Prospecting is like dating. To succeed and reach your desired outcome (whatever that may be) as quickly as possible, you try to make each date special. To reach your desired outcome in prospecting, aim to make each touch special. Just like in dating, prospecting is a time when both you and your prospect are trying to determine if you want to pursue a long-term relationship.
To grow your business effectively and efficiently, you basically need two things: a pipeline and a system for working as many people through it as you possibly can. Giving prospects a call when you happen to think about it is not a drip system. You’re lucky if this technique gets you to first base, much less a client.
The 98 Prospect Experience is your shortcut from prospect to client because it’s systematic yet flexible, so you can easily tailor it to each individual prospect. At the end of the 98 days, you either have a client, a very warm prospect, a qualified prospect you can move into your long-term drip or an unqualified prospect you can eliminate from your pipeline.
A structured drip system gives you confidence and helps you to look and feel more professional. In the end, you’re left with qualified prospects and new clients because you haven’t just prospected them, you’ve given them a prospect experience.
98 Day Prospect Experience
- Begin by developing your “10 Most Wanted” list of prospects. These can be people already in your pipeline, people you do business with, people you know or people you know of and would like to have as clients. You can also follow this same process to re-engage a stale or neglected pipeline. In addition to their name and contact information, develop a prospect profile which includes everything you know about them.
- Develop your Strategic Plan for each prospect. Use all the information you’ve acquired about each prospect to customize a plan for each that includes 7 touches over a 98 day period of time. Be creative. The goal is to differentiate yourself and build a prospect experience. Remember, it’s the little things that make the big difference when creating an “experience.”
- Every prospect should receive a contact every 14 days. If you were to call a prospect every 14 days, that might be excessive but because you’re mixing up your touches, it is not. Set up the entire 98 day plan in your calendar. Leave nothing to chance or memory. If you haven’t done so previously, try to make your 7th contact an appointment. Examples of different types of touches are:
- Phone call
- LinkedIn connection request
- LinkedIn message sent
- Non-business related touch: use this 98 days to get to know your prospect so you can tailor this touch specifically to the individual and their interests
- Fun Outing: golf, sailing, fishing, ball game, etc.
- Invitation to one of your events or seminars
- Bonus Touches: For bonus touches, send personal notes after lunches and outings. Handwritten notes are a lost art and therefore they’re noticed, opened and read. It’s the little things that make a big difference when creating an experience.
- Once you commit to the plan, YOU MUST EXECUTE flawlessly over the next 98 days. Carefully consider each touch. Your one and only objective is to warm the prospect up a little bit more with each successive touch.
- At the end of the 98 days, you will have a warm pipeline with several new qualified prospects, and ideally, a couple of new clients.
- For prospects you feel have extraordinary potential, you may choose to take them through a second 98 day cycle.
- A key benefit of the 98 day process is you will know who is qualified and who can be dropped as a prospect. Those you choose to keep after your 98 day high-touch drip should be transitioned into your long-term drip system.
Like anything else in business, you must commit to the process. Be diligent and consistent. Pack your pipeline. The more people you work through the 98 Day Experience, the more qualified prospects and clients you will have. Also, the more prospects you add to your pipeline, the less emotionally attached you become to any one prospect. This minimizes the emotional ups and downs inherent in prospecting.
You have the system. Now you need an easy way of keeping track of prospects in your 98 Day pipeline. To see at a glance where each prospect is and what touches you’ve already completed with them, get your free 98 Day Spreadsheet. It will keep you on track and seamlessly working your prospects through the system.