The phone rang, I absently picked it up, thinking it was another call that was scheduled about 10 minutes later.
It ended up being the wrong call, it was a prospecting call, “Dave, this is Chris from……. We missed you at Dreamforce and wanted to talk about how you can leverage our tool at your company.”
Not meaning to be nasty, I asked, “Do you know what our company does? What do you know about me?”
Chris started guessing, “I think your company is…… I don’t really know about you.”
I was pretty abrupt, I said, “You’ve got it all wrong, go do your homework, figure it out, then call me back.” For some reason, rather than just saying I’m not interested, I decided to give him a chance.
A little later, I get a voicemail, “Dave, this is Chris. Sorry I screwed up, I did my research, I understand where I went wrong. I think there are some things about our tool that may be helpful in working with your clients.”
“Hnnnnm, not bad.” I thought, He could have blown me off as a crackpot and gone on prospecting to the others on his list. But he took the time to do a few minutes of research and develop a new approach to engaging me. I even checked, he had looked at my profile and at our company.
We got on the phone again. He had shifted the discussion to our clients and how we might be of greater value to our clients through helping them leverage the tool. Not a bad approach. We had a short discussion, I asked him a few questions, pointed out some challenges. He handled them pretty well. It wasn’t a perfect call, but it was a much better than the first. It was a much more relevant and focused call. Based on the time between the first and second calls, he had developed this approach in about 10 minutes!
I have to respect what Chris did. He could have easily blown me off and kept powering through his call list. He could have been pissed off with my abruptness and suggestion that he needed to do his homework.
Instead, he didn’t give up. He admitted he made an error, but in doing his homework, he came up with a much better call strategy. It didn’t take a lot of time and he engaged me in a better discussion.
Hopefully, he’s learned a little bit. Hopefully, he in the calls he made later in the day, he took a few minutes to do some research. Hopefully, it helped him be more productive in each of the calls he made.
The difference between bad prospecting and much better (not quite great) prospecting is only a few minutes and a little imagination.
What would happen if you did the same with your prospecting?