Many organisations have made severe cuts when it comes to travel, marketing, advertising and other pre-sales support activities. Welcome to what I call the New World Economy – a more intense, more competitive, more challenging selling environment that asks you to do more with less. To succeed in this environment requires an arsenal of New World Selling tactics.
Let’s step back for a minute and look at some key definitions. “Prospecting” is the act of placing highly qualified individuals or organisations into your sales process. That sounds easy enough.But how do you do it without a travel budget? This can be tough.
Before looking at a few “travel-free” prospecting approaches, let’s define a “qualified” prospect:
- An individual or organisation that’s almost identical to those I’ve successfully sold to before. (In other words, they fit my “template of ideal prospects.”)
- An individual or organisation that has the money and the authority to spend it on my solution before the end of this month, quarter or year. (You pick the time frame that’s most relevant to your sale.)
- An individual or organisation that can provide additional marketing mobility to my organisation and me in the form of referrals, leads and testimonials. (In the past five years I’ve made this qualifier a way of business, and it has been the most effective lead generation programme I’ve ever had.)
Let’s assume that 50 prospects in your territory fit into one or more of these three criteria. The best “virtual” approach is going to be one that’s highly visible and as automatic as possible, while providing a personal touch point that comes close to your being there physically with all or most of those 50 contacts.
Electronic Presentations to the Rescue!
The exciting medium of electronic presentations merges the advantages of audio (your voice) with text and graphics (your presentation slides). After it’s all bundled together, everything gets sent to your qualified prospect via the Internet.
When you combine reading (text), listening (audio) and viewing (graphics), you get an unbelievable 50% retention rate!(That dwarfs the retention rate of reading, listening or watching as separate elements – and yes, it beats meeting with you in person!) Common reactions from salespeople to the idea of electronic presentations include: “But no one will open up attachments in this day and age!” and “I can’t spam my territory!” If either or both of these thoughts are crossing your mind, relax. The medium I’m talking about features no attachments, and every piece of email you send is opened by invitation only.
Here’s how it works. You create no more than three PowerPoint slides with no more than 10 words on each one. You can use graphics (for instance, your prospect’s logo, or even a picture of you).You create an audio script that is conversational and has a talk time of 10seconds or less for each slide. (I know that these are some tight time requirements, but the reality is this: if you were making an in-person call,you’d face exactly the same restraints.)
You “author” all of this online and send it to your qualified prospects. Once the email is sent, you’ll be able to find out whether and when it was opened – and even how many slides your qualified prospect looked at!
Use the Telephone
Imagine leaving a voice-mail message for your prospect that informs him or her of your imminent electronic presentation.Imagine setting up and sending this e-presentation to a “C” level contact! Keep on imagining: What about putting your voice on the audio? Suddenly, you’ve got the best initial “C”-to-“C” outreach strategy anyone ever launched. Who’s not going to listen to a presentation from a fellow C-level that takes just a few minutes out of the day?
New World Selling is waiting for you! Take a moment, and view this column using “e-presentation” technology. While you’re at it, download a complimentary worksheet “template of ideal prospects” that will help you determine who your best qualified prospects are.