Regardless of the medium you choose to prospect, and I hope you start with the telephone, the outcome is a meeting. Many variables play into your results, but three tend to dominate your ability to secure a meeting.
No matter what words your dream client uses to reject your request for a meeting, something you might refer to as an objection and what I would describe as a concern, their unwillingness is their belief that the meeting would be a waste of their time.
“I’m happy with my current partner” might be translated into, “Your pitch to share information about your company and ask me what’s keeping up at night isn’t enough value for me to agree to a meeting.” “Can you send me some information,” as polite and positive it might sound, is not a request for information. Instead, it’s a polite way of saying, “I didn’t hear anything in your offer that is worth giving you my time.”
When you know that the rejection is the result of too little value, you can improve your offer, promising something worth your dream client’s time and attention—and maybe exploring real change (See Eat Their Lunch: Winning Customers Away from Your Competition).
One of the reasons your prospective says no to your meeting request is because what you say—and how you say it—betrays the fact that you aren’t sure you believe what you are saying. If you aren’t willing and able to promise you will not waste your dream client’s time, that they will benefit from spending time with you, your dream client’s doubt will be greater than their belief—and your belief that what you have to offer is valuable to command their time.
If you want to be consultative and aspire to be a trusted advisor, you need the business acumen and situational knowledge to be able to create value in a meeting—without mentioning your company or your offerings. In part, confidence comes from knowing more than your prospective client. You and your company serve hundreds or thousands of clients or customers, and they buy what you sell for one company, meaning your collective experiences give you greater clarity and a much more nuanced understanding. How could it be otherwise?
Your dream client will believe you belong in the room when you do.
If you are going to acquire a meeting, you are going to have to ask more than once. Your pursuit plan must include more than a quarterly call to “check in” and “see if anything has changed.” It would be best if you had a sequence (or cadence) that proves you have insights and ideas—and that you are not a one and done salesperson that gives up after one or two attempts.
How do you demonstrate that what you have to offer is worth their time if you only ask once? How do you prove that you want your prospective client’s business and that you are seriously interested in helping them produce better results with an automated string of emails or a ridiculous pitch on LinkedIn? How serious are you?
To professionally persist, you cannot be a nuisance, which means you have to nurture relationships over time, using a communication plan that allows you to professionally persist over time, never going away, never giving up, always providing enough value in every interaction until you have a meeting on your dream client’s calendar.
If you want better results and more meeting, increase the value you trade for a meeting, ask again with confidence and conviction, and persist long enough that you get a yes.
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Filed under: Prospecting