In some cases it can be a matter of timing – a new contract has been signed or a prospect is in the midst of so many pending projects that they genuinely do not have the time to even look at something new. Other times the relationship between your prospect and their existing vendors is just so strong that they are not even interested in hearing about you. That is why sales has always been a “numbers” game – you will need to start with 10 prospects just to get a response from 3 of them and ultimately an opportunity to meet with just 1. This does not make you bad at what you do, but it does make you strive to do better!
I wish I had the answer for this conundrum, and if I did, I would be making a living as a sales consultant… or not. The point is though, you must put yourself in the shoes of your prospect. They routinely get blasted with phone calls, e-mails, direct mail, social media and more! If you were them, would you respond to everything? Of course not!
It is your job, and that of your marketing department, to then become creative to find a way to make a first impression – one that is relevant and targeted for your prospects and at the same time unique. You need to “think outside of the box” (see a previous blog post), and be willing to try something new.
As for what this might be, here are just a few ideas to consider…
- Create a short video introduction, and even personalize it for each prospect. Tell some of what makes you different as a vendor and share your passion.
- Define your value proposition – put it in writing and include why you are truly unique as a supplier.
- Develop a creative and tactile leave behind brochure – keep it simple, but memorable. Find a way to personalize this piece for each prospect you leave it with.
- Create content that is relevant to a prospect’s business and offer them a download through a landing page, or distribute it along with your intro letter.
- Do handwritten introduction letters that include a small denomination gift card inviting them for coffee – old school perhaps, but as they say… “all that is old is new again!”
What ever the strategy is that you develop, know that you must also practice the “talk” that goes with it and refine the approach as you begin to use it. What works for one group of prospects may not work for everyone, so you may find yourself starting all over again!
How is that you “break the ice?”