In my previous post, Why Would I Buy From You? we discussed that awkward and admittedly terrible prospecting call. You are a salesperson, and that is what we do, make phone calls. We create or get a list of prospects, call them, try to disqualify them, and if all works to plan, prove to them that we can eliminate their pain points.
Before we get too far, I want to define a few items and make sure we are all on the same page. Today our focus is solely on the prospecting call and why you should stop sending emails.
- Lead Generation - comes from the marketing side of the house and the intent is to create prospects for the sales team. These activities typically include direct mail, email blasts, white papers, AdWords campaigns, etc. These leads must still be qualified!
- Prospecting - intended to qualify prospects that we wish to turn into a customer. Your goal here is to qualify them then get a sound, clear future with the prospect.
- There are many activities that we can employ when prospecting. Such as a referral meeting, cold walk-ins, or networking events.
Again, our focus today is the prospecting PHONE call and why emails are not for prospecting.
In sales, especially prospecting, we are shooting for a "No" from the prospect. I'll bet a nice chunk of cash that most of you have never heard that before. So, I'll say it again, as a salesperson, it is your job to get a "No" from the prospect.
The problem with a lot of salespeople is that they hate being told "No." For some people, a "No" can shut down their entire day and send them into this spiral of defeat. So, to mitigate that rejection and ensure they get to contact as many people as possible in a day - the salesperson sends out an email. The email provides a mask or a wall that the salesperson can hide behind. The prospect does not respond to the email that day or even after a few weeks so; the salesperson says "Whew, I sure am I glad I didn't call this prospect because they are not interested!" Question: how the heck did you come to that conclusion?
In sending that email, you did not hear an actual "No" from the prospect. All you heard was silence. That means nothing. I promise you one or more things happened:
- The prospect immediately deleted your email because yours was the 16th they had gotten before lunch.
- The prospect did not even see your email because it is lost in the 6289 emails in their inbox. Chances are they will skim through and delete everything that is not from one of their employees or spouses.
- More and more people are using tools like Sanebox, ibisMail, or custom Google Apps that use smart filtering to immediately send your crappy email to their junk folder, to never be seen again!
- You get a half "No" from the prospect. How easy is it to open an email and immediately say "No"? You are on a deadline, your boss is breathing down your neck for results, your spouse called 15-minutes ago, your kid has a fever, and the dog just pooped everywhere.
It is easy to give a "No" to your email because most people have bigger fish to fry! Plus, it is much simpler to say "No" to the person behind the mask or wall than it is to say "No" in person or over the phone.
Honestly, I could go on for far longer than either of us have today on why email as a prospecting tool is a waste of your time. Bottom line, Friend, prospecting via email does not work.
One of my favorite aspects of sales is the ability to call on a prospect knowing I have the power to tell them "No." Let's pretend I have this list in front of me of 100 people to call this week. Each of these 100 people fit my ideal customer profile; they are executives, in an industry I am focused on, and are located in the top 2 states in my territory regarding spending. That is a great start and is exciting but, this does not mean that each of these 100 prospects get to be my client!
Do not find your identity in being a salesperson. Find your identity in the fact that you get to call on these people and help them if they need the help and are ready to buy. If you cannot qualify this prospect as being worth your time or they are not a person that can give you a "Yes" or a "No", fantastic, bye bye!
Pick up the phone, dial the number, and give the prospect the opportunity to do business with you. If they are a quality prospect, great! Set a sound, clear future on the next step and close that deal! If the prospect is not quality, great! Depending on the disqualification, you may need to call them back in 8 months; an e-mail would never have told you that. Pick up the phone and call the next prospect.
Let's sell something today,