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Just Checking In Makes Your Prospects Check Out!

 

Guest articles > Just Checking In Makes Your Prospects Check Out!

 

by: Ryan Sarti

 

Prospects are busy and have plenty of things on their mind. You probably aren’t one of them. Prospects have their own list of priorities. When your priorities, and the prospects priorities, don’t align, frustration rises on both sides of the desk. Here’s how that plays out in real life.

The voicemail started from a sales rep with whom I had spoken once, about three months prior. “Hi, this is Leah from Forcedsales.com. Just checking in to see if you had any questions about our service.” Blah! Blah! Blah! Blah! Blah!

The sales rep was checking in, and I (the prospect) was checking out. I don’t mean checking out their service to see if it would help my company. Her voicemail had me checking out of the sales process as in “if there had been some interest, there isn’t any now!”

Why is that? The answer is simple. Who was that voicemail for? Was it for me to help me with a business issue or problem? Or, was that voicemail for the sales rep who is trying to generate an opportunity?

Clearly, that voicemail was for the sales rep because there was nothing in it for me. These days no one has time for things that don’t add value. Prospects are simply too bombarded with messages that don’t matter or don’t add value.

She was prospecting and it is something she had to do. Just about anyone in sales has to prospect. But prospecting is different than selling. These days, it is more important than ever to prospect the right way.

What is the right way to prospect? Give the prospect something they can use. Give the prospect a reason to engage with you. Start, nurture, and develop the conversation. Most important, listen to what the prospect says and listen to how the prospect listens to you!

You can start with pain points, or industry facts, trends, or something else that causes the prospect to think, feel, and then respond. In addition to developing rapport, trust, and credibility, you have to give them something they can use. You’ve got to add value.

As the world gets smaller and prospects have more information, the balance of power continues to shift towards prospects. That means you’ve really got to set yourself apart by being different and giving the prospect things they can use and things they can’t get on their own. When your prospecting technique gives the prospect something they can use, chances are, they will engage with you. Once they are engaged, they can begin the buying process and you can move through the sales process to help them complete their buying actions.

Just checking in for your reasons doesn’t add value for the prospect. The same is true for cold calls where the salesperson doesn’t add value or doesn’t listen. For the prospect, cold calling is an interruption and the demand for time and attention while not providing a reason. That is why, even though the Wall Street Journal didn’t run an obituary, cold calling is dead.

Unless you have an all referral business, you have to prospect to generate new business opportunities. To do that effectively, follow these simple tips and watch your results improve:

  1. Ask for permission. Ask if they are open to talking with you now. If they are, ask why they are open. If they want to talk, but can’t do it now, set a time to talk. If they aren’t open to talking, move on.
  2. If you’ve engaged the prospect in a conversation, ask if your follow up would be welcomed or an intrusion.
  3. If your follow up will be welcomed, ask when your follow up would be appropriate. When you arbitrarily set the follow up date, you have no idea what is on the prospects plate and you have no idea of their priorities. If you let the prospect set the time table for follow up, not only are you building respect and rapport, you are also reducing the amount of time you spend stalking the prospect and losing rapport.
  4. Ask for permission to send business articles that apply to the prospects problem. Doing that is as simple as this. “I’m constantly staying on top of the industry trends and issues. If, between now and the time I am to follow up, I find an article or an idea that might make sense for you, would you be open to receiving that?” Securing permission to send articles and ideas gives you permission to “market.” Giving them something they can use and giving them something of value instead of “just checking in” sets you apart from everyone else.
  5. If they are open to receiving articles or ideas, ask them to tell you more about what they are looking for. That will give you tremendous insight into their priorities and how they think. It will also help you qualify the prospect in a different way and help set yourself apart.
  6. Use reverse psychology. When leaving your voicemail, don’t say “Just checking in..blah blah blah!” Instead try, “I found this fact (or I had this idea) and wanted to make sure you had it.” Then, leave your name and number, but don’t ask them to call you back. Everyone says, “Call me back.” If the prospect is interested, they’ll call. If they aren’t interested, they won’t. So don’t ask. Calling back is understood. If you’ve piqued their interest, they will pick up the phone, or email you, to further engage.

Prospecting today has changed. You’ve got to do the things that get prospects attention and add value. If you are just checking in, your prospects are checking out. Be a Prospecting Genius! Prospect the right way.


For more information on Ryan Sarti please visit www.swiftkickgrowth.com or email him at RSarti@swiftkickgrowth.com.

 


Contributor: Ryan Sarti

Published here on: 7-Sep-08

Classification: Sales

Website: www.swiftkickgrowth.com

MSWord: Just Checking In Makes Your Prospect Check Out.doc

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