Always Be Conversing!!
It's that simple. Well, maybe not THAT simple, but ABC is a good starting point! You see, I've recently had several conversations with frustrated business owners who are looking for new clients. They're desperate for new opportunities but don't want to change a thing. Just the thought of it fills them with trepidation.
Unfortunately, just as there are no "get rich quick" schemes, there are also no "get clients quick" schemes. This is particularly true in the B2B space where sales cycles are often very long. It takes time to build a relationship with a prospect. You have to introduce, educate and earn respect just to achieve one engagement - a meeting, phone call or a chance to bid on a job. So yes, we have to be conversing and prospecting every single day.
Think back to how long it took you to engage a big client. Did it take months or even years to get that first opportunity? I can tell you from experience that landing one large enterprise account took us over three years of persistence, education and relationship building.
Let's look at some numbers. Keller Center Research at Baylor University found the following, for every 330 prospecting calls made:
- 72% were not answered.
- 28% of all calls were answered.
- Callers spent 2.5 hours on the unanswered calls.
- Callers spent 5 hours on the answered calls.
- These 7.5 hours of calling yielded 1 appointment.
Here at Acadia, our statistics, pulled from years of calling, are very much the same. There is no quick way to do prospecting. But, of course, we still have to do it!
The question we hear all the time is: IS IT WORTH IT? The simple answer - consider your ROI. If you spend $10,000 on prospecting and obtain an annuity client worth $15,000 the first year and $25,000 annually over the next five years, the prospecting was and is clearly worth your time and attention.
Think about what five hours a week of dedicated prospecting can do. You'll build a repository of names, leading to connections and a history of conversations. You'll begin to see a new stream of referrals. What are you doing to make new connections each week? What will happen if you don’t?
So, you have to be prepared to Always Be Conversing (or Calling or Communicating)! Remember those ABC's!