30 MINUTES TO QUALIFY A PROSPECT
In my last post, I talked about the need to do strategic outreach to your top prospects at least twice a year to get them to speak with you. To recap, the key to this approach is to offer to share knowledge with them about specific problems you are helping your clients solve. This will lower their defenses and make them more likely to take thirty minutes out of their day to learn more about your agency. This post is about what to say once you get them to agree to this call. First, let’s talk about what NOT to say. The last thing you want to do is spend thirty minutes talking about your agency. In fact, you want to spend very little time talking about your agency, and when you do, it should be two or three sentences that are fact-based, not hyperbolic. The reason is that 1) the prospect doesn’t care about your agency and will consider it a waste of his/her time to hear about it, and 2) you need to get the prospect to tell you where it hurts, and talking about your agency will not accomplish that. A better approach? After two or three fact-based sentences about your agency, use the time to talk about the common problems you solve for your clients – which is what you promised to do anyway. Romance the pain of your clients and the impact these problems are having within their organization, which helps the prospect identify himself/herself. You have a one in four chance of closing the business if the prospect admits pain, but you only have thirty minutes, so give them a menu to choose from. ‘Most of our clients are struggling with these three challenges, x, y, z. Do any of these resonate with you?’ Focus on the challenge they share with you, and spend the rest of the call exploring the impact of this problem within their organization (ask quantifying questions). Share how you have helped others address it including the process you used, the unique aspects of your approach and the results you achieved. Leave at least five minutes at the end of the call to talk about next steps, which typically involve sharing your solution in more detail with other decision makers within their organization (and how they can buy it). Gain agreement to do that and follow up in writing with specific dates for this call. Simple, simple, simple! And for goodness sakes, don’t use a deck!!! Nothing kills a chemistry call like a deck. Have a conversation, and save the decks for a presentation. P.S. If they don’t share a pain, it will be hard to sell them something (right now), so end the call and agree to track their business for the future.
Posted on 01.30.13
by Teri Hagedorn