The Part Is Less Than the Whole

If the whole is more than the part, it naturally follows that the part must be something less than the whole. The component parts of a professional pursuit plan (i.e., prospecting sequence or cadence) add up to something more than any one medium or message.

I am romantic about the telephone. It reigns supreme among all the tools one might use to acquire a meeting. This being true, salespeople expect too much of the medium. They expect to be able to reach people by phone, complaining when they get voicemail, and wrongly framing an unreturned call as their being rejected, something that isn’t true. The phone is a critical and central part of a larger whole, even if it doesn’t always work.

Email isn’t a great way to prospect. You send a message to a location already infested and overrun with unwanted messages. Most of the prospecting messages are so self-oriented and pitchy they are immediately deleted, the outcome of which means your email is suspect, and you are paying for the sins of your brothers and sisters. Like the phone, email is a part of the professional pursuit plan, but not very powerful by itself.

No one has had more to say about the limited value of what was once described as “social selling,” especially now that very few are willing to describe themselves as a “social seller” or an advocate. Let’s put to the side the claims of “the death of the cold call” and the exaggerated claims of their effectiveness, and that the social tools are valuable for nurturing relationships by leveraging content to shape your dream client’s view of their business, their challenges, and their opportunities. Social is excellent above the funnel and through the process, but not exceedingly effective on its own.

There are other choices of mediums and messages, all of which combine to produce a pursuit plan that generates meetings, helps lay the groundwork for opportunities, and builds your pipeline. It’s the combination of the parts that creates results and the sequences of the messages in a mix of mediums that prove more effective than any individual attempt.

Phone. Voicemail. Email. LinkedIn. Blog post. Insight. Phone.

Focus on the whole, and make each part a powerful part of something bigger, more meaningful, and sustainable.

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