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Don’t Chase Sales Unicorns

Or, it’s not what you sell, but how you sell.

When you call someone and don’t receive a return call, what thoughts go through your head?

When you send an email to a prospect and receive no response, how do you feel?

In conversation with sellers, they often tell me that their biggest source of pain and frustration is the feeling that potential customers are ignoring them. Anyone with a position that includes business development requirements finds that this frustration makes a tough process of new business acquisition. Some manage to overcome it, but many others just succumb to the the idea that they “can’t win” and end up wallowing in a pipeline full of prospects that never go anywhere.

If you have been affected by that kind of frustration, I’m here to challenge your thinking with a shift of viewpoint on your efforts, and on your buyers’ responses.

They Are Paying Attention

If buyers don’t answer your calls, respond to your voicemails or reply to your emails, you may think they’re simply ignoring you. Here’s the thing: while they might not respond, they are paying attention. You’re leaving a “sales trail” that your customers can follow. The actions you are taking establish your credibility and speak volumes about future encounters or interactions.

How You Sell…As Important as What You Sell

We have fallen into the trap of believing that prospecting and acquiring new customers should be “easy” and that there is just the one perfect thing to say or do that compels people to respond to our offers as if we’re the puppetmaster and our prospects are dancing monkeys.

Think about what happens when you reach out and connect with your prospects – email, phone, LinkedIn, et cetera. Before they delete an email they will see who the sender is and grab a few lines of copy and context. Before they delete your voicemail, they’ll listen to the beginning if not all the way through to know if they need the information.

Maybe they weren’t compelled. Perhaps not impressed. Maybe they’re just busy or don’t have a need right now that drives them to respond.

But what you have done is leave breadcrumbs. Started the selling process. Put your name and voice out there to start a relationship.

Yes, you’re starting a relationship. Which can take time. And needs persistence, but, with integrity, of course. You keep working at, even if it’s one sided for now.

Getting a buyer’s attention is less about these one-off thunderstruck moments where you have this flash of brilliance that taps into your buyers’ brain and they fall into your arms and SPEND SPEND SPEND.

If you are looking for that “One Phone Call Unicorn” or the “Email that laid the Golden Egg” you’re looking for the easy button that includes gimmicks or manipulative techniques.

Here’s the shift: Deliver a continuity of experience that communicates value with persistence and integrity.

Keep showing up. Vary your message and approach. Try different channels to reach them. Offer multiple insights. Show you’ve done your research. Be real and earnest. Persisting with integrity means you are not self-serving in your endeavors. You’re not a “pest” if you continue to offer value and a means to serve your customer base.

Those who are persistent enough to continue to deliver and not give up too soon will reap the rewards.

Buyers are paying attention to what you say and what you do. They’ll recognize your name. They’ll string together some of the messages that were “sticky” and relevant to them.

It takes more than one call or email to be memorable. Don’t risk making a terrible impression with gimmicks or manipulation.

String together a series of memorable experiences and that will be more compelling than trickery or Hail Mary attempts.

Think about HOW you are selling.

  • Are you consistent?
  • Are you persistent?
  • Do your messages offer value?

Forget chasing the Unicorns or Leprechauns that promise one call will make prospects fall in love.

Revise your sales process and your communication to think about creating a “continuity of experience” that reflects your knowledge, dedication, humor, personality, and helpfulness.

Until next time, stop hoping and start SELLING!

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