Modern business development has become an exercise in frustration for most sellers. Their prospects don’t reply to emails or return phone calls and a conversion rate of 1% is seen as an unmitigated success. That is why most senior sellers won’t even engage in the exercise and business development has been created as a separate job. If you are one of the fearless few who make a living by setting appointments, here are three tips to have proven to get results.
First thing is first – there is no such thing as a perfect pitch. The chances of writing the perfect script and having it be considered by the your prospect when they are ready to entertain your offering is all but impossible. Think of prospecting as fishing with a drag net instead of a pole. You first need to identify all the companies that look like your customers and your ideal buyers that work at those companies. Consider this to be your total addressable market. You will campaign to these individuals with a series of emails and phone calls that will find your prospects when they are ready to buy.
Pick up the Phone. As a Decision Maker at my company – I receive emails from vendors that may address my needs but I am also inundated with emails that are just SPAM. And since I am also a busy person, I don’t take the time to sort them out so every one of them goes unanswered. However, if you pick up the phone and dial behind the email then you can grab my attention. Even better – if you call me directly and reference something you know I may need in communication you have already sent (and I have seen it) then you will get an appointment. Don’t just take my word for it, according to FunnelClarity, it will take a seller 40% less dials to set an appointment by dialing directly.
Personalize, Personalize, Personalize. Here is a fun stat, 79% of organizations that exceeded revenue goals have a documented personalization strategy (source.) When cold calling, leaving a personalized voicemail will show that you have taken the time to learn about the prospect’s company and show how you can add value. The best way to personalize a message is to reference a use case that is relevant to the buyer or a recent news article and share how you can help. When a company is in the news for a good reason then you can help them with the expansion or product – and if it is a bad reason then you can help limit the exposure.
In closing, Cold Calling works but you have to make it part of a coordinated campaign to your total addressable market. Pick up the phone and call directly to give yourself the best chance of reaching the decision maker. Lastly, personalize your message through a use case or referencing a news article to prove your value.