There is a recurring question that haunts many sales professionals, which is: “How many attempts should be made in order to reach prospects in the B2B environment?”
Research shows it takes on average between 8 and 12 attempts to reach prospects by phone1. Does this statistic imply you should let go of your leads if you can’t get a hold of them after 12 tries? Certainly not. However, it sets a minimum for how many times you should pick up the phone before declaring a lead is not worth pursuing anymore.
If you still have not heard from a lead after 12 phone calls, it might be time to readjust your approach. Have you ever considered asking yourself if the reason your calls are not being returned is because you not putting all chances on your side? Before giving up on a lead, consider the following factors:
- Is the contact information for the lead accurate? Every hour, 64 business telephone numbers change or are disconnected and 47 businesses change address2. Make sure the data you have is clean.
- How long did you wait to make the call? If you can respond to a lead within 5 minutes of it being generated – versus waiting even 30 minutes – the odds of contacting the person are 100 times higher3.
- When are you making the call? Research shows the best times to contact leads are Wednesdays and Thursdays between 4 and 6 pm3.
Because it can be quite difficult to reach prospects, it is crucial you make that initial contact count. Ways of doing so include:
– Build a relationship. Let your personality show in order to create a connection within the first seconds of your interaction. Even in a B2B environment, the person you have on the line is human – so should you be.
– Avoid phrases that might turn off your prospect. No matter how great your interaction is running, remember nobody likes to be manipulated or told what to do. Consequently, there are phrases that you should systemically avoid (examples).
– Clearly communicate the reason you are calling. Another way to turn-off the prospect is to disguise the intent for which you are calling. Find out 6 of the most common lies salespeople tell.
– Follow Up. The majority of your contacts will not be ready to buy when you first interact with them. Be sure to nurture leads in order to convert every opportunity in your sales funnel.
Photo by Elliot Stokes