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It's OK To Be A Stage 5 Clinger When It Comes to Inside Sales


We all can’t help but laugh when we hear the quote, “I’ve been looking all over for you, I gotta get out of here pronto – I’ve got a stage five clinger” as we think back to the movie Wedding Crashers.  In case you aren’t familiar with the movie, a “stage five clinger” is a term that’s used to describe someone who becomes excessively attached incredibly early on in a relationship. A scenario came up the other day where I found myself saying to a rep, “Stalk her! Be a stage five clinger!” The reason I said this was the BDR was struggling to get a prospect back on the phone in order to pass her as an opportunity, and he knew how interested she was in what he had to say, so as you can imagine, it was very frustrating for him. Since last week, the rep has fully embraced the idea of becoming an inside sales “stage five clinger”.Inside Sales, Propecting Stategies 6 18 Laney

If you have, or are experiencing the same situation of not being able to get your interested prospect back on the phone, you are not alone. All it takes is a little patience and strategy to get them back on the hook and here’s a few tips on how to do it:

1. Call from different phone numbers. Sometimes, although your prospects are interested in talking to you to learn more, you may be calling back at a bad time for them, so when they recognize your phone number on their caller ID, they might ignore it, thinking they will call you back at a later time. We all know how this goes – they never seem to get back to returning your call. The best "stage five clinger" move to pull here is to try calling from a different phone number in hopes of throwing them off. You can either block your office phone number, or you can use your cell phone, or even your boss’s cell phone. I offer up my cell phone all the time for my reps to use.

2. Call the prospect’s assistant and dig for details.  If you are calling your prospect 3x per day, your prospect may have no idea you are even trying to reach them. There is a strong possibility they are in a meeting, at lunch, on a conference call, etc. during those attempts. They may not realize you are trying to reach them, while you may think they are trying to ignore you. The best solution here is to call their assistant and find out their schedule. Yes, this sounds like legitimate stalking behavior, but it works. I had the rep I referred to above test this theory last week. In his words, he became “BFF’s with the admin” and found out so much more information than he had previously. For example, he found out that the prospect was in fact in the office on that day (we were starting to question if she was out on vacation). The assistant also provided the Director of Sales and Marketing’s name and contact information that we did not have before, so the rep is now prospecting into more contacts within the organization to see if they are involved in the same project. This behavior will definitely get the rep to uncover an opportunity sooner rather than later.

3. Be resourceful and find more contacts within the same department. This idea piggybacks nicely with the tip I just mentioned. Don’t stop at talking to the admin to find more contacts to talk to – use resources that have databases of contacts like Netprospex, Linkedin, etc. to find more titles that look to be promising and start prospecting them. Don’t use the excuse of “I am already talking to someone that is involved” because there are definitely other people involved in project decisions, and if your original prospect isn’t going to respond to you, then it’s time to cast a wider net by talking to more people within their department.

4. Send a calendar invite. Another great way to track down your prospect is to send a calendar invite. Some may think this is too forward so early on, but if you only ask for a short amount of time on the phone, you’ll find that people are generally open to this. Even if they decline, at least you’ve received some sort of response from them in order to strike the conversation back up, even if it’s over email.

There you have it – my top 4 tips on how to successfully become a “stage five clinger” when it comes to inside sales. While we don’t want to admit it, we’ve all been there in the roles we’ve taken on within inside sales (OK, maybe we have all been there personally too). What are some of the tips you recommend using when trying to get your interested prospects back on the phone?


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