It takes an average of 7-8 cold call attempts to reach a prospect.
Yet, 43% of salespeople give up after the first contact, with 80% giving up after contact three, according to the Society for Marketing Professional Services.
So the question is: do you want to be average or do you want to close deals?
The Fear of Prospecting
Many people in sales have a fear of prospecting and following up. They either don’t want to ask for business, don’t want to appear needy, or are afraid of hearing no.
That is why it is so easy to give up after one or two calls.
But the numbers prove that those who are willing to continue prospecting are the ones who will close the deal.
While 7-8 is the average number of contacts it takes to convert a lead and set an appointment, it may take another five or six times reaching out to gain a new client with a signed contract.
Be Relentless in Your Follow Up
A few years ago, I was prospecting the CMO at Mohegan Sun. I continuously reached out and left my information.
He did not respond to any of my messages, emails, or voicemails. So, I kept following up.
On contact number 26, he responded.
He said, “Alright I’ve gotten all your messages, gotten your mail, I’ve gotten your video chats. Come over at 9:00 tomorrow night, and you can stay 15 minutes.”
I landed that deal.
And I’m willing to bet, a big part of that is because I was the only one who was still following up.
Being relentless is part of the game. When you are ignored, told not right now, or even hung up on, that doesn’t mean the conversation is over. You can think of it as ‘Buy or Die’ – they will either buy from you or die first.
Mix It Up
Being relentless in follow up does not mean you should keep beating them over the head with the same hammer. To get somebody’s attention and stand out from the rest, change up the way you follow up.
Mix up your follow-up with the following points of contact:
comment on their social media posts
send a direct message on social media
send a newsletter
Don’t Ask, Provide
When you are prospecting, particularly when you are cold calling brand new leads, you need to show what you can provide to them. Rather than asking for their services, get them to warm up to you by proving value.
There are numerous things you can give to prospects. This will also help you to mix up the way you follow-up:
Ask questions with the intention of learning their frustrations and needs.
Call and invite to events or seminars your office is hosting.
Email buyer or seller guides.
Send a video message with a quick update of the market they are interested in.
Send a quick email with a link to say, “Hi, this (blog/video/podcast) made me think of you.”
Call or send over listings they may be interested in. You can do this even if they are not ready to buy yet, to show them what is available in their price range.
Call or email when an industry change takes place. For instance, a drop in mortgage rates, new loan limits, or condo rules are all valuable pieces of information to share.
The number one rule is to keep following up. Take notes of when you have reached out and what was discussed so you can show that each person you speak with is important to you. When the prospect is ready to buy or sell, you will be the first person they call.
What are some of your favorite ways to follow up?