If you believe, as Ryan Warner does, that meetings fill your pipeline, you need to commit to a serious and detailed follow-up schedule. Warner lays out a 10-day plan to get in front of a top prospect. You don’t need to follow it step by step, but you probably do need to take specific actions to differentiate yourself and your product.
Warner points out that most reps limit themselves to email and the phone when they reach out to prospects. They also tend to give up after two attempts. If this sounds like your strategy, it’s time to broaden your horizons.
If you’re serious about scoring that meeting, you need to hit the prospect at every level. You want to be in her face, figuratively, in a big way. One way to succeed is to be a little different. Since everyone else is using email and phone calls, try a little direct mail. People look at direct mail – especially if it’s a personalized piece that congratulates them on a promotion. Or you might send a book or copy of a study you know will be of interest to them. Even if they don’t take any action on what you send them, prospects will remember your name or your company or product name when you reach out again, a few days later, via email or telephone.
The second major strategy recommended by Warner is timing. Soon after you send out your mailing, start following your prospect on social media and share his posts. Make sure to do this for several days and stay on schedule by checking social media every morning.
Meanwhile, you want to stay visible in other ways. Send an email. This first part of this email will not be about yourself. Instead, your first sentence should be about something that interests your prospect. Remember, you’re positioning yourself as a fan and an interested person, not as a sales rep. Then, you can move into your pitch and ask for a meeting. Make sure your email protocols are set so you’ll know if the prospect received and opened your email.
By the start of your second week, after you’ve established yourself as a known presence, make calls. Warner recommends reaching out between 4:00 and 5:00 p.m. If you don’t get a response to your first calls, reach out again in the next day or two, between 8:00 and 9:00 a.m. According to an MIT study cited by Warner, you’ll be most apt to catch people at their desks then.
You should email a second and third time to try to get a response from the prospect. At that point, if the prospect still has not responded, Warner doesn’t like to give up. He tries to connect with a different person in the organization. Would that be your approach, too?