Are Your Collateral Materials Doing More Harm Than Good?
Marty was well into his conversation with a prospect that he cold called minutes ago. The conversation was going great and the prospect was responsive up until the point where Marty was going to conduct his needs analysis to determine if there’s a fit.
The prospect then asked the fatal question, “Marty, I’m in a bit of a rush now. Can you send me a brochure or some additional information about your services?”
When Marty responded with a resound, “Yes,” he knew that he already blew this selling opportunity. Instead of scheduling another time to speak, Marty lost control of his sales process. He didn’t have a chance to conduct his needs analysis to uncover the prospect’s challenges and difficulties with their current process or service provider. He was not able to determine the advantages the prospect could realize from making a change.
Many salespeople look at a request for more information as a good sign. However, these are the same salespeople who have a mighty long list of prospects to call back and check if they received the information that was sent.
How many times do you follow up with a prospect who you’ve sent collateral material to only to find that they haven’t gotten around to reviewing it? And if they did review what you sent them, how many times have you heard, “Thanks for the information. I’ve gotten everything I need from you at this point. If we have an interest, we will contact you in the future.” It’s no wonder the prospect responded this way. If they’ve gotten all of the information they need, then what do they need you for?
Sending out a brochure does not overcome any objection. Rather it multiplies them. Sending out collateral material this early in the game accomplishes nothing more than creating another obstacle that will limit your chance of selling them. The irony is, the act of sending out material to a prospect actually creates an objection. The very thing that you are trying to avoid the most is what you’ve succeeded in creating.
Why should a prospect call you back when he has all of the information he needs about your company and product? Why should the prospect put time aside to meet with you if he feels that he has all of the information on paper that you would share with them in person?
The hasty and untimely use of brochures and other marketing material can easily spoil even the best prospecting efforts.