The other day a coworker was talking about his lunch. He is counting calories and successfully losing weight. He was complaining about how you could not eat just one potato chip and said to me, “Never underestimate the power of potato chips!” As soon as I heard that phrase I knew it related to prospecting.
We all know you can’t eat just one potato chip. They are so good! Most of us have been guilty of eating chips and not even thinking about the number that have been consumed. You just keep popping them in your mouth. Rarely does a person say, “I am only going to eat one chip.” Imagine if you stopped at just one chip. You wouldn’t even notice that chip on the scale. Your clothes would not be tighter. You would not feel bloated from the salt. One chip would not change your day or your weight much at all. Not true for a whole bag of chips. Unfortunately, you would notice it on the scale and in your clothes!
So, what does this have to do with Prospecting? Simple – one is not enough! You cannot make just one call to prospects and expect that to change their day or your forecast! Rarely do prospects call you back after the first call. Unfortunately, most sales people make one call, maybe two to a prospect, then assume there is no interest and move on. Even more shocking, we hear from attendees in our Prospecting classes that when prospecting, many don’t leave messages!
At Sales Concepts we liken prospecting to a lumberjack. Picture a tree. Would a tree ever fall if a lumberjack hit the tree haphazardly with an axe on the trunk? Can you imagine a lumberjack just swinging the axe and hitting the tree wherever on the trunk? The tree would never fall. BUT… if you hit the tree consistently in the same place over and over, the tree WILL fall. Prospecting must be approached in this manner. You must be consistently persistent. You cannot make just one call. People are busy, they won’t usually return your calls.
Statistics show that 48% of sales people never follow up with a prospect after the first call. 25% of sales people make a second attempt and never try again. 12% of sales people make more than three attempts. This is the elite group of sales people that win the business of new prospects and rise to the top of their sales organization.
Statistics also show that less than 2% of sales are made on the first contact, yet 48% of sales people never reach out again. Less than 3% of sales are made on the second contact. Roughly 5% of sales are made on the third contact, and fewer than 10% of sales are made on the fourth contact. A shocking 80% of sales are made between the fifth to twelfth contacts to a prospect! If you keep reaching out to your prospects, you are bound to surpass your competition and increase your odds of closing new business!
So, act like a lumberjack who eats potato chips. Be consistently persistent. Treat prospecting like potato chips. Don’t stop at just one!