I target software companies and technology companies for the most part in my job. I get inbound leads from the work my marketing team is doing inside of our marketing software that we use (HubSpot) and I source my own leads off of trigger events. In both scenarios when I reach out I need to know how to let someone go and let them come back to me.
We all know the saying, "If you love something let it go, if it is meant to be it will come back."
This is how I think about companies and leads as well. If I reach out to someone after doing good and smart research and I decide to let them off the phone without booking a meeting, I probably have done that for a good reason.
Think about this scenario:
It was Friday afternoon and I was going through my open high leads in SFDC. I came across one that was a software company, it was an inbound lead and after I did my research I decided to call them and see what was up.
Here is what I used to go into that conversation:
- I knew he was the head of BD there.
- I knew they didn't have a marketer on staff.
- I knew they weren't using any marketing software now.
- It looked like their business model was a good fit potential fit for inbound marketing and what I solve for but would have to talk to them to really see if this was something he cares about.
- He was an inbound lead. He had come through our website on a search he did on the search engines on "what is an infographic?" From there he clicked on an ad my marketing team has setup and then went to a landing page of ours on what infographics are. He downloaded the guide on infographics and that was that.
- That is all I had to work with...
What I needed to do is think up scenarios of what could happen on this call and be aware that going into the call he probably has no clue what HubSpot is or what HubSpot does. Remember I know that he searched "what is an infographic." To be a smart sales person I needed to do my own research as to why he might have searched this. It seemed that he searched this because maybe he cares about making his web presence better. That was my idea, but I wrote it down in case I wanted to talk to him about that on the call.
I picked up the phone...
Here is what I learned and what you should remember when you are calling someone or prospecting a company that you know might not know your company.
1. Don't assume that the person or company you are calling knows what you do.
2. Don't assume that just because you think they are a good fit for your product or service that they will.
3. Be ready to talk about why you are calling and why you are reaching out to them.
4. Know why you think you can help them. What research did you do that told you this might be timely or relevant for their business. Be ready to explain that confidently and in a clear manner.
5. Remember that if you catch this person off guard on the phone the timing might be bad. ASK the person how your timing is and explain quickly why you are calling.
6. If someone is vaguely interested tell them thank you for listening and thank you for trying to understand why I am reaching out.
7. They have no reason to listen to you or not hang up on you. ADD VALUE to their day. Explain why you are calling and try to explain what might help them quickly. That will lead to a more in depth conversation.
8. If it does seem like they care and it does seem like there could be something worth while here but they don't want to take a meeting right away...let them go and do research. Let them go, if it is meant to be they will come back.
If you do decide to let them go and you know there could be a fit based on your conversation make sure you ask the following questions so you know how to deal with this lead in the future:
- Why do you think there is potential value here for them? What leads you to believe this from your conversation?
- Ask the person if what you are saying is making sense and if you were right with the research you did.
- Does the research that you did have anything to do with what is really going on there at hte company?
- Is your service or product that you sell actually timely like you thought from your research?
- Do they agree with all of these things that there might be something here?
- ASK THEM THESE THINGS, don't assume just because they are saying yes to your questions.
- Ask the person if since you caught them off guard and it sounds like it seems like there could be a fit here if you should setup a time to talk further.
Don't take advantage of their time, respect their time and their day. They were doing something before you picked up the phone to call them. Acknowledge that and be respectful of their time. It will go a long way.
When you get off the phone you should know what your next steps are.
- What are next steps for them to do their research?
- Ask them how they like to research a company before taking an exploratory call.
- What would be helpful for you to learn more about my company?
- I don't want to just send you something to send you something. What would REALLY be helpful?
- Ask them what they need to know about your company to take another call with you?
- Realize and acknowledge that they don't know you, don't know your company, etc. Tell them about your background quickly and why your company exists- anything that will give you some quick credibility will help your case.
- Ask them how they typically figure out if they want to talk to a company about their services. Do whatever they tell you to do when you hang up.
- Ask them when you could call them back to see if those materials helped and if it would then now make sense to talk more.
Once you get off the phone you should have all this information. if you don't then you didn't do your best you could have done. Make sure you know what you need to do to hopefully have the lead come back to you.
Same thing in love. If you love something and you let it go, it comes back it was meant to be. Leads are similar. If you set them up with good information that will help them think about your company and they realize it could be a good fit they will remember you and come back to you.