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Sales Prospecting Perspectives

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The Power Of (Focused) Persistence


Sales Prospecting Perspectives in pleased to bring you a guest post from one of our newer CDRs, Matt Dichter

I recently read an article written by Jill Konrath comparing inside sales to getting a regular dental cleaning, and I wanted to expand on her thoughts a bit.  When the majority of us receive our six-month notification that it’s time to go back to the dentist’s office to get our semi-annual cleaning, we immediately try to grasp for excuses and reasons why we can’t make the suggested check-up time.  If you’re like me, you might even just throw it out or ignore it, until you get another notification a month or two later… before you know it, you’re six-month semi-annual dental cleaning has turned into a one-year annual check-in (or two-year if you are especially “busy”), and you are still getting harassed by the dental people today.inside sales, persistence, 6 12 Dichter

It’s not that we think GOING to the dentist’s office is bad. Everyone wants clean teeth, and we know that we need to go, to make sure we don’t have cavities (or worse).  But the status quo of just brushing a couple times a day and flossing here and there when it’s convenient is so much easier than taking 30-60 minutes out of your work week to go get a routine check-up.

How does this relate to inside sales and teleprospecting?  Well think about how hard it is for you to fulfill such a simple duty to yourself as going to a dentist or doctor check-up, and put yourself in the shoes of a crazy-busy business executive who you are trying to help demonstrate the value of your offering.  They might come into the office an hour or two early just to get through important business emails related to a make-or-break deadline that their job relies on, and they have a prospecting voicemail and email waiting from you.  If it’s only your first or second attempt at communicating your value, you can bet your messages are either getting pushed back on the to-do list or getting thrown out faster than your first dentist notification.

Even if it’s your third, fourth or fifth attempt, the immediate reaction of the busy executive will be to ignore your message, unless you somehow are lucky enough to have hit on the EXACT issue that their deadline relates to, and you can fix a business problem they have right now.  Still, even if they know that your solution is going to save them time and money, it’s still likely far easier for them to continue on with the status quo and not take on an additional project, especially considering that there will undoubtedly be costs associated with implementing a new solution that they more than likely have not planned for.

A personal example for me has been my recent attempts at house-hunting.  I’ve saved up enough money to make a down-payment on a house, and I figured that while the market is down there won’t be a better time to buy than right now.  This especially makes sense knowing I currently am dumping money into an apartment and getting no equity out of it. My realtor has been very helpful in sending me houses to look at on a regular basis over email and leaving me messages, however I have yet to actually go and see any of them. Is she annoying me?  No… I still read everything she sends me.  I’ve even come to terms that it’s the best thing for me to do, and a great investment over time. I just know how much work and time is associated with a housing move, so I have yet to act on what I know I need.  As long as my realtor stays in front of me, eventually she will have my business.

I think most in the inside sales industry have noticed that it takes 6-7 (or more) touches before you finally reach a prospect.  However, a major problem is that, at this point, many have become so discouraged or convinced they will never reach their prospect that even though they are still demonstrating their persistence, the message has become lazy or uninspired.  The only way to combat this is to continue delivering a strong, tight value proposition regarding the benefits (not features) of your solution over time, and soon your persistence and focus should be rewarded with a response.



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