I am now about 3.5 months deep into my new job at Dale Carnegie, and man have I been kept busy. If I am not training, I am in training. If I am not prospecting, I am in a meeting. And I am very lucky to have three mentors who are as pumped for Dale Carnegie as I am. I am loving my new job, and can’t wait to get to the point where I am the seasoned pro.
But I am not there yet.
I am learning many lessons about sales, entrepreneurialism and presentations. But one of the most impactful lessons I have learned has been around the value of persistence. My good friend Andrew Torgoman used to work for Accenture. While there, he helped many companies get Salesforce up and running as their Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software. I was talking to him one night and complaining about the joys of prospecting when he gave me a great piece of information. According to Salesforce’s records, the typical salesperson needs to contact a customer seven times before they ever even get a meeting.
That means that you need to call, email or stop by seven times before you ever even talk to an actual person. This dramatically changed the way that I was doing things. I was going for a shotgun approach and contacting as many people as I possibly could, once. It was great that I was getting in front of so many people, but I wouldn’t follow up with a single one.
Now I keep track of how many times I contact someone, and it has lead to me getting more meetings.
I have also found that attitude plays a huge role in those calls. Knowing that my service would be helpful to them, and thinking that I can help them is a much better approach than thinking that I am bugging someone in the middle of the day. So even if I have called someone five times already, maybe that sixth call is the time that they pick up. They might not even remember that I have already called and left messages, or sent them emails. This time, I just need to think that they want to talk to me, and that I can help them.
For example, I was calling on one prospect over and over again. I called or emailed twice a week. I finally got a hold of them on the eighth email. And they were happy to talk with me and I got the meeting. If I had thought in my mind that they obviously did not want to talk to me, since they never called or emailed back, I would have quit. Then I would have one less meeting, and one less chance to sit down with someone and help them.
Persistence is key. Being positive and upbeat while being persistent is the magic formula for success when prospecting.
Do you have any tips for me on prospecting? I would love to learn. Let me know in the comments below.