I received this question from a reader of my blog last week:
“Mike, I have a question for you.
“Being that people are more accessible with iPhones, text, laptops, computers, email, messenger, FB, Instagram to name a few, why are business owners/decision makers so hard to reach? It’s almost like they are hiding. They don’t even acknowledge anymore.
“How do you get them to respond? Back in the day, you left $1 stapled to your card and they called back.
“I look forward to your response.”
This is a good question and many sales reps are wondering the same thing: With so many ways of being contacted, why is it harder to reach them?
The answer is simple: Prospects now have more ways of identifying sales reps they don’t want to speak with, and now have more ways of evading them.
Think of your own life: You get a text. What do you do? The answer is: It depends. If it’s of interest to you AND if it’s urgently important, then you respond. If not, then you wait. Sometimes for days or weeks…
It’s the same for your prospects. And if they get a communication from a sales rep, guess how long they are going to wait before responding?
So here are three things I do to reach prospects who are in the habit of hiding and evading:
#1: Because prospects are pitched all the time, and because the majority of them are not going to be a buyer (at this time) for my services, a way I get them to reach back out to me is by offering them a way out.
That’s right. While it seems counter intuitive, I’d rather know up front if I’m wasting my time or if this is a real prospect.
So I always include in my communications (voicemail, email, text) the following “out”:
“And so I know how to follow up appropriately, please let me know if this is something that isn’t of interest to you right now, or when would be a good time to reach you this week.”
And guess what? By including this sentence my communications, I not only get more responses, but I remove the “beg” in my pitch/follow up. Nobody likes hearing from a salesperson who has “commission breath” as a manager once told me. And this method not only allows prospects to disqualify themselves, but it also gets those interested buyers to respond back to me with a time to reach them.
#2: Make more calls without leaving a message. Speaking about prospects hiding behind emails, etc., sales reps hide behind them too. They send email after email or leave a couple of voice mails and then give up.
I take the opposite approach: I call. Relentlessly. For weeks. And I don’t leave a message.
Oh sure, I send emails also, and I leave voicemails once in a while, but in between, I’ll call five to seven times a week-at different times, different days-and hang up if I don’t reach someone.
This kind of persistence has paid off (and still pays off) Big Time. So be relentless-remember: “The harder you work, the luckier you’ll get.”
#3: Send a card-or 12. I’ve been using a greeting card campaign to send a personalized card every month for year. I’ve made hundreds of thousands of dollars doing this. Send a card, every month, and you’ll reach the buyers you’re looking for.