What does “Excellent” really look like in today’s Business Development efforts?
When talking business development with new sales reps or sellers ramping up their efforts with new Biz Dev commitment, they are often stunned when I share with them the number of touches it might take to reach and compel a prospect to take a meeting. Back before 2007, it took an average of just under 4 attempts to connect with a prospect. Now, it’s more likely between 8 and 12. That iPhone blew up our world and brought a whole world of digital disruption with it.
So, back to those business development conversations. I get BIG EYES when I suggest that reaching out 8 to 10 times is what it takes to be successful. Or at least having a PLAN to reach out that number of times. Rarely do sales reps organically commit to that much outreach because they think a) that’s obnoxious and pushy and b) if they haven’t responded sooner, they’re never going to buy.
Lots and lots of data suggest that’s not true.
And let me show you how it works.
Let me introduce you to Jacquelyn from Thought Industries. A sales development rep that did her job really well. So well, I asked her if I could write a blog about her sales approach to securing a meeting with me.
Jacquelyn nailed 4 things in her approach here that I thought were worth sharing!
- She proved she had done her research and connected her value to my business.
- She used a multi-channel approach to find the best way to get a response.
- She continued to connect my responses to her value proposition.
- She was persistent.
Here’s how she did it.
10/10/17 – Initial Contact – 3 point approach with a similar message:
- LinkedIn connection request
What makes this great: She showed she did her research by referencing my website. She did a great job of connecting her value proposition to my business in a concise email with a call to action. Using this approach for 3 mediums is great and shows commitment to reaching me.
10/20/17 – Shawn accepted my request. LinkedIn follow up message:
What makes this great: She was quick to respond and ask for the next step. When I pushed back, she brilliantly connected her value proposition to my pushback. Demonstrating value and persistence at every contact.
12/4/17 – Circle back to set up demo
12/6, 12/11, 1/16 – LinkedIn Messaging and Email pings
What makes this great: She followed up exactly when I asked her to. When I didn’t respond, she kept her inquiries tight and didn’t disappear. Her persistence shows she’ll be dependable to work with if I decide to pull the trigger.
1/22/18 – She read our email newsletter and noticed I had a different phone number than she had in her system. Gave me a call & I ANSWERED!
What makes this great: She had subscribed to my email so she had plenty of insights into my business, what I do, and my communication style. She also took a chance with a different method of communication and it worked!
We booked a 30-minute intro demo for 2/6. Winner Winner Chicken Dinner!
By my count, that’s 10 times she reached out. TEN times she was persistent, connected her value and value proposition to a problem that she identified. And 10 times she put the next step in front of me to drive towards a solution.
This didn’t feel, in any way, pushy, or obnoxious. I appreciated her follow up as part of the reason her solution makes sense is that I’m busy in a time for money practice and can’t always get to follow up with everything on MY list. That’s not uncommon. It’s certainly not the first time I’ve been interested in a product or solution but didn’t reply or respond.
Key takeaways for YOUR Business Development practice?
Build your follow up cadence BEFORE you start reaching out. And keep persisting with integrity. Don’t fall off or disappear and think you’re going to stay top of mind.
If you have some initial success or response from a prospect, you may have primed the pump for a conversation but they might truly be busy at the moment. If you disappear because you don’t want to bother them with follow up or because you don’t have a great process, you’re opening the door for your competitors to walk in and make deals happen.
What’s YOUR followup process and can you commit to 8 to 12 touches?
Until next time, stop hoping, start SELLING!