Salespeople often tell me they can’t get prospects to return their phone calls or emails. As a person that has executed over a thousand cold calls and introductory emails, here is a 3 step process that I’ve found helpful to securing first meetings with prospects:
The EMT elements are equally weighted and interdependent, so doing 2 of 3 won’t yield results.
You have to do all them well and fully commit.
Effort boils down to getting enough touches. Are you making enough dials and sending enough emails to qualified prospects? Qualifying takes place by using tools like LinkedIn to identify decision makers, gathering company background information and following up with action.
Effort is a really personal thing. It’s about you. What are your goals? How much money do you want to earn? Do you believe in the solutions you offer to clients? Do you have a track record of positively impacting customers that work with your company?
If you really believe your solutions will help clients, you’ll want to make more touches.
Your product or service needs to be translated into a business outcome. Nobody cares about your widget or service. They only care about what the product or service can do for them. What business outcomes can they expect to achieve if they partner with you? What are the common results clients typically experience after working with you?
Provide context. Is the landscape shifting in a way that requires the client to consider your product or services? Is there an industry-wide problem that you can solve? You may think, well that’s easy to say but my product is highly commoditized. My push back would be most companies have a product and service platform. Even mature businesses with commoditized products can differentiate on the service platform. If you’re a services business, identify your differentiators and articulate their importance.
You’ll learn that messaging the business outcomes and common results your solutions provide will get you a higher level audience.
Break your message into a bulleted list for email and LinkedIn or a few sound bites for cold calling.
Cold calls or introductory emails are the main tactics I use but LinkedIn is also a good channel to publish or repost content to position yourself for new conversations. Your goal is to gain a commitment to meet. Nothing more. Don’t try to unload all of the knowledge you’ve accumulated in your career during a 2-3 minute phone conversation. Be compelling, offer a few industry insights, briefly explain your solutions and associated business outcomes and then ask for the meeting. Whether leaving a voice mail message or getting someone live on the phone, be brief.
Here are a few guidelines on brevity and effectiveness:
• Voice mails should never exceed 60 seconds.
• Introductory emails should never exceed 2-3 very short paragraphs.
• Following up a voice mail message with an email significantly heightens the probability of a response.
• Live phone conversations should start with a few brief statements on who, what, why and your deliverable.
“Hi James, I’m Tom with ABC Distribution. (Who) Do you have a moment? Great, thank you.
As mentioned, I’m with ABC and we help companies reduce their metalworking spend through the implementation of supply chain management solutions. (What)
What we’ve found is most industrial companies lack the structure and controls necessary to intelligently manage their perishable tooling spend (Why/Industry-Wide Problem).
While ABC offers over 700,000 stocked SKUs with next day availability, we also offer vending solutions and workflow software that, once implemented, typically reduce a customer’s metalworking spend by
30% and on-hand inventory by 50%. (Business Outcome/Common Results)
We have over 1000 implementations in place, so we have many success stories and references to share with you. (Credibility)
If this sounds interesting, I’d like to schedule an introductory meeting to outline our solutions and learn more about your business. How does next week look?” (Ask for the Meeting)
In summary, diligently practice EMT and you’ll be booking 1st meetings at an unprecedented rate. Remember to message your business outcomes and common results to rise above the noise and break down the door!