Getting in touch with clients is more difficult today than ever before. In 1973, the world changed. If you could make phone calls, you could succeed.
In 1975 the average person received 4 telemarketing calls per week and the recipients engaged them.
Fifteen years later, the average household receives 1,600 telemarketing calls per year. In the early nineties, the “do-not-call” list was initiated and public went through the process of building walls. Now it was not just the gate-keeper you had to deal with.
Whatever you sell, when prospects say “not interested, too busy, I have a friend in the business, call me at work… blah, blah, blah…” it’s not about those objections. Whatever they say, it’s all the same. Why? The answer is that you offered no “Entry Value” into the client’s universe.
People have to know you, like you and trust you, all of which are prerequisites to earning an appointment, not a sale. They may like and trust you, but if they don’t know something about you they won’t engage in the appointment process. This is where establishing and maintaining e-relationships is important.
I’m a lot like Bill Belichik the head coach of the New England Patriots. He said “I don’t use Spacebook or Spacebook” Maybe we both should reconsider.
You have to separate yourself from every other guy pitching the same stuff. The average person works 57 hours a week and they don’t want to engage in an appointment process after a long, hard day of work.
What’s unique about you? Not your company, but rather you? That’s what will separate you from the masses.
“79 percent of people are more likely to buy from someone with whom they have an acquaintance,” according to Steve Yastrow (2007 WE-the Ideal Customer Relationship).
The Rule of Visibility is the person who has the highest level of contact with clients via the educational process utilizing the internet highway. If you don’t educate your clients, Suzie Orman or Howard Stern will, and they won’t sell your message. Why leave your client’s education to the mouthpiece with the loudest megaphone? They listen to these people because they’re the only ones communicating.
Your goal is to turn every “no” to a “not yet.” Cultivate a “not yet” relationship. Treat them as if they’re one of your privileged clients. Turn your narrow pipe into a wide-mouth funnel and stay connected with a “Value Promise.”
For instance, 87 percent of people who bought life insurance from an agent say “I do not have an agent.” Why? They are not staying in touch. It’s about the V-E-T formula: Visibility, Engagement and Touching. How many clients do you have that know you’re in the insurance business… but they really don’t know what you do?
The “Hesitant Friend” is the average client. They know you’re the agent but they don’t really know what you do. Adopt this philosophy: “Just because you’re in a particular business doesn’t mean you should be my client… but it also doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be my client either.”
Turning the “Hesitant Friend” into client is about being remarkable, relevant and personal. Try laminating their business card and mail it back to them as a luggage tag.
Prospecting is about “being nice” to other people. When you laminate a business card or an article or an invitation to graduation and return it to the sender, you’re “being nice.” It’s called the “Rule of Reciprocation.” Be nice.
“Being nice” is about bridging the threshold from being a “Hesitant Friend” into a valued client.
E-relationships are about cards, storyboards, checklists, newsletters, photo album, referrals, invitations, inspirational quotes and CRM.
Joe Girard, the greatest automobile salesman in the world, used to send out 13,000 postcards per month. Happy New Year, Happy Valentine’s Day, Happy Groundhog’s Day, Happy St. Patrick’s Day, Happy IRS Day, Happy Mother’s Day, Happy Father’s Day, Happy Fourth of July, Welcome Back To School Day, Let’s Remember 9/11, Happy Halloween, Happy Thanksgiving and Merry Christmas… just to mention a few.
Experts say you must contact someone 15 times per year to create a prospect. What is your identity?
Michael Aun is a syndicated columnist and writes a weekly column for this newspaper. To contact Michael Aun, email him firstname.lastname@example.org.