Get past the gate keeper, get a meeting with the #DM. Push for a meeting.
Been there - read all the books you did...But first, get "the meeting."
The meeting was all important. It's a numbers game...right?
Meetings = Opps and opps means pipeline.
3x your pipeline gets you to quota. Oops, I mean 4x Nope 5x. 6x? Bueller? Anyone?
Just meet with me. 15 minutes to show you my value.
Today? Tech has changed. Shoe leather replaced by the phone. Phone replaced by email. Email replaced by social.
But the holy grail? It's still the MEETING. Right?
Ten minutes to meet with me/ discuss your business / tell you what should keep you up at night / provide insight / provide value. Just meet with me and I'll prove my worthiness.
Secret script to get meetings. Killer subject line to get meetings. Super Tweet to get meetings.
But...what if....it's not "all about the #meeting?"
end of #partone
We are dying of thirst in the middle of an ocean.
Science fact : adrift in a lifeboat, if you drink seawater, your body will expel more water than you drink to get rid of all the excess salt you're consuming. Eventually, you expire from dehydration...an ocean before you, and you die of thirst.
So what does this have to do with #meetings? Everything we do, we're pushing for the meeting.
We're in a sea of sales meetings...an ocean of opportunities. But we're dying of thirst.
It's undeniable. 50% of sale reps fail to make quota. Not because we aren't having enough meetings.
I've seen your CRMs. No.
You're getting meetings from cold calls. You're getting meetings from email campaigns. You're getting meetings with webinar attendees.
But to what end?
- I could post that lead to deal conversation rates for cold calling hovers around .02%
- I could post that lead to deal conversation rates for email campaigns fare slightly better at .07%
- I could post that even my personal favorite - webinars - their lead to deal conversation rates skyrocket up to a whopping .44%!
Yes, we have to meet, selling requires "meetings"
Why are we meeting? That's not the question.
What is the question? And the Answer? (maybe?)
End of #parttwo
Pushing for meetings but dying of thirst in an ocean of ops because they're not turning into #sales. The Answer?
Msgs to me, eagerly awaiting #partthree: "I have money I am willing to give you for the answer! Tell me what salve I need, sell me the medicine that will fix what ails me!"
Alas, I have grown weary of the quick fix, of the single book or 12 part training course or special subject line that is supposed to rejuvenate my pipelines & spin straw into gold.
Two things I know are true - Bruce Willis was dead the whole time & I have no magic beans to give you.
Complex problems don't lend themselves to simple answers - though that's what we crave & some of us peddle in order to pay our mortgage. On our second house. In Ibiza.
For the rest of us, wearily carrying our bags from virtual door to virtual door, the day grows late.
Lights flicker on in the houses we pass, dinners hit the table, familial laughter & arguments waft from open kitchen windows as we trudge past them, in the gloaming, feeling our way home.
We've spent our day meeting & walking & calling & talking...yet we've got fewer coins in our purse then when we started.
Keep your coins, fellow traveler, what I offer next does not ask for them.
You've waited this long - the three of you that stuck around (hi Mom!) - so I'm not gonna mince anymore words:
We're having too many meetings with prospects that aren't prospects - they're not even SUSPECTS. They're nothing...they were never in the market for our widget or any widget - they just couldn't say "NO" to our "ASK" for a meeting.
There, I said it. Feels good to say it out-loud...at least in print.
Oh what was that "thud" you heard? I think it was the sound of sales gurus fainting....because GETTING THE MEETING is what it's all about!
Tweet Alert! - #Sales Meetings have become the single greatest vanity metric to exist since the LIKE on @Facebook or a FOLLOW on @Linkedin or @Twitter.
As I said earlier - I know this because I've SEEN your CRM.
Every day here at ZynBit I talk to Salesforce Administrators and we walk though your CRMs.
I see meeting after meeting after meeting documented.
Meetings with influencers and decision makers. Meetings with C-Levels and End Users.
I see qualifying meetings and proposal meetings and demo meetings.
I see dashboards and reports built on the data from all these meetings. Great big charts and graphs and lions and tigers and bears...oh my!
You know what I don't see alot of?
Status: CLOSED WON.
IMHO, our prospecting engines are IDLING too high, pushing for the "meeting" as the be all and end all.
Result? The engine seizes, because the mix is off.
Remember earlier I said "why are we meeting?" is not the question we should be asking ourselves?
The question, in my mind, is "with WHOM are we meeting?"
In any sales org, the vast majority of effort is placed on dealing with NET NEW customers. Reaching out to people that don't know you, don't know what you're selling and don't know they need what you're selling.
You job is convincing them to meet with you so you can SELL THEM.
