When you want sales, you’ve got to stay top of mind. You’ve got to position yourself as the best option, and you’ve got to be there, ready to go when your prospects are. How do you do that? With consistent follow-up. There’s no way around it.
Perhaps you’ve heard of the “Law of Frequency,” a principle of association stating that the more often ideas, events (e.g., stimuli and responses), or other items co-occur, the stronger the connections between them. In other words, the more your prospects see you, hear from you or have some type of contact with you, the more they trust you.
This post will layout how to spark the magic of follow-up, discuss the cadence with which you should follow-up, as well as when to finally give up (if you should).
Let’s start by understanding this fact…
Fact: Only 3 percent of your prospects are ready to buy now.
No one explains it better than Chet Holmes, author of The Ultimate Sales Machine, with his Demand Generation Pyramid:
While Chet’s experience revealed that only 3% of your target market is actually ready to buy at any time, on the flipside, it means there’s a 97% chance that they’re not ready to hear your offer and will immediately shut you down.
92% of businesses, marketers, and sales professionals give up after the 4th touchpoint, but 80% of prospects say no four times before they say yes. (MarketingDonut)
This is crazy! Salespeople tend to give up right when they’re prospect starts opening up to a real conversation.
This shouldn’t be surprising that it takes at least four touchpoints though. Even if a prospect is the right person to be communicating with, they may not even be aware that a solution like yours exists yet.
That isn’t a negative.
By knowing that information upfront it can inform the right strategy or approach you should utilize to build relationships with the right kinds of people that will generate both short-term sales and long-term opportunities with the perfect buyers for your product or service.
The reason outbound lead generation and sales development works is because it is proactive and disruptive. Your prospects may not be actively seeking your solution today. But you can build that awareness and interest through the right outreach approach.
Considering this a failure is short-sided. Any relationship needs momentum and momentum can take time. Consistency leads to familiarity. Familiarity leads to trust. Trust leads to action. Action turns prospects into clients.
How do you achieve that?
The real question should be, “how do we actually build trust and nurture a sincere relationship?” To answer that, let’s take a look at what the most successful salespeople are already doing…
They already know that a hard sell isn’t going to cut it because as we’ve already uncovered, most prospects just aren’t ready to buy at first. Top sales performers also know that it actually takes 7 to 13+ touches before most prospects will even consider doing business with you.
Microsoft shared their research on this in the graphic below…
The problem is, most businesses don’t even make it to 4 touchpoints. As you can see from the graphic above, Microsoft’s study shows that by the fourth contact, a full 89% of salespeople have moved on.
What buyers and decision-makers respond to is a positive experience and a valuable relationship, especially if they’re one of the 97% that’s not ready to buy yet.
In fact, Salesforce explains it perfectly,
“To win at selling now means helping your customers win too, fostering a discussion that uncovers their needs and proposing solutions that best fit them.”
79% of business buyers say it’s absolutely critical or very important to interact with a salesperson who is a trusted advisor—not just a sales rep—who adds value to their business.(Source)
Some businesses create their own in-house outbound prospecting team, others outsource it. Either way, you must develop a long term asset to consistently follow-up and stay top of mind with your prospects instead of focusing on short term wins.
Remember, sales is not the filling out of an order form.
Sales is taking a stranger (or someone who is hesitant about doing business) and making them want to do business with you. To do that, you need a reliable way to follow a steady cadence and be persistent as you follow-up with your prospects. That means creating that asset, or system that will allow you to make it happen.
If you’re interested in creating an asset that generates short-term SQLs without sacrificing long term wins, consider outsourcing to a team that excels at both.
At Connect 365 we’ve worked hand-in-hand with clients to understand their unique sales cycle and what it takes to add value, build trust, and create strategic relationships with their prospects.
We’ve worked with hundreds of businesses to provide the leads and appointments that support their sales teams. If you’re interested in how we can help you as well, let’s discuss your options.
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