If you’ve followed my blog or my company for any length of time, it’s likely you’ve heard me say that immediate response to sales leads is one of the crucial factors for creating new sales prospects (and that a good sales automation tool is about the only way to do it consistently and effectively).
If you haven’t read the article, you might think that the title follows along with what I’m espousing—that we need to “show up first,” be the first person on the scene, be faster than the competition, etc.
In reality the point of Paul’s article wasn’t about being the first person to show up—the point was to show up at all.
Too often we barricade ourselves into a place where we know we can be comfortable.
Comfortable and barely productive.
We tell ourselves stories about how “These prospects aren’t really going anywhere,” “That cold call approach will never work,” or “They’ve never heard of us, why would they listen to me?”
We come up with every reason not to put forth the effort to get ourselves out there. Because it’s risky. There’s a chance we’ll be rejected. A chance that there’s going to be an emotional backlash because some prospect is having a bad day and doesn’t want to talk to us.
As much as I believe in the power of immediate response, a lot of the time in sales, the choice isn’t how quickly we show up, the choice is to show up at all.
Now let’s be clear—given the opportunity with a prospect, the best choice is to “show up first” and be the first one there. Research from MIT shows that immediate response to Web leads within minutes, combined with consistent, proactive follow-up increases contact and qualifying rates over 21x over waiting even a day.
Furthermore, most sales industry studies show that the first respondent to a new inquiry gets the sale between 30 and 40 percent of the time, because they typically create a sense of “loyalty” with the prospect. If there’s one change you could make today that would have immediate impact on your business, it would be to get in front of the prospect first, do it within minutes, and do it over the phone. You’ll have a serious competitive edge in your market.
But before you can “show up first” you have to “first show up”—and if you can’t manage that, all the sales advice and business strategy in the world isn’t going to help.