People often ask us, “What’s the most effective way to reach a C-level or VP-level executive to sell to them? What medium of communication should I use? Should I use email, voicemail, letter by FedEx?”
The answer is that no one medium will give you the results that you want. Salespeople tend to think that they can sit down and send 20 emails or leave 40 voicemail messages and wait around for someone to get back to them. That is simply outdated and ineffective prospecting. Even if you sit down and pound out 30 emails, each of your recipients only gets one isolated message. This doesn’t give them enough to respond to. And people are so insanely busy that even the ones that do want to call you back don’t have the time. The only way to get noticed in an environment where your clients are deluged with all kinds of correspondence is to leverage what we call a multi-pronged approach pattern. Essentially, use several different mediums of communication.
We recommend starting with a well-written letter sent by FedEx or Priority because the likelihood of those getting opened is almost 100%. Then, follow up with a well-timed phone call, email, or even a fax. I know, I know, people tell me all the time that faxes are old fashioned and that no one uses them anymore, but that’s exactly the point. You can stand out by sending a fax. The idea is that you weave several orchestrated touches into this multi-pronged approach pattern and touch each prospect every two to three days for a period of several weeks. Of course they’re not all going to invite you to a meeting, but you’ll get a much higher rate of response. Even if the response isn’t what you want to hear, it’s what you need to hear and you get to hear it much sooner. This is far better than radio silence.
I love to tell this story when I’m coaching or teaching; A senior executive (COO) attended one of my workshops recently and gave this feedback when she saw this segment of the prospecting module. She said, “This is important for our salespeople to understand. I get buried with salespeople calling me and sending me emails all day long, every day. When I get these isolated messages here and there they just get ignored. Every so often there’s a rep that feels like there’s something so important to tell me that they send an email, then make a telephone call, or I see several different types of communication coming at me from them. I see that they’re really working hard to reach me and I feel obligated to respond. That doesn’t mean I always take a meeting, but if they’re working that hard to talk to me, I always respond in some way.”
That’s exactly what you need to do. You need to prove through your actions that it’s imperative that your prospects speak with you or at least give you some feedback. We get into specific details and steps on how to create your own multi-pronged approach pattern in our workshops and through our coaching. Contact us if you want some guidance.