Learn Your OWN 12 Steps
Cite statistics that have long suggested the quantity of interactions necessary to convert a prospect to a potential client hovered in the area of 12.
Similar to the adage about people buying from those they know, like and trust (refer to blog post specific to that topic) it’s almost universally agreed by most sales professionals that most in the profession give up before performing the required cadence of outreach sufficient to make these conversions. It’s freaking hard. It’s the equivalent of running a marathon with no guarantee of finishing and no certainty as to the location of the finish line. It’s an endless race, a race that many lack the stamina in which to compete, much less complete.
To me, there’s an opportunity there.
I don’t believe that most lack the ambition, courage or stamina necessary to compete. In my eyes, it’s the lack of a playbook that hampers those engaged in the race. Armed with better information and an actual plan, most players would happily do the work necessary to win the day, make that commission check and finally buy that in-ground pool. So, how is it that so many well-intended players aren’t standing in the Sales Hall of Fame?
Think about your own system for finding new clients. I’ll give you a minute. Check Evernote…I know you have it somewhere, right?
Virtually no one I’m associated with has devised a plan to lay out what a 12-touch process would look like, the timing associated with it and the follow-up your team should be focused on doing as a function of where they are in the process with the clients in their pipeline. These principles are largely reserved only for the vary largest and most sophisticated sales organizations, but even organizations with the manpower and resources necessary to implement this type of system struggle with it.
The difficulty in executing on this process is what makes it SO necessary.
In my time leading sales organizations, I was often stunned by how unprepared the average sales force is to prospect when they finally have a shred of an opportunity to do so. Given the freedom to build new relationships, most won’t do the deep work necessary to understand how what we do can solve a problem, improve productivity or enhance the value of a prospects brand. Winning new business without doing that work IS possible, but it’s almost always at the expense of margin.
There is no BETTER investment you can make than to consider the combination of things you’d want to use to engage a prospect in each of the 12 interactions you’ll attempt after your first encounter with someone, and then putting a plan of action together around how to do them, when to do them and the subsequent follow up that should occur. If you’re managing this process by the seat of your pants and dreaming things up ad hoc, you’re far more likely to join the others not completing the game.