Prospecting for bankers

Question: How long do you keep calling a prospect to set up an appointment before throwing in the towel?

Answer: It depends on how important the prospect is to you. Start with the assumption that you’re going to have to work to get in the door. Once you and your sales manager have come up with the best approach—which will often focus on a referral from a party the prospect knows and trusts—you’re ready to launch your campaign.

Use different approaches: phone calls can be alternated with emails or letters. Be sure to practice what you’re going to say before you pick up the phone. Make every contact you have valuable, adding something that underscores the benefit of meeting with you.  Try to talk to a real person in the prospect’s organization and enlist that person’s help before going in to voicemail.

If after a number of unsuccessful phone attempts—we would generally say 4 or 5– you may want to vary your routine. If you don’t have a referral, try to get one. If it’s appropriate, you might consider dropping by to set up an appointment. See if there’s somebody else in the company you can talk to.

Keep after your prospect for at least 8 weeks. If you’re still unsuccessful, drop this prospect into your follow-up file for 3 to 6 months down the road. Don’t give up after putting so much energy into the hunt. Things can and do change!

Here are other articles on prospecting that might be of interest:

In Search of the Magic Prospect List

How to Build a Bigger and Better Prospect List

Webinar Alert: Ned Miller is leading a live webinar for the Graduate School on Banking in Madison on “Getting in the Door with Prospects” on September 26, 2017. For more information or to register go here or call 800-755-6440.

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