One of the biggest mistakes you can make is judging the success of your effort by the initial response you get. I was reminded of this as I sat through a 20 Group meeting. Mike Haley, the former hiring class instructor, was the guest speaker on the agenda.
He opened his session by asking about the current state of hiring in the shops. One owner talked about running an employment ad that didn’t work. Someone else mentioned having a scheduled interview with a great candidate who didn’t show up for the appointment. Then there was another entrepreneur who chimed in about using a head hunter only to have the resulting hire quit on them.
Then Mike asked the group to comment on how they found the best employee who currently works for them. Several people mentioned finding them through advertisements. They were then asked how many ads it took to hire “Mr. Right.”
Here is what surprised me about their response: Nobody mentioned finding their “A” player on the first attempt! It took an average of five to seven ads to find the right person! They would have missed out on a great hire if they judged the success of their effort by the response of the initial attempt.
This is why you must approach your goals like the blind man in the batting cage: If you just keep swinging, you can get a hit, even if you can’t see how it will work! Keep reading you will learn about two other aspects of your business that require you to keep swinging.
Follow Up Calls
I had service writer tell me that follow up calls don’t work. I asked him how many he made, to which he replied, “Five. And none of them came in!” Based on the latest marketing research, the typical response rate when you are contacting existing customers is 15%.
If you had a goal to get three customers as a result of “declined service” calls, you would need to make twenty calls to accomplish your goal! (20 x 15%=3) Judging the success of your program based on a five-call effort will cause you to strike out on the bottom line!
The right amount of calls, delivered the right way, can lead to a home run and improve your response rate beyond the 15% average.
Have you ever given up on a potential fleet customer because he didn’t say yes on the first attempt? The Thomas Publishing Company did a study concluding that only 10% of salespeople go beyond the third contact. They then found that 80% of “new business” sales are made on the fifth contact! This perspective can help you to overcome future resistance with persistence.
The key is to change up your methods of communication so that you “keep swinging” without coming across as pushy. A phone call, followed by an email, a LinkedIn message, a mailed package, and then a visit works better than just making multiple phone calls.
One of our clients mails his potential fleet customers a pair of socks with a letter promising to provide a level of service that will “knock their socks off.” His next “swing,” which is a visit, is usually well received and he has become known as “the socks guy!”
Sometimes, your most common objection is a reflection of YOUR beliefs. If you always get the following objection, “I can’t afford it,” check the mirror to make sure your beliefs line up with your financial goals. What you believe determines what you see.
This is important because it takes faith to keep swinging when you don’t see immediate results. Approaching your follow-up calls and fleet managers with the right mindset will improve your success rate and keep you swinging like the blind man in the batting cage!
P.S. I have a New Fleet Acquisition Kit with the details on the above mentioned “socks mailer,” that will help you swing for the fences. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will send it to you.