I walk into businesses all the time that prospect and call clients, and the #1 issue is that most businesses have no idea how to prospect correctly — meaning that these companies and the people in charge of them are not treating their leads (e.g., their clients) like they paid for them. Much of this is common knowledge for anyone in a sales profession, and that gives you a unique advantage in helping others to find the flaws in their prospecting, and make immediate corrections to improve their bottom line.
This week I wanted to share some ideas you can use to help local businesses improve their prospecting, which, in turn, could help you build more (and stronger) relationships that support your own business. Here’s what I’ve learned
They Call but Don’t Leave Voicemails
The first missed opportunity I see is that many businesses may call prospects, but they don’t take the extra six seconds to leave a voicemail explaining, A) why they’re calling, and B) what action they want the prospect to take. I learned very early on that if you want something, you have to ask for it; and if you don’t ask for it, you’re likely not going to get it.
They Leave Voicemails but Don’t Text
These days, it’s very common for people to let their voicemails pile up. I frequently place calls to other professionals and get a “I’m sorry but that mailbox is full” message. The convenience of text messaging seems to have made leaving and listening to voicemails too burdensome for many. So, the best method to ensure that your message is getting through is to follow-up each voice message with a text that delivers the same information. That way, the probability that your message gets heard is much higher than if you relied on voicemail alone.
They Text but Don’t Send Emails
Every prospect is an opportunity, and half measures aren’t going to cut it. You need to exhaust every communication option before giving up. So, if a business leaves voicemails and follows-up with text, but doesn’t send an email — well, that qualifies as giving up too soon.
Then, to take it a step further, the voicemails I do get from business don’t sound warm and personal like they should, their texts come across as robotic, and their emails are almost always generic.
The first thing I do for these businesses is help them with their scripting.
- Making it more humanizing
- Make the conversation relevant about what is happening in the world.
- Show the value right off the bat by getting rid of all objections and telling the client exactly what we’re here to do.
If you begin looking at the communications you receive from local businesses, you’re going to see some prospecting mistakes; and if you can help those same businesses do better, they’re going to want to support you and your business in any way they can.
I wrote a while back about how loan officers can improve their own follow-up strategy, here; and that post has some additional ideas that you can pass on to local businesses.
Good luck and let me know how any of these tips may have helped you!
If you’re a loan officer, sales manager, or branch manager considering new opportunities, don’t hesitate to get in touch.