I’ve written before on my belief getting in is the greatest sales skill of them all — greater than qualifying, advancing, and closing a sale. The reason is simple, if you can’t get in, nothing else matters. It’s impossible to close a sales opportunity that doesn’t exist and you can’t qualify an opportunity until you’re engaged in an account.
When I talk about getting in, I’m referring to actions a salesperson takes to initiate a conversation with a target account. That conversation is what leads to qualifying activities and hopefully, a sales opportunity.
Why you can’t get in
There’s a simple reason you can’t get in — the person you’re calling, writing, or mailing doesn’t value the conversation you’re offering. If they did, they’d welcome the contact. But they don’t and as such, they ignore you.
You can’t get in because the person you’re trying to connect with doesn’t value the connection. It’s mistaken to chalk that up to bad timing or being an interruption.
Here are the signs and results of struggling to get in
I believe Getting in is the greatest challenge in B2B sales. It’s expressed a number of different ways, but here’s what I hear all the time in my coaching and consulting work:
- Our prospective customers don’t get it
- We don’t get as many meeting as we should
- We call and email a lot of people, but we get very little response
- Our sales pipeline is weak and unpredictable
- We’re not sure what to say when we get someone on the phone
- We talk to a number of people, but the conversations don’t go anywhere
- We send lots of information to prospective customers and never hear from them again
All of the items above are symptoms of needing help getting in. The result is unpredictable sales forecasts, revenue hockey sticks, and underperforming sales organizations. Struggling to get in leads to companies earning less market share and revenue than they should.
The key to getting in is being relevant
If you want the person you’re contacting to respond, the key is being relevant. Relevant phone calls, email, voicemail, and letters are answered and responded to. That’s both the simple truth and the rub.
Being relevant is about framing your conversation in the worldview of the person you’re approaching. The other person’s interest, concern, opportunity, awareness, sensitivities, threats, and biases form a filter of sort for all information they encounter. Present a message and frame a conversation within that worldview and you’re relevant. Once you’re relevant, you’re in.
You have to be relevant to get in.
What say you?