The secret of sales success often comes down to having two goals; to get in the door and to secure the prospect.
Getting in the door
To get in the door, try a the three-step approach of:
- Try to make direct contact with the prospect. Are they approachable? If so how approachable? Can you approach them as one member of the business community to another? For example, is there a social or charitable interest that you share that you can use as an opening?
- If that does not work, try an indirect contact. Who can help you through the door? Who among your clients, leads, referral sources, or other contacts can help you get in front of this person?
- If all else fails, ask your receptionist to phone the prospect’s secretary. Sometimes using a secretary or receptionist can be extremely effective in getting into prospective companies.
Securing the prospect
Once you have gotten through the door and said your piece, use the following follow-up strategy to secure the prospect:
- Gather as much information as you can on the lead. Find out if they are bankable and what kind of reference network you can develop to close them.
- Send an initial hand-written follow-up note listing three areas he needs to address. This serves to confirm the problem areas that were uncovered during the initial questioning period.
- Prove your discernible difference – how your firm can provide a specific service or level of quality that our competition cannot.
- Make sure you meet the client for the first two times at their place.
- For cold and lukewarm leads, try waiting two weeks after the initial contact and follow-up note before resuming contact.
- After resuming contact, make at least three practical suggestions relating to the problem areas.