I asked for a referral from one of my clients to someone else in another part of their business. They very kindly gave me some contact details and said they couldn’t guarantee anything but it would be worth an initial conversation. (So it was more of a lead really- still good though as I could leverage my client as the introduction!)
After 9 attempts at different times over 3 weeks I finally got to speak with Steve. He told me there might be a requirement coming up but wouldn’t have time to discuss it or meet yet. I asked him how I could help at this stage and he asked for an e mail with a broad overview of what I could do.
Despite trying to qualify a little further he replied that he knew he was being vague and he promised to look at the information and agreed a follow up phone appointment. I decided this was less likely to be a put-off as he agreed to a follow up time.
He e -mailed me prior to the phone appointment to tell me he had the info and would be in touch but couldn’t specify when and to try in a couple of weeks.
After another few attempts we spoke a few weeks later and here’s how the conversation went:
“I’m sorry Martyn, I did have you in mind to potentially do something for us but we’ve subsequently seen a couple of other providers and we’re in the process of reviewing the proposals.”
“That’s ok Steve, do you mind letting me know what the requirement is?”
“Yes it’s to deliver some sales training for our Telemarketing team but as I said we’re reviewing proposals.”
“How long ago did you receive the proposals?” I asked.
“2 weeks ago, why?”
“And does either provider stand out?”
“Not really, we still need to review their proposals, why?”
“OK, the fact that you’ve not chosen so far from the proposals indicates that the providers haven’t convinced you they are the right ones to work with your telemarketing team- I’d like the opportunity to come and meet you. At the end of the meeting it will either confirm that I am the right sales expert to consider working with your team or it means you have still to choose from one of the other providers or maybe even another option. How does your diary look on the 23rd?”
Steve agreed to meet, liked my activity based approach and the Telemarketing team were great to work with.