Incubate your Prospects

Every spring our chickens turn to all things spring like and produce brand spanking new chicks. They are gorgeous and my daughter totally falls in love with the little yellow squiggly things.

But the eggs take a while to hatch and need to be kept at a certain moist temperature.  Enter the electric incubator which is a wonderful gadget.  You pop the fertilised eggs inside and 21 days later, out hatch the little chicks and after 4 more days they’re ready to go in to the cage with the warming lamp.  Nothing is needed except to top the reservoir up with water and keep the electric turned on. Cool eh.

It’s an industrial process but it does mean that 90% of the eggs hatch and the little squiggly yellow things get to live a full life.

In the same way prospects need to be given the right environment to hatch. You might have left a voicemail message, couldn’t get through the next day and was put through to voicemail on the third day.

Then you gave up. Shame.

If you put the prospect into your incubator, they will emerge as ready to talk to you, and eager for an appointment to discuss their challenges and your expertise solution.  Let me show you an example as to how it works using a real life scenario.

  • Last August, whilst on holiday, I received a call from a client telling me that he’d made a referral. Fantastic, so on my return, I made a call to the prospect. Couldn’t get through, he was in a meeting, so I followed up immediately with an email explaining I’d be making contact. I didn’t ask him to contact me, but said I would, but let it open for him to contact me if he wished.
  • I then put him on my weekly sales tips email which sends out a sales tip every week. No promotion just good content. After all, he was a Sales Director, so would be interested.
  • I tried phoning again, but again, no luck, in a meeting.
  • Next was an email attaching an article I’d written which talked about his business challenge and how I could solve it.
  • Followed up a week later with another email giving him a link to my YouTube Channel where there were some videos explaining the solution for his sales team.
  • A quick call, but to no avail, although this was to his mobile phone at 8am before he arrived in his office.
  • An invitation to link up on LinkedIn went out next day.
  • He then returned the call, and guess what, my voicemail picked it up.  Does this resonate with you in this modern age?
  • So a quick email, this time inviting him onto a webinar I was running on selling protection products. He didn’t attend but I sent him a link to the recording.
  • Then an email directing him to my blog.
  • Nothing for a couple of weeks, as I was intensely busy.
  • Next, a couple of case studies showing how I’ve helped similar firms to his, solve their challenges and the value I provided.
  • And I went all out the next week and sent him a personal card, one of those with teams rafting down the rapids with some motivational message.
  • Meanwhile, each week, the weekly sales tips hit his inbox, so he knew who I was, the value I provided and much information about how I worked, my values.
  • In November, we managed to talk on the phone, we quickly arranged a meeting at his offices and we began his programme for his team in January this year.

Pays off eventually. The Incubator.

So how about you, have you a CRM that can handle this, do you have the digital and other content ready – the White Papers, the Blog, the Videos, Case Studies, eZines, testimonials, YouTube Channel, Motivational Cards, Webinars – ready to be put into your automated incubator to keep the customer warm until you and they are ready to talk and meet up?

When the prospect and I finally talked, his words. “I already know you Paul and how you work, let’s meet?” And we hadn’t even spoken before that time.

So think about an incubator, its how to handle the modern, hellishly busy prospect. Relying on the phone alone to fix up appointments won’t cut in today’s Sales 2.0 world.

My daughters terribly excited about the new arrival of chicks this spring. The eggs are going into the incubator for 21 days, a further 14 days under the warm lamp in the cage and then they’re ready to be put outside in the runs. Fully complete to live a full life…until Mr Fox arrives…but that’s another story.