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Prospecting the Hard-to-Reach Person

You have the senior level prospect you know would be a great customer, if you could only figure out how to reach them.

You’ve tried every method possible and nothing seems to get through. Regardless of the time you call, who you call, the messages you leave or emails you send, nothing works. I’ve found one of the best ways is what I call the “58/2” approach.

The “58/2” represents the minutes in the hour, and what I’ve found is the hard-to-reach high level person you can’t reach is in meetings all day long. Most meetings tend to start on the top of the hour, and the hard-to-reach person’s day is filled with back-to-back meetings.

What this means is the only time the person might be available is from 58 minutes after the hour to two minutes into the next hour. Put another way, it’s the short window in between meetings.

Awhile back I was trying to reach the COO of a multi-billion dollar company and as I described above, nothing was working. Phone calls ignored, emails ignored, no help from the administrative assistant, and as is often the case, the COO was nowhere to be found on social media. My last option was to try calling using the “58/2” approach.

On the second ring, the COO answered!

Now, let’s not kid ourselves, the only reason he answered is because he thought I was his 11 AM conference call. I introduced myself and because I could tell from the greeting in his voice I was not the conference call he expected, I responded with, “Is this a good time to talk?”

His response was “no” and I immediately asked, “When might be a good time to call later today?” Without missing a beat, he responded I should call at 4:15 PM.

Promptly at 4:15 that afternoon I called and he answered and we had a great conversation.

(You’re probably thinking, “Why did he answer?” The reason is simple, he was the COO. People don’t get to a high-level position in a company without having integrity. This means he follows through and does what he says. Compare that to the lower-level person who would respond by giving you a time to call back when they know they won’t be there to take the call. A little food for thought as to why some people rise up in a corporation and others remain at the bottom.)

The conversation lasted no more than 5 minutes, but it led to another conversation and ultimately a few meetings and a very nice contract. I’ve used this approach on numerous occasions with great success. I can’t say perfect success, but it’s been far better than anything else I’ve tried.

As I’ve shared this approach with other salespeople in training sessions, I’m met first with skepticism, but then as they try it themselves, their skepticism turns to success.

Check out the video:

 

You’ll find numerous techniques and success stories like this in my new book, High-Profit Prospecting.

And be sure to join me January 12 for a webinar on Building Your Prospecting Plan for 2017! I will be digging into this issue of developing your prospecting/sales growth plan for 2017.   Sign up even if you can’t make it, as I’ll be sure to get you the replay of the event.  Most of all, let’s make 2017 an absolutely fantastic year!

Mark Hunter, your next keynote speaker: 

Mark Hunter, CSP, “The Sales Hunter” is recognized globally as one of the top sales speakers, known for his challenging insights, high-energy, and passion to create change that he delivers each time he speaks, whether it be a sales kick-off meeting, corporate function or association event. Mark Hunter is the author of the best selling book, High-Profit Prospecting. Here’s what others are saying:

Mark presented “Accelerate Your Sales Prospecting” at the February 2015 Institute for Excellence in Sales program in Northern Virginia. He nailed it and gave the 150 selling professionals and business owners in attendance amazing tips, strategies and tactics they could implement that day. The sales leaders at our program universally acknowledged Mark as one of the top speakers we’ve ever had.

  • Fred Diamond, Executive Director, IES Washington DC

At our annual company sales meeting we’ ve never seen a speaker work so hard, with advance preparation, with such genuine style of delivery, and with such hunger for results. If you weren’t on the edge of your seat….you were in a coma. Period! 

  • Mark Allen, Regional Manager, Marlin Companies

Mark’s strategies are innovative, easy to follow and easy to use in the “real world.” He customized his strategies to directly speak to the issues and challenges facing our unique business, and he helped us encompass specific selling examples. This training was very applicable to our sales staff, both at a senior and junior level, as it reinforced important sales techniques.”

  • Danielle Pakradooni, Blue Man Group

Copyright 2017, Mark Hunter “The Sales Hunter.” Sales Motivation Blog. Mark Hunter is the author of High-Profit Selling: Win the Sale Without Compromising on Price and High-Profit Prospecting: Powerful Strategies to Find the Best Leads and Drive Breakthrough Sales Results.

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