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Do Outlook Meeting Requests Really Work for Teleprospecting?


We, at Sales Prospecting Perspectives, thought it would benefit our readers to also hear from the folks who are in the trenches of teleprospecting, making dials every day to find sales qualified opportunities for our clients. Today's post is a special guest post by one of our BDR's, Dan Marx.  Thanks Dan!

Dan MarxA few weeks ago, the VP of Marketing for one of my clients visited our office for the first time. While listening in on calls with me, she noticed that I was sending an Outlook Meeting Request to a prospect for five minutes of their time later in the week. She explained, as a VP, she often receives meeting requests, some polite and others just plain rude. Never having teleprospected, she was interested in learning why I send Outlook Invites. Her question got me thinking. Sure, sending an Outlook Invite is a component of AG's call process, but what do I really hope to accomplish and how is my initiative perceived by prospects?

I think it's easy to understand why some may consider this practice a bit intrusive. It's enough that I've left someone two or three messages, but now I'm trying to put myself on their calendar? I doubt I would be happy either. Those outside of the sales world argue that this method cannot possibly be effective in securing meetings.  Sometimes this is true, but this isn't why I send Invite requests.

It would be nice to say that every Invite turns into an accepted meeting, but that's not reality. However, I have found that Invites have a much better response rate than standard emails. Think about how many emails end up in your inbox each day. Wouldn't a five-minute meeting request grab your attention? If the prospect isn't interested, they usually give me a reason why - budget, heavily invested in another project, or they will not be looking at this type of solution until later in the year. If this is not their area of responsibility, they usually refer me to the appropriate contact. Invites give both sides the opportunity to save each other time and headache.

It's easy to question the effectiveness of Outlook Invites as part of a methodical prospecting process. When I set out to write this entry, I looked at all of the leads I passed last month and found that eight of my twenty leads (40%) were a direct result of the Invites I had sent to prospects.

The important thing to remember is that the people you are reaching out to are busy. If someone is not replying to your emails, it doesn't necessarily mean they aren't interested; oftentimes they just have a ton of work and are in and out of meetings all day. While some may view sending Outlook Meeting Requests as intrusive, I think it's just the opposite. Invites give both sides the opportunity to either move forward in the sales process or close the loop altogether.

What do you think: are sending calendar invites too forward for teleprospecting purposes?





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