19 Aug How to convert cold executive leads into new business
I often speak to executives who want to know about closing deals with senior executives and how it’s different from everyday sales calls with VPs and directors. A good rule of thumb is to try and avoid having a conversation with a cold prospect in the first place. Speaking to a warm lead, who’s at least aware of what you do, is always going to improve the chances of closing a deal. But, if you can’t do that, articulating what you do as concisely and quickly as possible is essential.
The most important thing with an exec sales call is to find out the top three things they’re focused on as quickly as possible, individually and organizationally, and deep dive into what those might mean. If possible, already know what their specific area of interest might be. If you ask them a well targeted question about their needs, perhaps a need they don’t even know they have, often it can open the flood gates.
From there, ask open ended discovery questions and get them talking. Listen and don’t talk over them. Share something and do so within the time frames you’ve agreed or less.
Talk about price point in the first call as it will be essential to working out if there’s opportunity, but you have to balance that with the value you can offer.
We had a recent sales call with a large middle eastern bank. They asked us to send a list of prices, but that’s never going to work without a thorough understanding of how they’ll get their ROI. You need to cast a vision of what’s possible together that’s so powerful it nearly haunts them in their sleep for not working with you.
In terms of outcomes, by the end of the call, you should aim to know whether or not the prospect represents an opportunity. Don’t fall into the trap of dismissing them if they are not ready to move right away, you’ll be missing out on a huge number of sales. Take a look at our blog on how to nurture prospects for long term revenue gains.
Second, if there is an opportunity there, make sure you establish when the next time you speak will be. Get it in the diary there and then.
After that, the number of sales calls required to close varies on industry, but usually 3-5 engagements can be enough to seal six or seven figure deals.