In a previous post I have mentioned my new cadence for prospecting, which follows a strategic, purposeful plan for developing business opportunities with new people. As you may recall, I explained that I follow this order:
1. Connecting with or sending a message on LinkedIn
2. Reaching out through email
3. Giving them a “no pressure” prospecting call
4. Inviting the prospect to a networking event
5. Doing a cold walk-in to their office
6. Inviting the prospect to a talk or class I have
The goal of this process is to create some familiarity with prospects so they are comfortable with me.
The process has been working well, but I am finding that with my target market (larger organizations with multiple sales people); the timing takes a bit longer. And why is that? Because they usually haven’t given much thought to their sales process and most of the prospects with whom I am interacting have not heard of Sandler.
I am finding that I haven’t earned the right to discuss sales training because I haven’t strengthened the relationship to that level yet. I realized that I needed to put more bonding and rapport into my cadence process.
Strengthening the relationship is the only way I earn the right to use the Sandler process.
A stronger relationship takes the pressure off, allows for the truth to come to the surface, and preserves my prospect’s dignity, regardless of the next step. Bonding and rapport is what holds the process together, much like the skin around the onion.
What is it that I am going to do differently?
During the no-pressure prospecting call, I am going to ask people to meet. Meet over coffee, beer, or lunch to become better acquainted. No selling.
My up-front contract is that if we are comfortable with each other, we can begin discussing the opportunity to work together. If we aren’t comfortable, we won’t meet again. We will have enjoyed time together and we’ll part as friends.
I’m optimistic that this will serve both my prospects and me well in the long term; I’ll let you know how it works out.