Sales prospecting is a complex and often complicated role to play. You have to learn how to connect with people and keep them engaged while convincing them of the usefulness of your product or service. Morgan J Ingram has narrowed down two strategies to push past rejection and connect with sales prospects:
1. The pattern interrupt. Instead of starting a phone call sharing your name, the business you’re with, and the cursory “How are you today?” Morgan recommends an alternative approach. First, you address the person you’re speaking with, thank them for taking your call, and asking them for a few minutes of their time, like this:
“Hi so-and-so, thank you for taking my call, do you have a few minutes to chat?”
Adapting to this approach builds a state of curiosity—instead of being defensive, the prospect finds themself questioning you and opening the door for further discussion. It makes for a more fluid and confident pitch.
2. The research-based approach. When reaching out to an enterprise, you need to research the business by perusing their website, LinkedIn, and even their 10K report. Speaking about their company and illustrating an in-depth knowledge is impressive and your prospect feels confident that you know what you’re talking about. You create a good first impression and pique their curiosity.
The 11 touch prospecting campaign strategy
If you’re following Morgan’s two strategies to start a conversation with prospects you’re well on your way to success. But how do you connect with them in the first place? Getting a prospect on a call is half the battle, which is why Morgan developed this campaign.
Morgan found that it takes between 11-15 ‘touches’ to get in front of someone. A touch can be a phone call, voicemail, email, or message on social media. He’s found that if you can’t connect with someone in 11 touches, you need to make a note to try again in three to four months and move on.
However, if they aren’t receptive to your pitch now, it may just mean it’s not a challenge they’re dealing with yet. Every quarter, priorities and challenges for a business change. Check back three to four months later, see what’s changed in their business, and use different messaging to reach out again.
Morgan has found success following this eleven-step strategy:
- Day 1: Send a connection request on LinkedIn with a personalized note.
- Day 2: Email the prospect with a call-to-action.
- Day 3: Call them and leave a voicemail.
- Immediately after calling, send another email tied to the same thread as the first email with more information.
- Day 5: Attempt calling again, do not leave a voicemail.
- Day 7: Call and leave a voicemail.
- Day 10: Email the prospect in a new thread.
- Day 12: Give them a call.
- Day 15: Shoot them another email.
- Day 18: Give them a call.
- Day 20: Send them one last email.
Over the course of approximately three weeks, you are reaching out to the client 11 different times using multiple touch-points. Morgan has found that this process worked the best for his industry—but you may find something more or less aggressive to be suitable.
Morgan is the featured guest in episode 125 of the Negotiations Ninja podcast. Listen to the episode to learn about his background in sales and how to overcome cold-calling anxiety. He also covers the interplay between sales development representatives and procurement and why it’s important to keep open lines of communication.