It’s easy to make one call to a prospective client each quarter, believing that your single attempt is prospecting. You can try again in another quarter, and there are more prospects to call, and in some cases, fresh leads continue to stream in. However, a single attempt to call your dream client is not prospecting, and more still, it is not an approach you can expect to produce results.
When your attempt to get a meeting with your prospect is a single call followed by you disappearing for 90 days, you are training that prospect that ignoring you causes you to go away for a long time.
Believing the Next One Will Be Easier
If you call five prospects and receive a voice mail, why do you believe the 6th prospect will be next to their phone and interested in speaking to you? It is never easy to reach people by phone or email, even though the odds of securing a meeting are far greater when you can speak to the person directly.
Because it is never easy to get ear-to-ear with your prospective client, there is no evidence that the next call is going to make it any easier for you to get your prospect on the phone. If this is true, you need two things. First, you need a reason to keep prospecting. Second, you need a strategy.
Undervaluing the Necessity of Persistence
You need a lot of skills and attributes to succeed in sales (there are 17 in this book). One of the most important attributes is persistence, or determination, or intestinal fortitude, or grit, or some other term that describes your willingness to try again. Imagine the words that describe the opposite attribute, like “easily discouraged,” or “quick to give up,” or “little will to succeed,” and you understand why people who want what they want enough to persist tend to produce those results.
The reason you need to keep calling—and more frequently than once a quarter—is because without a serious attempt to book time on their calendar, you are not going to get the meeting you want.
Patient Professional Persistence
You succeed at prospecting when you patiently, professionally persist in pursuing your dream client. Effective prospecting is a campaign, not a single event. You have to patient to get what you want, even though patient does not mean passive, reactive, or waiting for gifts to fall from the heavens. Patient, professional, persistence requires action. But not action that would make you a nuisance.
Professional persistence means your campaign is built on the ideas you want to share with the contacts you are pursuing. It means you have some theory as to how they could produce a better results and how to get them there. When you have these big ideas and insights, you have to something to say when you call your prospect, when you leave a voice mail, and when you follow it with an email. You can make ever communication a deposit in your future relationship.
Playing the Shortest of Short Games
A single call followed by you moving on without further attempts is the shortest of all short games. When you offer to go away for months or quarters (or longer), you project a lack of real interest, and you give your prospect and offer they can very easily accept, namely, avoiding a meeting with a salesperson who doesn’t really want their business.
Play the long game and professionally persist instead of training your prospective client to ignore you.
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