Sales can feel like a hunt. When we approach the whole process as a frenetic search for our prey we get offensive and we scare people away.
I am going to share with you a strategy to build relationship with your client one step at a time
Multiple friendly touches are way more effective and help you build familiarity and trust. Please note that this is NOT a prospecting strategy, it is something you can use ONLY when you are having the first conversation with a prospect and is mostly effective when on a phone or in person.
At the beginning of every contact you should have a clear objective:
First touch(phone, face to face, chat): Find something they would appreciate receiving.
I am referring to a piece of information, content, referral, resource etc. This can be really anything: something personal, something related with their business (that could also have nothing to do with yours) or something professional. Just be genuinely interested in what the other person has to say.
Example could be: an event in their region, a course or webinar related to their vertical, the outcome of an XR project
Even after a short conversation you should be able to assess if this COULD BE a prospect client or not. If you feel you are never going to do business together then do not embarc on a multiple touch journey since it is time consuming.
Second touch (email, message): Show them you care and remember.
Now that you know something about them do some research or just keep your eyes open. You never know when you might find a resource that match. Referral are also very valuable! Do not hesitate to take advantage of your network and connect people. During the second touch do not ask ANYTHING in return. No phone call, no information, do not advertise what you do. NOTHING! Just GIVE!
Second second touch: Build relationship.
Before asking for their time, you might need to “give away multiple times”. Based on the level of engagement of your prospects it is time to intensify the contacts, switch strategy, or just abandon the prospect to focus your energy on more likely customers. Engagement can be measured in many different ways: answer rate, open rate, click rate and gut feeling. Yes…. you read correctly: gut feeling. The first three metrics are email related and can be easily measured using CRM tools. Getting replies and comments on your emails represents the highest level of engagement but do not underestimate the importance of those clicks. Even without a response a click showed that someone not only opened your message and read through it! It means you did a good job at finding interesting information the prospect is willing to know more about. Since sales happens between people do not only rely on quantitative metrics. People might not open you emails or answer your messages for many reasons but might be willing to talk and interact with you during an event or through other channels. We will touch on this on another post.
Based on these evaluations you might decide to:
1) Keep it up: Continue sending personalized valuable content,
2) Lower the effort: Switch to standard newsletter/holiday greetings (so that they do not totally forget about you),
3) Stop: focus your energy on more engaged prospects
4) Ask: move to the next stage and ASK for their time.
Third touch: Know more about their business and problems.
Only at this stage you earnt the right to ask for their time. Plan for a phone call or an informal meeting to learn what they do and come prepared with an arsenal of open questions to understand how your XR services could be of benefit to their business. The information you will gather in this phase will be used to qualify your prospect and eventually form the scaffolding for the presentation/proposal you are going to craft to show what you are capable of.
I am going to discuss about the qualifying steps abundantly in the next posts. If you are in that stage and you don’t want to blow a good business opportunity do not hesitate to contact me.