What Are the Biggest Mistakes Sales Professionals Make While Trying to Reach New Customers?

At the beginning of this month, I had the chance to speak with Shawn Casemore about his recently published book entitled The Unstoppable Sales Machine: How to Connect, Convert, and Close New Customers. His book addresses the shifts sales professionals and their organizations must make for introducing modern sales strategies. It provides insights and proven strategies for business owners, sales executives, leaders, and professionals -- anyone who desires to create a rapid and sustained increase in their sales without investing significant time or money. 

During our conversation, I asked Shawn: “What are the biggest mistakes sales professionals currently make while trying to reach new customers?” Here is his complete answer:

There is only one mistake sales professionals make while trying to reach new customers or clients – they give up.

A recent Gartner Study has outlined what sales professionals have noticed for years. Buyers spend less time connecting with sales and more time researching their ideal solution.

This continuing shift results in many buyers not engaging with sales until they believe they have a need. This results in one of three possible scenarios for sales -- They must contend with buyers who:

  • Engage before they begin researching, with no intention of buying.
  • Engage while researching and never circle back to confirm their decision.
  • Do not engage as their need isn’t yet clear or urgent.

Unfortunately, experiencing any of these three scenarios can result in sales giving up on the pursuit and conversion of their prospect.

Instead, sales professionals must be more strategic about pursuing new buyers to build trust and curiosity. The first three steps to take in accomplishing this are:

  1. Too many sales professionals find a new lead and pursue them aggressively, only to taper off their efforts within the first two weeks after no response. Instead, sales should slowly build outreach, increasing your buyer’s attention and creating the perception that you have something interesting to share.
  2. Studies have repeatedly found it takes between 8 to 20 touchpoints to get buyers’ attention. As a result, outreach strategies must consist of at least 20 touchpoints if there is ever an opportunity to connect with the buyer.
  3. Many of the sales teams I work with use one primary form of communication - email. Buyers are overwhelmed with emails today, and increasingly complex spam filters are removing more unwanted emails from their inboxes. Instead, sales professionals should use various methods to reach buyers, including direct mail, telephone, video, and social media. 

The only thing to give up when pursuing buyers is old methods of prospecting that are no longer relevant.

What do you think of Shawn’s perspective? Have you or your company experienced these scenarios with potential customers? If so, have you incorporated any of Shawn’s solutions? What other solutions have you tried?