A pro tip on why you have to stick with prospects, and before you think to yourself, “yes, Lee, we’re aware of that”, hear me out.
Late last week kicked off the 4th of July holiday (although what I’m telling you applies to your new business program regardless of timing) and on Thursday I got two emails from 2 different agencies signing up to attend a webinar I was conducting.
The only thing-I presented that webinar almost a month ago.
Over the weekend and on the Monday and Tuesday of the the 4th, I got multiple emails from agencies interested in our services and almost all of them were responses to emails I had originally sent 4-6 weeks ago.
In the interim, I had reached back out through multiple channels (phone, social and mail) but they were just now getting back to me when the timing was right for them.
How does that apply to your new business program?
Lack of initial response does not equal lack of interest
1. Your prospects are busy
You say you know that, but most of you don’t embrace what that really means. Lack of initial response does not equal lack of interest.
And yet agencies routinely give up on a prospect 3 weeks in, or only think of an effort in terms of 3-6 months, and then you think it must not be working.
Sure, it may not be working for a myriad of reasons, but the examples I gave above are just a few that show the agencies I reached out to were interested, and they flagged my email to circle back with me.
2. You can’t just use one channel
Using email as your only prospecting channel is getting harder and harder.
Advanced security and spam filters are catching more and more emails these days, and while it’s still a valid tool, and one you should use, just like the return of Zima, (which is just as bad as you remember, BTW) “old school” methods like picking up the phone or sending a letter to a prospect are as valid as ever. Actually, they never went away.
And that’s not to discount the abundance of technology and tools that can help drive your new business program, but you need to marry the two and use it all to break through to your prospects.
So, early on: don’t get discouraged by an initial lack of response and don’t cut short your program due to your impatience.
Of course, you always look to improve and make changes where necessary, but new business is not a try-out, it’s a mainstay of your agency culture. At least, it should be.
Author: Lee McKnight Jr
I’m the VP of Sales at RSW/US. We specialize in working with services firms to help drive and close new business-if you need help with that, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. What I actually do: drive sales efforts to bring ad agencies and services firms on board with RSW, create content around successful new business tactics and help drive RSW/US marketing objectives, including social media channels, blog content, webinars, video and speaking engagements. Dig it.