Hey, Ya Never Know…

 Sometimes getting  hold of prospects on the phone is like winning them lottery. Countless dials, and nothing but voice mail greetings to show for it. That’s the ‘numbers game’. But like winning the lottery, you’ve got to be in it to win it. So get in it to win it, and dial them up 100 times until finally your number comes up and someone answers the phone. Someone has to win, why not you?
When I set up a prospecting call report for a client I always try to find a direct dial number to cut down on the amount of interaction I have with switchboard operators. In this ‘game’ of prospecting, speed and volume are what’s most important. So I’ve set up my prospecting call report in a way that allows me to dial as many times as I can, and at the end of the day I’ve got ‘blisters’ on my fingers. That’s the discipline it takes to win. On my call report I keep a record of the number of attempts to reach someone, and I also keep a time line as to when I first started calling the prospect so I can track the amount of time it took to make contact.
The other day I finally got a CFO of a Tier 1 bank on the phone, and looking back at the call report I was amazed to find that it took over 3 months of persistent dialing to finally catch him in the office to take my call. What I mean is that everyday, at least 3-4 times a day, I tried to reach this prospect on the phone for over 3 months. (Some of my prospects took 5-6 months). Don’t try once, or twice and call it a day.
Calling prospects on the phone has gotten a lot harder over the past several years. Seems no one is in their office very much. This means that us ‘gold callers’ have to stay at it, and be persistent for the long haul. Many sales managers, and business leaders don’t understand this ‘new numbers game’. Many still think that prospects are in their office to take your call. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Less than 5% of the time you dial the phone do you actually get through to someone. If you want to make contact with prospects and build your sales pipeline you’ve got to stay at it and go the distance. I hope more sales managers, and business owners come to understand this when they set out to conquer the market. Sadly, most still don’t get it and place undue pressure on their sales force to produce instant results over the
phone.
My advice for prospecting over the phone? Be patient and persistent. Don’t fire and rehire. That will only prolong the amount of time it takes to make contact with people you want to do business with. Keep playing the ‘lottery’, and eventually you’ll win.
As for the banking prospect I called on, my persistence paid off. I now have a qualified prospect for my client, and they’ve committed to spend $550,000 over the next 12 months.

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