By Michael Caron, President, Northbound Learning
Would you like a simple, inexpensive way to increase the number of meetings booked from your prospecting call efforts by 50% or more? I know—that’s like asking if you’d like to pay less in taxes. Of course!
The secret is to get a “marketing letter” into your prospect’s hands prior to your first phone call. While this sounds incredibly simple, it’s rarely done and will raise your prospecting success dramatically. There are several reasons why this works far better than making your first point of contact a phone call by itself:
It gives you a better opportunity to create your C.B.R. (Compelling Business Reason). You must build a case for your prospect to give you a few minutes of their precious and limited time. A carefully written letter will lay the groundwork of reasons for your prospect to engage in a conversation with you when you connect by voice. Your letter should include the 3 major benefits you may be able to bring to their organization, a quantifiable testimonial of results from other customers and a request to have a brief conversation. When your prospect has time to consider what the benefits of the conversation might be in advance, your chances of engaging them when you call will jump.
It allows you to schedule the call. The biggest dislike of people on the receiving end of a prospecting call is that it interrupts whatever they were working on. One way of minimizing this frustration is to let them know in your letter what day and time you’re going to be calling. Something like, “I’ll call you on Tuesday, February 9 at 9:15 to get a better understanding of some of your goals and challenges.” Allow them the opportunity to choose a time that works better for them if necessary. “If this date or time doesn’t work, could you kindly leave a message with a better one?” This shows that you respect their time. I recently used this letter technique with a billion dollar IT company. I sent my letter to the C.E.O. and on the precise day and time noted in the marketing letter, I called. After a couple of rings, I was greeted with, “Good Morning Michael. I was expecting your call.” Although this kind of response is not common, what is very common with sales reps who adopt this system is that by the time they connect with the prospect, he or she is far more receptive than if a call were made without the marketing letter.
It’s best to send a letter by snail mail. I can hear the groans already. “Snail mail? We live in an instant message world. Why would I ever resort to communication technology that’s in the Dark Ages?” Because electronic communication is so prevalent today, receiving something by regular mail is in fact more impactful. Additionally, email addresses are often difficult to get while mailing addresses are easily available. It also gives you the opportunity to enclose something of value such as a ad specialty or as simple as a coffee card. You will be amazed at how many prospects will remember you and your letter at the time of the call because of an inexpensive token. If you do your math to determine your R.O.I., you’ll see that spending a little time and money on strategic marketing to your prospects pays huge dividends.
You and your team can learn to prospect better and in less time with Northbound’s “Power Prospecting” and “Connecting to Mr. Big Cheese” workshops. For more information or to arrange a complimentary workshop for your team, contact Michael Caron at firstname.lastname@example.org, 416.456.1440