Recently a number of questions have come in about how to go about prospecting right now. Some (most) feel it’s a very, very bad idea. I’m not so sure. Yes, I do think you have to be more strategic and careful…but stop? Hell no.
At the time I’m writing this, we’ve booked 41 appointments for my sponsors sales team in the last eight days, all driven by sending e-mails and making phone calls. What makes this even more tricky is that we’re selling sponsorships to events. Remember those? Where we all got together in person and ignored social distancing, actually shook someone’s hand, broke bread, gave hugs?
Are we using some secret stealth script? Bribes? No…we’re just calling and asking, “Are you still looking to recruit MSP partners?” I know…sophisticated, right?
So, here are a few thoughts regarding COLD CALLS right now, and selling in GENERAL:
- Make sure you’re selling to existing clients and unconverted leads FIRST. These are the ones who are most likely to take your call and be responsive. Of course, that’s true in ANY economy, but when times are tough, you want to really zero in on this list. (Side note: This is why Auntie Robin has been harassing you for YEARS on “planting the farm.” Some of you have listened; some of you are hungry grasshoppers right now.)
- Call on “essential businesses.” Obviously, SOME industries are devastated right now – so don’t call on those. Call on the ones that are still operating remote and the companies that support/supply them.
- Revise your pitch to be relevant to what’s going on in their world. Last month, the offer that was working like gangbusters was the “We’ll set your employees up to work from home for free.” At this point, I would imagine that is working less because everyone IS already working from home. (That’s not to say the offer still won’t stand…every area is situation-dependent.) NOW I would suggest a prospecting effort that ties into the “Maybe It’s Time To Take A Closer Look At Your Current IT Company” and offering a competitive bid. My guess is that many MSPs failed their clients in any number of ways when the sh*t really hit the fan.Most DID NOT ditch them because their house was on fire and they decided to limp along with the guy or gal doing their IT at that time. Now that things have settled down, my guess is many businesses will be open to considering a competitive bid. There may be another more appropriate offer based on your niche and what’s happening in your city. Point is, work on finding the most attractive, interesting offer you can make right now – and start putting it in front of high-probability prospects and people with MONEY.
A final word:
Keep in mind there’s ALWAYS some a-hole who’s gonna hate on you for calling, good times and bad. You’ll never get 100% loving on you for soliciting them. Tuff. Measuring how many people tell you “no” is definitely NOT how you want to measure if something is working or not anyway. If you get five out of every 100 to book an appointment and end up with two or three new clients, but 10% tell you to bug off and slam the phone down, that’s a trade I’ll make ALL DAY LONG. Talk to me when 100% slam the phone down and tell you to bug off…THEN you might have a problem. Otherwise, BE SMART but keep prospecting.