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Sales Prospecting and Messaging Mistakes


We often run into this situation with our clients - with all of the voicemails we leave and unreturned emails that go out, yes, sometimes our connect rates are lower than where we want them to be.  We realize that when you make teleprospecting dials that no matter what, you are never going to talk to every prospect each attempt you make at reaching them.  That being said, we scrutinize our approach over the first few weeks of any engagement to determine what works best. We set the bar very high with our clients so we cannot afford the luxury of taking a few months to feel out how our message is resonating.  In my opinion, jumping right into the deep end and making calls is truly the most efficient way to determine if your messaging is resonating with your prospects, or alternatively what is falling on deaf ears.
Below are 5 messaging mistakes that we've learned from over the years at AG:
1) Comparing yourself price-wise to the competition:

This is a common mistake we run into, especially with that 900 pound guerilla in your industry that you are consistently selling against.  If anything you are putting your sales rep at a disadvantage because you've already set a number in the prospects mind. My suggestion is to focus more on value and ROI rather than cost. We try to keep things at as high a level as possible and leave the cost discussion up to the product specialists.
2) Leading with the technology and not the solution:
It is very easy to get yourself into a features discussion with any prospect. With my team, I want them always thinking about how we can solve their prospects' problems specifically. When you get them on the phone, we should be asking them what challenges they are facing day-to-day and THEN determine if our service/technology can address their problems. Try to leave the features discussion toward the tail end of any of your sales calls.
3) Trying to touch on everything you do in a 30 second message:
There have been many occasions where I've written up a call script trying to cover everything that we do. What I discover when I take that messaging to the phone is I've left a 3 minute message that the prospect probably took 30 seconds to listen to and then hit delete. If I get them live, 30 seconds into my lengthy elevator pitch I know they've tuned out because I can hear them typing away on their keyboard in the background. The reality is you need to keep your intro as simple and to the point as possible. As tempting as it is to reference every component of your offering, honestly it just doesn't play well when you are just trying to spark some initial interest.
4) Calling into the wrong target segment:
As I mentioned above, making hundreds of prospecting calls weekly can help you to determine if you are heading in the right direction. Based on how you position your messaging you should be able to quickly uncover your ideal account profile. Are you calling into the right industry? Appropriate number of employees? Should we target companies with annual revenues above or below a certain number? These are the kinds of questions you be asking yourself, and it can be fleshed out by just picking up the phone.
5) You are targeting the wrong title:

What we've discovered with many of our clients is that the title responsible for evaluation can vary from company to company. We solve this at AG by targeting at minimum 3 different contacts /departments    within the organization.  Messaging 101 should also tell you to tweak our approach depending on the department you are targeting.  Obviously a VP of IT is going to be experiencing a different pain than a VP of HR, so adjust your messaging accordingly. 

What are some messaging mistakes that you've learned from?


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