. If there is ever a more compelling reason to stop dialing for dollars, this would be it!

A Little Research Goes a Long Way

Do your homework on the person you are calling before you pick up the phone. Stop treating the names in your CRM as contacts and start thinking about them as people. If you dont have a prospect watchlist created for your prospects, do some research on them through social media. Are they active on networks like LinkedIn or Twitter? What are they saying. I’m sure there are some good pieces of information you can gather that will give you better personal insights on them.

Warm up every cold call.

Before calling, connect with the prospect on social media or by sending them the tried and true email. Send a short, personal letter saying something like, ‘I’d like to introduce myself. I’ve noticed your company has been actively growing the size of your widget factory and I’d like t know if I can help with anything’. Make sure you enclose something of value and indicating that you’ll be calling in a few days to gauge interest. Then, promptly follow up.

Build a conversation about the prospect first.

Building from that last two, you should know about your prospect as a persona and know about their specific business needs. Using the trigger events you monitor around their company and industry coupled with what you have gathered about the individual, structure your first conversation all around them. I’m not saying to avoid a sales pitch but make sure your pitch is completely focused to them and their company. Talk about what you have discovered and see if there is anything you are missing. Highlight how your product has helped companies like theirs recently and see if they are in a position to look at it in more detail and find additional value.

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