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Grasping At Straws (Why You Can’t Get In)

Getting in with your dream client has never been easy. Lately, a lot of the comments and emails I have received have complained that the old prospecting methods no longer work.

These commenters suggest that cold calling is ineffective. They say that email isn’t effective. Some have suggested that a warm referral or meeting at a networking event are now the only ways that you can use to gain entrance.

This is simply grasping at straws.

The truth of the matter is that all of these prospecting methods still work. It isn’t the method that no longer works. It’s something deeper. It’s something much more difficult to correct. The game has changed, but it doesn’t have anything to do with the prospecting method.

The Real Reason You Can’t Get In

The real reason that you struggle to get in is that your dream clients have raised their standards as to the value you are expected to create. Getting in requires that you have to be somebody worth investing their time, and that means you have to have ideas about how your dream client can improve their business results.

Some detractors will say that the reason you can’t get in is because your dream client contacts have too little time, and so they don’t take or return calls. Your dream client takes and returns calls from real value creating salespeople.

Other detractors will suggest that your dream client doesn’t need your calls, that they can instead research what they need to buy on the Internet and avoid salespeople. There is some truth to this. But you get to decide whether or not you pursue them before they have a need. You get to decide whether or not you provide value-creating ideas and establish yourself as the go-to resource in your space. You can do this before they ever get to the Internet.

Rejection is Method Agnostic

Your dream clients are agnostic when it comes to rejecting you, and they will be happy to reject you regardless of your preferred method for being rejected.

If you prefer to be rejected when you make non-value creating cold calls, your dream client will more than happy to oblige.

If you prefer to have your rejection come in the form of an unanswered email or voice mail message, no problem; your dream client will happily delete your emails and voice mails.

The Way Forward

The way forward isn’t to focus on the method used to prospect, whether it be Sales 1.0, Sales 2.0, or Sales-whatever-point-whatever.

The way forward is to focus on a compelling, value-creating message that makes you worth spending time with. Your request for a commitment of time has to be backed with the guarantee that the time will be put good use when it comes to helping your dream client improve their business results, be it increased revenue, increased profit, or decreased costs.

Nothing else will do; searching for some new method is just grasping at straws.

Questions

Why do you believe the method of prospecting is what makes it difficult to get an appointment with your dream client?

Why do you believe that all of the methods make it difficult to get in?

If all of the methods of prospecting are equally poor at opening relationships and opportunities, what else could it be?

What could you improve that underlies all prospecting methods that would improve your results regardless of the method you use to try to gain appointments?

Do you believe that all your dream clients share the same preference for communicating with their potential strategic partners?


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Comments

comments

  • http://twitter.com/mysaleshabits Andy S-H

    Hit – the – nail – on – the head.  We need to persuade people with REAL VALUE to get a meeting and also in the meeting.  (BTW – I also believe that cold calling will fail every time if you believe it will). I recently met with a CIO (I’m in hi-tech sales) who told me she gets over 30 cold calls each and every day and she doesn’t answer or return any of them.  She has a very high bar that you need to be over to meet with her.  You have to do your research to know what her biggest issue is to have a chance of getting her attention and then you have to be persistent.  But its a nice feeling when you know that every else got filtered out, and you got the meeting!!

    • http://www.thesalesblog.com S. Anthony Iannarino

      30 calls a day! That’s amazing; she must have a huge budget. 

      As a guy who calls himself Andy SalesHabits would know, it’s all about creating value and being persistent. And, winning is a pretty nice habit, too! 

      Thanks, Andy!

      A

  • http://adamoneill.net Adam

    “The real reason that you struggle to get in is that your dream clients
    have raised their standards as to the value you are expected to create.” — I think the excuse about prospects having no time is a farce. You hit the nail on the head when you mentioned we need to show our value to them first.

    I don’t know about you but if someone came into my place of work and said “Can I have an hour of your time and I will give you $1,000,000?” I would make time.

    So as you mention its more a function of the value added. We as sales people need to show them time spent with us is equally or more valuable to them and their company than time spent on other activities during that time.

    • http://www.thesalesblog.com S. Anthony Iannarino

      Spot on, Adam!

  • Pingback: GRASPING AT STRAWS: putting faith in potential rescues that can’t deliver — Jedword



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