4 popular — and ineffective — strategies aimed at gaining new customers

There are no magic bullets when it comes to your salespeople getting a foot in the door with hard-to-see prospects. There are “strategies” that are almost guaranteed to turn prospects off forever.

Here are four of them  you may want to share with your salespeople.

  1. “I’m going to be in your area on Thursday. Would morning or afternoon be best for you?” It not only won’t work, but it may make the prospect angry. It’s best not to request an appointment if the prospect doesn’t have some understanding of you and  what you’re trying to sell.
  2. “We’re now working with companies in your business.” This is nothing more than a smoke screen to get an appointment that most prospects see through immediately.
  3. “I want to step by and learn more about your business.” Prospects can’t afford to spend time “educating” salespeople. It’s the salesperson’s responsibility to learn about the business before even trying to get an appointment.
  4. “We have a new product that will save you 30%.” Prospects want to save money, but they recognize that they will be required to spend money in order to benefit from projected savings. They usually don’t fall for this approach.

The old fashioned way

The old fashioned way is still the best approach to get appointments with hard-to-see prospects. Have useful information about the market and your ability to make your prospect’s business grow. Make your presentation concise, appealing. clear and simple.

0 thoughts on “4 popular — and ineffective — strategies aimed at gaining new customers”

  1. Numbers 2, 3, and 4 are certainly “no brainers” regarding getting an appointment. However, I would suggest that the first item be modified. When I am traveling to a city in which I have prospects, with whom (key point here) I have had phone or e-mail “conversations,” I have enjoyed success with this approach: “We have talked about how we have helped companies like (yours) achieve (whatever we help them achieve.) I am going to be in Memphis on Tuesday next week, and was hoping you might work me into your schedule after 3:00 PM. I will share with you how we achieve our results, and you can decide if we should have further conversations about working together.”

    Nothing magic about the words. Here are the important points: 1) we’ve communicated about this before and there seems to be interest on your part, and 2) I’m going to be nearby, so let’s meet if it makes sense to you. If you don’t ask for the meeting, you certainly won’t get it. If the prospect is unavailable, but says something like, “Can’t do it then, but let me know the next time you are in the area,” you have a further qualified prospect.

  2. Wow! I recognize all of those tactics. They have all been used to try to get to see us.

    What you are calling the “old fashioned method” really has a new twist in the educational marketing as used and taught by Chet Holmes, among others. Empirical market data is researched and formulated into a report and the approach to a new customer can then be transformed into an educational meeting. For example, “Our company has commissioned a report on the 7 most dangerous trends in the (insert specific industry here) which can be used to give you a compelling competitive advantage. I’d like to give you this report for free during our meeting. What day and time is best for you?”

    Using this approach and offering valuable information via the free report can (and is) used now in telephone appointments, internet pages and opt in sales letters. It is compelling and it works.

    Robert Green
    All-Tex Exteriors

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