Like many, I grew up on the phone, smashing call after call in my attempt to sell something. Sales managers have spent decades telling hesitant salespeople to “pick-up the phone.” In the past, when I felt my momentum wasn’t there, I would force myself to start calling people, knowing something would start to happen.
This no longer works.
Today, the majority of people don’t want to be slowed down by a conversation. There are simply too many interactions to manage to have the time to “talk” to someone on the fly – one word texts, one sentence emails, go, go, go.
It has gotten so bad that leaving a voicemail is now considered poor etiquette. “I see you called, don’t make me listen to a damn message, I will call you back when I can.”
What is the solution?
The solution… engaging on engagement. Today, you want to send out quality content, watch who engages, track the extent that person engages, and respond in almost real time on that engagement. In short you send someone an email, track the person clicking on that email, and apply a point value for every click that happens from that point forward. The higher the point value the more engaged the prospect. Better yet, all of this happens behind the scenes. The sales-person simply has to look to see who has the highest score and follow up with those people. Most importantly, by the time you reach out, you don’t have to explain who you are or why you are reaching out. You simply send out a quick email saying, “Would a call be productive?” And this has to happen within minutes, not days.
Yes, there are a number of things I have jumped over. You need to get the email address. It is vital to account for all anti-solicitation and privacy regulations. None of this is possible without the appropriate technology. Nothing is easy as you want it to be.
My final point, for all those that are now thinking, this is a retail practice and not suitable for institutional LPs, you are dead wrong. Knowing if the CIO of Texas Teachers is on your website is a hell of a lot more important than knowing if someone just clicked on pair of running shoes.