Prospecting is like eating potato chips.
The other day a coworker was talking about his lunch. He is counting calories and successfully losing weight. He complained about how you could not eat just one potato chip and said to me, "Never underestimate the power of potato chips!" As soon as I heard that phrase, I knew it related to prospecting.
We all know you can't eat just one potato chip. They are so good! Most of us have been guilty of eating chips and not even thinking about the number we have consumed. You keep popping them in your mouth. Rarely does a person say, "I am only going to eat one chip." Imagine if you stopped at just one chip. You wouldn't even notice that chip on the scale. Your clothes would not be tighter. You would not feel bloated from the salt. One chip would not change your day or your weight much at all. Not true for a whole bag of chips. Unfortunately, you would notice it on the scale and in your clothes!
So, what does this have to do with prospecting? Simple, one is not enough! You cannot make just one call to prospects and expect that to change their day or your forecast! Rarely do prospects call you back after the first call. Unfortunately, most salespeople make one call, maybe two, to a prospect and then assume there is no interest. Even more shocking, we hear from attendees in our prospecting classes that many don't leave messages when prospecting!
At Sales Concepts, we liken prospecting to an old-time lumberjack. Picture a mature tree. Would a tree ever fall if a lumberjack hit the tree haphazardly with an ax on the trunk? Can you imagine a lumberjack swinging the ax and hitting the tree wherever on the trunk? The tree would never fall. But, if you hit the tree consistently in the same place, the tree will fall. We must approach prospecting in this manner and be consistently persistent. One call does not work. People are busy, and they won't usually return your calls. Especially if you only call once or twice.
Research shows that 48% of salespeople never follow up with a prospect after the first call. 25% of salespeople make a second attempt and never try again. Only 12% of salespeople make more than three attempts. These are the elite group of salespeople who win the business of new prospects and rise to the top of their sales organization.
Statistics also show that less than 2% of calls create engagement on the first contact, yet 48% of salespeople never reach out again. Less than 3% of calls acquire engagement on the second contact. Roughly 5% of calls on the third contact get engagement. By the fourth attempt, only 10% of your calls will create engagement. A shocking 80% of engagement occurs between the fifth to eighth attempts to call a prospect! If you keep reaching out to your prospects, you will surpass your competition and increase your odds of closing new business!
So, act like a lumberjack who eats potato chips. Be consistently persistent. Treat prospecting like potato chips. Don't stop at just one!