Sales managers are tasked with getting more results out of their sales team members each week, but there is a limit to how many hours sales reps can and will work. At Kingston Training Group (KTG), we believe the dealership’s job is to guarantee customers the ability to accomplish more work in the same day with the same employee count through the utilization of technology.
Dealerships work to implement business technology process changes and digital transformation to accomplish that for customers. In essence, dealerships speed up workflows to get more done while addressing their customers’ security, compliance and efficiency goals, which leads to more profitability. This philosophy must also ring true inside the dealership. Fine-tuning prospecting, and speeding up prospecting workflows and results, will help sales reps accomplish more. It is all in preparation. Cold calling on foot as the only prospecting effort is a slow process with diminishing results, as sales reps are spending most of their time speaking to receptionists. As a sales rep, you can actually speed up your prospecting results by prepping your foot calling the week before and walking in “hot.”
Following are three ways you can speed up your prospecting results.
(1) On Fridays, identify the times you want to foot canvass for the following week and write those times in your calendar.
(2) Identify prospects that fit into the geographical area for your prospecting and have those companies researched and ready to go. Researching includes knowing: What industry the company works in (e.g., law firm, logistics company, medical practice, etc.) and names of the possible buying committee (IT, finance, operations and ownership). Something proprietary about that company; this can be accomplished by quickly printing out a few pages of the company’s website to bring with you.
(3) Schedule “follow-up foot-canvassing prospecting time” into your calendar no more than 12 hours from the time you would have walked in on the prospect.
This will create the space for you to quickly reach back out to the prospect with a sense of urgency
For example, if I am foot canvassing in the morning on a Tuesday, then I would schedule 4 to 5 p.m. on Tuesday as “follow up phone-call time” from my foot canvassing efforts. If I were foot canvassing in the afternoon, I would schedule “follow-up phone-call time” first thing Wednesday morning. Before you walk in the door, review your research so you can add it to your talk track. You should know (because you researched the company), that you need to speak with John Bellows (your C-level point person or decision maker). Let’s pretend that John works at Ace Architecture and, from the research you uncovered, you know the company specializes in historic renovations, finished a project in 2018 restoring the public library in its town and has been in business since 1972. You can walk in, approach the receptionist and say, “Hi, it’s (your name) for John Bellows.”
By being so casual, the receptionist may think you know John and will call him. If John comes out, pitch him: “John, hi. My name is (your name); I was in the building (or down the street) and wanted to stop by personally to see if we might coordinate some time to sit down with each other. My firm works with many architectural firms like (insert other company names here). I know they differ from you, as I know Ace specializes in historical renovations like your downtown Library project in 2018. We (insert the same talk track you would on the phone).”
Spending time walking in your territory without a plan and advanced research in place can slow you down, as it can be very time consuming. Prepping foot canvassing around meetings already scheduled, knowing what the company does beforehand, how your dealership can help it do more, and the name of the decision maker you want to meet with prior to walking in cold, will speed up your ability to connect with the right person and deliver a value proposition as to why the prospect should stop his (or her) business day to meet with you — can and will create net-new qualified meetings right on the spot.
Another opportunity to speed up your results involves emailing prospects. If you are slow to implement emailing into your prospecting time, you need to speed up, because getting a real C-level decision maker to speak to you on a truly cold foot canvassing call is rare at best. And, if you just call a prospect as your only prospecting effort, most people have their calls go to voicemail if they do not know the caller and he has only introduced himself to the receptionist. The ROI on emailing is stronger. As voicemails become more prevalent and return calls less likely, attaching an email to the first voicemail you leave a prospect will dramatically increase results in terms of connecting with and getting a response from your prospect, which, in turn, speeds up the chance of setting a meeting and possible sales. At KTG, we call sending an email immediately after leaving a voicemail “power packing.”
Here is an example using a law firm:
(1) Call the business manager and if you get his voicemail, leave this message: “I am calling to schedule a meeting with you. I represent other prestigious law firms here in (insert location) including (insert two to three client references), just to name a few, in their pursuit of enhancing billable hours when filing with courts and faster interrogatory answers by implementing technology innovation, allowing billback with every touch point of a legal document — including Bates stamping, scanning and complaint case archival and retrieval — all while integrating with all legal software. “This is why I wanted to meet, as I was sure your firm would want to know what other law firms are utilizing to accomplish compliance, profitability and a competitive edge. I am that resource; that is what we do here at (insert your dealership name). Would (insert date and time) work in your calendar?”
(2) Immediately send an email to him: “I am writing to schedule a meeting with you. I represent other prestigious law firms here in (insert location) including (insert two to three client references), just to name a few, in their pursuit of enhancing billable hours when filing with courts, faster redaction interrogatories and technology innovation, including additional billback with every touch point of a legal document — including Bates stamping, scanning, and complaint case archival and retrieval — while integrating with all legal software. “I know your attorneys must be knowledgeable in all changes in the law in all (insert number of practice areas in the prospect’s firm) practices at (insert name of the firm). I also know that the (insert their executive title; e.g., legal CFO) wants to understand what changes are happening with technology that service the security, compliance and profitability for the business side of the firm and (insert your dealership name) is at the forefront of these innovations. I am your resource and that is why I want to schedule a meeting with you. Please let me know if you will be available on (insert date and time).”
(3) Put a task into your CRM to call him two days later and a task to send a second email five to six days later.
(4) When I call the prospect for the second time, if he picks up, I pitch him with the same talk track that I left on his voicemail. If I get his voicemail, I just hang up.
(5) When the calendar task comes up to send the second email, I forward the same email back to the prospect so he has a second chance to see it. I change the subject line to reflect that I am sending the email for a second time by adding the phrase “additional item”: “Hi John — Possibly meeting on Tuesday the 15th at 9:45 a.m. with Kate Kingston — additional item.” C-level decision makers respond to second emails because they think they may have missed something. That second email will dramatically increase the chance of a response and setting a new meeting.
Another easy way for you to speed up your prospecting results is to identify one hour on the weekend to work. They say “a day in the country is like a week in the city” and the same rings true in sales; an hour of concentrated work on the weekend is worth three-plus hours during the workweek. You can email a prospect and ask for a meeting on the weekend and this will showcase that you work just like the C-level prospect does. Start a weekend email like this: “John, I was working on a project for a client of mine this weekend and thought I would take a minute to email you.” Then include your email track.
This will showcase a commitment to your work and how valuable you would be as his technology partner. Also, do not forget that by using the delayed send option in your email, you can prospect whenever you need to, even after business hours, to get those touches in. Speeding up your prospecting will help you keep up with C-level decision-maker prospects and continue to make more qualified net-new meetings, creating more selling opportunities so you can make more money.
Kate Kingston is founder and president of the Kingston Training Group (KTG). With more than 17 years of success in making appointments with decision makers, she is a recognized authority on lead generation, cold calling and new
business development. Kingston can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit www.kingstontraining.com.