Three key connections you’re losing out on

 

 

What do sales people continuously hear? 

“Always Be Closing.”

That might sound great in principle but in reality sales teams frequently don’t have the tools or resources to make it happen. 

Here are three sales scenarios where we all lose opportunities:

The “have you met my friend?” connection 

It’s Friday night and you’re out to dinner. You look over and there’s an old colleague, customer or friend you haven’t seen in some time.  You spend a little bit of time catching up and he introduces you to their companion who, it turns out, just happens to be a perfect prospect.  You do your best to give a brief overview of your product, you trade cards, and you promise them “I’ll email you Monday when I’m back in the office, Tuesday at the latest!”   You go back to your table and resume your dinner but secretly you’re writing that e-mail you promised and wondering if they’ll remember meeting you when they see it in their inbox. This has happened to me at dinner, a party, the gym, a football game, and many more places than I can remember. 

The “are you waiting for the same flight?” connection

You woke up early, packed your bag and took a cab to the airport.  You deal with flight check-in and get through security, and then find yourself waiting to board your flight.  You hear the announcement bell and dread washes over you.  Yep, your flight is delayed for an hour and a half.  You head to the nearest eatery or bar with a solid plan to get an appetizer or a drink.  It turns out the woman next to you had the same plan and you strike up a conversation. You talk about your families, how unpredictable flights are, and why you’re both traveling today.  Sooner or later work comes up and it turns out she works for a big customer you were trying to land.  You chat a bit about work but not too much (that would be rude).  You exchange cards on your way back to the gate and you promise them “I’ll email you as soon as we land!” I’ve had this happen many times, where I struck up a conversation while waiting for something to happen.  It may have been at the licensing office, the Best Buy, or even at my kid’s end of school year party - in all cases I had a random meeting with a prospect I wanted to connect with.

The “have you looked at what we’re doing?” tradeshow connection

Your boss told you that the team is behind on their numbers and says “let’s do some guerilla marketing!”  You brainstorm together and you propose that someone attend a tradeshow with a similar attendee profile and to use the event as a prospecting opportunity.  Your boss loves the idea and asks you to be the one to go since you’ll know how best to engage prospects at the tradeshow. You pack your bags for the trip (another airport opportunity!) and head to the show.  Each day starts early and ends late.  You put more miles on your shoes than a college graduate doing the interview circuit and visit every booth twice or even three times.  You meet five, ten, twenty meaningful contacts a day and try to quickly get them interested in your product. You exchange cards and promise them “I’ll drop you a line and we’ll connect!” You plan to send them an email at the very next opportunity but at the end of each day you’re so tired all you can do is get some food and fall asleep watching that movie you brought with you.  A week later you’re back at your desk with a stack of business cards, with little to no recollection of what each of them wanted, and a growing pile of work that you didn’t get done while you were gone. I won’t even try to count the number of times this happened to me or how many of those folks I didn’t ever hear back from.

What happens next?
In each of those scenarios you end up back at your desk trying to get back to your contacts with a meaningful response. I would try to remember some detail about my contact with the individual or their specific needs.  I usually ended up writing the same basic email:

Hi Jane,

I hope you remember me.  We met <when> at <where>.  We talked about <insert memorable little anecdote about their family or story here>.
You mentioned you <insert little snippet about their need>.  I’d love to chat about this.  Are you busy next Tuesday?

All my best,
Dan

The conversion rate on this mail is very low.  But I had no choice, right?  I have to move softly in case they don’t (and many won’t) remember who I am.  Even if they do remember who I am there’s a good possibility that they can’t remember why they should care to speak with me.  It’s not a good approach and it’s happened to me (and I’m sure everyone) more times than I can count.  Sad to say each time a positive chance connection simply became a lost opportunity.

Converting those connections
The best way to convert those connections is to put the onus on them to reach out to you.  How?  Get a Mobile Sales tool and respond to their needs instantly and personally.  It’s no wonder you’ll find these kinds of features in our Kurryer mobile sales product: after all I designed it to help me with these exact scenarios. Our team has created a Kurryer portal and we loaded it up with a few datasheets, videos, case studies and research papers.  When I meet a prospect I ask them what they’re interested in and forward them the appropriate content with a click of a button on my mobile phone. Prospects are always impressed when their phone beeps and they see my email.  When they click on the link in my mail (which could be days later) they go to my personal download page which features my photo and contact information.  In addition, the document they download is also customized with my personal contact information.  Everything about the experience is personalized and designed to remind them of who I am.  And of course, if they forward the link or print the document the next person in the chain also gets to meet me virtually. Now when I sit down to do my follow ups I am now in a position to send a very different email to the prospect.  I simply re-forward the original mail with the link and prefix it with:

Hi Jane,
I hope you’re well.  Have you had a chance to read the document below?  Can we have a call Tuesday to go through it?
Thanks,
Dan

Simply put, responding instantly and personally is a better way to leverage an initial contact, save time and increase my conversion rate.  That’s what I call a good use for mobile sales enablement.
I’m curious – have you run into these scenarios?  What did you do?