Entrepreneur recently instructed: “Stop Trying to Kiss Your B2B Clients on the First Date“.
It’s a great analogy as advice goes on building relationships with prospective and new clients.
Still, if you really want to “start dating” someone, do you give up the first time they decline an invitation to go out?
One of the agencies I work with once expressed to me:
“I really don’t imagine you place the first call to a prospect, and they say, ‘Oh, I have a project I need help with right NOW, and I was just hoping someone like you would call.’.”
That has happened. Once.
But typically, getting that prospect to the first meeting is a process of working through a series of “no’s”.
Sometimes, it’s just a couple; other times it can be more.
A lot more. The key is in persistence – pleasant, considerate persistence.
A prospect I’d been pursuing recently agreed to a meeting after multiple outreaches to him.
He told me, “I set a quota for salespeople who want to meet with me. They have to call me at least 300 times. You made the cut.”
Well, it wasn’t THAT many calls; he was actually offering me a teasing compliment about my persistence.
If you look at the new case studies we recently posted, each contains a story of persistence. That’s PERSISTENCE.
A lot of factors go into a practice of successful, professional persistence. It takes time, study and strategy.
Turning “no” into that first meeting is a process of studying the prospect, and determining a need.
Strategize different approaches for planting the seed about that need with consistent, professional (i.e. relevant and considerate vs. needy and desperate) follow-up.
Present your rationale with confidence and professionalism.
Show the prospect you are developing an understanding of their business and the challenges they face.
With persistence, this competence will turn “no” into “Let’s meet!”
We’ll leave the kissing for personal time.