All from a few words in an email or a phone call or an elevator pitch.
How did we EVER come to believe that a "meeting" scheduled from a 30 second phone call or an email "out of the blue" to a complete stranger will lead to a real SALE?
Before you start searching homedepot.com for sales on pitchforks and torchers - yes, I know your story of the day you called some guy cold and sold him a million widgets. I have the same story - everyone does. It's the business equivalent of walking into a bar, picking up a dart and throwing a bulls-eye.
Is that what you've built your financial future on? Darts?
Here's my take - There’s a lot of people out there with a vested interest in getting sales people to participate in cold outreach to net new prospects - many of them are sales trainers or sales consultants.
They spend a lot of time with complex systems or scripts or formulas - all of which usually END with the only metric they have to measure their program's effectiveness.
Guess what that metric is? (hint - it rhymes with "schmeetings")
Yes! The only metric they have for you to measure is....wait for it...MEETINGS!
"This is how my super secret sales formula Y can get your sales people more sales meetings!"
And if your meetings don't turn into sales? Well, that's not the sales guru's problem...it's probably because you suck as a salesperson or are lazy or don't hustle with enough grittiness or something highly technical like that.
But there's another way....at least I think there is.
In my mind there exists a single group of people who can provide you amazing leads and virtually (sometimes literally) walk you into meetings with qualified customers that turn into actual sales...
And this special group of unicorns will most likely have no problem meeting with you...
That's because....you've already sold them.
I'm talking about your current customers.
I can hear the moans and groans from the sales guru-class:
OH ANOTHER REFERRAL GUY...YES REFERRALS ARE NICE...BUT YOU HAVE TO SELL NET NEW! IF YOU RELY ON REFERRALS YOUR KIDS WILL BE SKINNY. MY BOOK CAN SHOW YOU HOW TO GET MORE MEETINGS THROUGH COLD OUTREACH! JUST SEND $19.95...
Um, ask yourself - "Self, when I want to buy something, do I wait around from a person to call me on the phone or send me an email? OR do I go out and speak to friends and family and colleagues about my impending purchase?"
Also ask yourself "Self, when I have an AMAZING or HORRIBLE customer experience, do I simply keep my mouth shut or do I bleed all over Facebook or twitter and complain to all my friends about it?"
Remember when I talked about LEAD-TO-SALES conversation rates for Lead Lists, Emails and Webinars in my artsy-fartsy posts above?
Well let's look at this graph from Salesforce comparing those rates to the close rates REFERRALS get.
In the modern world we live in - not 1996 - people buy most everything via referral.
In B2C it's called "reviews and ratings" but it's STILL a referral.
We call it YELP or ROTTENTOMATOS or AMAZON...(check out ZynBit reviews on the Salesforce App Exchange...subtle pitch placement over)
In my opinion (take it for what it's worth) it's our job as sales leaders to take on and create true customer referral programs that are collaborative efforts with our customers, building on great content and excellent customer experience.
Anything else we concentrate on is a losing proposition. It's the law of diminishing returns. There's just too many solutions out there - too many choices - too much information on the old interweb for prospects to wade though. And the laws are changing - it's becoming harder and harder to concentrate on cold outreach - in some countries B2B cold outreach is regulated as harshly as B2C telemarketing.
And it's not going GO BACK the other way. It's not going to get EASIER to talk to people on the phone...or over emails...or on social media.
When something is no longer a socialy acceptable activity, it doesn't matter how GOOD you do it. "Hey I'm an AWESOME SMOKER" is not a reason to let someone smoke in a restaurant.
And if you have a problem with me equating cold outreach with smoking...you really DO need to talk to your customers, don't you?
Maybe this resonates, maybe it doesn't, Maybe you think I'm full of insight or full of shirt...(yes I left the "r" in there on purpose - my MOM is reading this!)
I’m not here to slap the food out of anyone’s mouth, so if your net new meetings are just fine and your CLOSED WON statuses are piling up like Snow at Santa's Workshop on Christmas Eve, then by all means tell me to take a flying leap.
I’m sure you’ll find a plethora of books and courses and lists you can spend your money on to learn how to do "get more meetings" through cold outreach.
But if you're interested in taking this journey with me....let me know.
Here's my ask: its not a webinar or a meeting or even asking you to download ZynBit for a free 14 day trial - what I'd like to do is create a group for "like-minded" sales professionals that are willing to freely exchange thoughts and ideas on how best to create and expand referral programs. How to best to mine current customers for real-world value props and "buying reasons." And how to infuse a Customer Experience-mindset into every part of the modern sales process.
I told you in the last post I don't have any magic beans for you. But maybe, just maybe we can make some magic happen together.