All marketing and sales teams look for the silver bullet to get prospects to talk to them. It is the subject of countless blogs, articles, and LinkedIn Groups. Is there something everyone is missing? Is there a blind spot reps and marketers have that will solve this?

The answer isnt a secret—it’s just factoring “real life” into the picture. It isn’t a certain phrase or time of day or trick to get prospectsto agree to listen, it is just being a peer. Peers understand how to connect with their peers. Approaching a conversation with understanding makes all the difference.

Your prospects get up to 20 calls a day from vendors, not to mention dealing with their internal teams and many responsibilities they have. Demands on their time and attention is constant. A vendor call is the first thing to fall off their radar; a vendor call is the very lowest priority on their list. Keeping that in mind helps reps adapt to their selling environment. It isn’t that there is no opportunity, even an active one—just initiating a discussion about something new isn’t something everything will stop for.

A way to illustrate this principle, let’s say a reporter has a very exclusive interview with a very hard to reach individual—getting this interview will advance their credibility and their career, and the individual told the reporter “okay you can talk to me on my morning run, but I won’t stop running—but if you can keep up I’ll talk.” Does the reporter say “no, I will call you once and you call me later that day--that is how I normally do this.” The opportunity will have come and gone before that happens and the story becomes old news, and likely another reporter will hacve got the story. A smart reporter will take the opportunity on the interviewee’s terms, put on some running shoes and get out there and get their story. Adapt to the environment.

Reps have their proverbial running shoes they need to put on, and that is persistence and agility. Your prospects are running all day, and you have to run alongside them to connect. They will talk to you but it’s on their terms. Even sales ready leads out of automation platforms need reps to adapt when it comes to the actual discussion. This takes it to the next level and offers up new challenges. What are your prospects terms?

  1. You have to keep trying to catch me, I am busy and have a lot going on.
  2. Vendors are low priority until I make a connection and see the value.
  3. Don’t waste my time with trying to schedule a meeting before I know if there’s an opportunity, you got me on the phone—tell me something that keeps me interested.

But what if you say “They should call me back—I sent them an email and left them a voicemail.” You can certainly take that position, and reps do that every day. And their prospects still don’t call back and they are buying from competitors all the time. It creates a vicious circle of no one getting what they need; the prospect still has a requirement and the rep still doesn’t connect.

Staying at the speed your prospects are at is the single most important change you can make to your outreach effort—don’t wait for a call back.

Happy Selling!