Throughout the years as I’ve delivered CustomerCentric Selling® to literally thousands of salespeople around the globe, I have always made a point of emphasizing that while the strategies and tactics we teach have proven effective over the years, there are no “silver bullets”. In other words, we, like our students, are always learning and looking for new and different approaches. This approach encourages students to share what has worked for them in the past and has often led to “aha!” moments over the years. I had one such “aha!” moment in a recent public workshop I taught.
The topic was prospecting and business development and the discussion centered on various email prospecting approaches that people have tried. One student suggested that in order to secure an initial meeting with a potential prospect, rather than simply sending an email that concludes with a request for a meeting at some future date, they actually include a calendar invite (e.g. Outlook, iCal, etc.) with a specific date and time proposed. When the prospect receives the meeting request, he or she has the ability to accept, reject or suggest an alternative time and, if they accept, their calendar and yours are automatically updated. Brilliant! In addition to communicating that this is not a generic, blanket email, it also positions the salesperson as a professional who is respectful of their prospect’s time as well as their own.