The Danger Of Giving Up On A Prospect Too Soon

Posted by Josh Turner in B2B Lead Generation & Sales Insights

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In this article, you’ll learn how to avoid the trap nearly all businesses fall into regarding their lead generation, PLUS you’ll learn the art of sending non-pushy, non-annoying follow-up that actually builds trust with your prospects.

​If you do this right, it will impact your immediate conversion rate with your prospects AND the long-term results you see.

Do you want more quality leads and clients?

One simple way to get more is to master the art of the follow-up. Just be aware: there’s a trick to it so that you don’t come off as salesy and pushy.

Today we address a major problem: too many businesses leave leads and potential clients on the table simply because they give up too soon.

If you want to develop relationships that open the door to real business conversations, you must realize that it takes time to build the trust and familiarity that allows prospects to open up to you before they’ll hear your offer.

The danger of giving up too soon on a prospect is that you lose leads who may have been great clients - they just weren’t ready yet.

How To Avoid This Trap

It’s this concept that plays on a basic human need: contact.

Consistent contact builds familiarity, which contributes to trust, which takes time to build.

I recently talked about this on-stage:

Some experts and researchers have concluded it can take 12 attempts on average before a salesperson could break through to a prospect. Other studies say it takes up to 6 touchpoints, others say 13, I’ve even heard of some that say it’s over 30. In my experience we’ve had prospects that have received a daily email from us for a couple years before they are ready to buy.

Regardless, we can all agree that it’s certainly not 1 or 2. It takes regular, consistent contact and relationship building to turn cold leads and prospects into clients.

Yet according to a Microsoft study from a few years back, 79% of salespeople give up between just 2 and 3 contacts.

This is insane.

What’s more, that same study showed that 50% of business owners give up after the first contact with a prospect, and 89% of salespeople have given up after the 4th contact.

Can you imagine the leads you’re losing here?

The research shows that you start to earn top of mind awareness by the 7th contact, and you have a 90% chance of being called by the 9th contact - if they are ready to buy. Which leads me to an important point that you need to tattoo on your forehead:

You need to understand that your prospects are focused on other things in their lives other than your products and programs. They are more interested in themselves, their families, and their businesses.

In fact, marketing strategist Jay Abraham talks about the power of staying in front of your most important, high-value prospective clients. Here is a passage from his book “Getting Everything You Can Out Of All You’ve Got”:

“The best way to continuously generate business is to keep constantly in the mind and awareness of your prospects and clients. If you think about the interests and needs and well-being of them, at a higher and more continuous level than anybody else, you’re going to be constantly on top of their awareness. So when the opportunity presents itself, these people are automatically predisposed to remembering YOU.”

That’s why having a consistent system in place is critical to your success because you’ll be able to stay in touch with people and show interest in them—not just when they are ready to buy.

By the way, I’m not talking about making a handful of phone calls or sending out a few messages. That will appear “salesy” to your prospect.

I’m talking about building a genuine relationship with your prospect instead of just seeing them as mere contact, lead or opportunity in your CRM.

There are a couple reasons for doing this:

It makes the sale a lot easier because they’ve gotten to know you better by the 6th contact. Every touchpoint greases the line—furthers the relationship—and separates you from your competitors who have given up on them. This is how you practically eliminate your competition because nobody else is doing it.

It also shows your prospect that you’re there for them all the time—not just when it’s time to close the sale. This frees you up from the pressure of having to be a great salesperson or being able to read people because by the time they’re ready to buy, in many cases, they are coming after you!

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How Can I Follow-Up Without Being Pushy?

So what does this typically look like? First, here’s what pushy looks like (and a big reason why people give up too soon):

Let’s say someone sees a post from you on LinkedIn.

They like what you say and maybe they’ll hit “Like” and move on.

Let’s say they see another post in two weeks. (Do they remember you from before?)

Now let’s say you connect with them on LinkedIn.

They accept and you send them a thank you message for connecting and start telling them about your business and the services you offer right away. (BIG no-no.)

No response. (No surprise there.)

You send another message. Again, no response.

You send a third message.

You’re feeling pretty good about how many times you’ve followed up so far, so at this point, you figure they’re not interested. You move on.

What just happened?

A few things. First, you have no idea whether or not they need your services right now. Also, depending on the type of messages you sent out - if they were straight to the sale, all about your business and what you can offer, maybe you failed to build trust, or get their interest, or maybe you came off as annoying rather than helpful.

Instead, try this:

1. Don’t give up after 3 messages (we usually send out at least 3-7 before we even ask for a sales conversation).

2. Make sure your messages are interesting, relevant, and even helpful to your prospects.

3. Make sure you’re using other channels as well. LinkedIn alone offers you several ways to stay in front of your prospects; from posting on LinkedIn so they see you in their newsfeed to posting in LinkedIn groups (or even creating your own - to which you can invite them), to sending messages.

It’s not complex really, it’s just about being consistent, helpful, and using both a multi-channel and multi-touchpoint approach.

What If I Don’t Have Time to Follow-Up Like This?

At this point we get a lot of pushback from people who absolutely “get” it - giving up too early means less business coming in the door…

BUT, they just don’t have time to follow up so often, prepare content, use a multi-channel approach, and be consistent about it.

Here’s what I say to that -

It’s a matter of priorities and finding ways to streamline the process.

First, priorities.

Think about the Pareto principle (also known as the 80/20 rule, the law of the vital few, or the principle of factor sparsity). It states that, for many events, roughly 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes.

If you apply this to your marketing, you’ll probably realize that of everything you’re trying to do and putting out there, 80% of the results are coming from 20% of your marketing efforts. For us, especially before we were ready to scale, that 20% meant any task that contributed to building trust and relationships directly with our prospects.

That means if we cut out a lot of the other stuff we were trying to do, it would streamline our efforts and likely amplify our results.

We were right. Based on all the work we’ve done for our clients, I’ll make an educated guess that it will work the same for you, too.

Second, finding ways to streamline the process.

We cover this in-depth in this training, where we even show you the tools, templates, and scripts we use to bring the time spent on all your prospecting and lead gen activities to just 20-30 minutes day.

Click below to learn how we do it:

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