Why did we build this eight-step, fifteen-day prospecting campaign?

Because you have leads. (Or at least partial leads) But what you really need to sell more products and services is to book consultations.

We built this process from four sources:

  • Our own practice (hence the examples!)
  • Predictable Prospecting – How to Radically Increase Your B2B Pipeline by Marylou Tyler and Jeremy Donovan
  • Magnetic Marketing by Dan S. Kennedy
  • Email It! A Sellers Guide to Emails that Work by Bill Caskey

In this first segment, we talk about what we do and why. Next week, we’ll share the specific “how,” including some emails and voicemail outlines you can steal!

 

Transcript – Aviation Prospecting Campaign – Part One

 

Paula Williams:

Welcome to this week’s episode.

John Williams:

Okay, I’m here.

Paula Williams:

I’m glad you’re here. Anyway. At least somebody is listening, so that will be fun. So today we are talking about a very important, but potentially not very exciting subject. This is not anybody’s favorite thing to do, but it is certainly one of the most important things in sales. Right?

John Williams:

Okay.

Paula Williams:

Prospecting.

John Williams:

Oh, that.

Paula Williams:

Yeah, exactly. And so we’re actually going to do a two part series. This one is kind of the what and why. And then next week we’re going to talk about how.

John Williams:

Okay.

Paula Williams:

Okay. So we kind of divided it up because it is a little too daunting for a 20 minute podcast, or 30 minute podcast, or however long we go today. But it is a topic that a lot of people struggle with, myself included. But there are some ways to make it a whole lot easier, and certainly a whole lot more predictable and profitable. Right?

John Williams:

Tell me it isn’t so. You don’t struggle with any of that.

Paula Williams:

Oh man, I wish. Anyway, that’s why I’m so good at teaching and coaching, is because I struggle along with everybody else. So I know what it means to be in the trenches. So this episode is brought to you, speaking of the trenches, by our aviation sales and marketing lab, and this is where we struggle together, and we also succeed together and all of those things because these are the smartest people in the aviation industry. And the great thing about having really smart people behind you is number one, you don’t dare to fail because you don’t want to look silly in front of them. Number two, they have fantastic ideas and are able to solve just about any problem you’d come up with because they’ve been there and done that.

John Williams:

Well, if you let them, they won’t let you fail.

Paula Williams:

Exactly. They’re very supportive. It’s a warm, friendly, cool group of people. All of them are very professional, and it’s a lot of fun. And we share a lot of tools like Lead Feeder. We’re going to talk about that today. Tools like Canva, that helps you do some simple designs and other kinds of things like that, that really speed things up so you can spend more time doing the things that take some time, like prospecting. All right.

 

Okay. So a lot of what we have talked about in the past is how to get inbound leads. So I’m assuming that everybody has at least one source of inbound leads by the time they get to this podcast. It could be you just popped off a space ship and you know you have no idea what I’m talking about. In which case, it’s probably helpful to listen to one of the podcasts about trade shows, or about SEO, or one of the lead generation techniques that we use. Right?

John Williams:

Sure beats the heck had a cold calls.

Paula Williams:

Oh yeah, absolutely. And you know, you may only have … There’s a thing called Jet Net, which is a software program in the aviation industry. There’s also AirPac. There are several of these that can drill down to people that own aircraft, people that own a specific type of aircraft, people that own a specific type of aircraft in your area, people that have owned that specific type of aircraft in your area for X number of years. You can get as specific as you want to get. So there’s lots of ways to get leads. And we’re not going to talk about that today. I mean, more than what we just did.

John Williams:

Absolutely necessary.

Paula Williams:

Okay. So we’re assuming that you have some leads and you don’t know what to do with them. Okay. And to be honest, most people don’t know what to do with them, or actually don’t do anything with them.

John Williams:

No. And we’ve been forced into explaining this to people because we provide them leads, and then they say they haven’t made any sales or haven’t gotten any interest [inaudible 00:04:08]. Then we go back and review the record and say, well what about all these? Did you call them?

Paula Williams:

Did you even email them?

John Williams:

Did you even email them? Well, no.

Paula Williams:

What am I going to say? Right.

John Williams:

And so forth.

Paula Williams:

Exactly. Okay. So a few of the ways that you might have leads or maybe getting leads from if you do a contest or any kind of thing like that in your facility, or in a trade show booth, anything like that where people drop their business cards for a prize, any kind of sweepstakes, things like that.

That’s a lead generation activity that a lot of aviation companies use.

Another one is the badge scanners or lead retrieval systems. People pay a lot of money for these. It kills me because they pay a lot of money for these. They get this fabulous spreadsheet of leads, and then they let it sit for six months, and then they say, “Oh well is this too old. I can’t do anything with it now.”

John Williams:

Yeah, they are quite perishable. You get leads, you need to follow up them as soon as possible.

Paula Williams:

Exactly, but the nice thing about the prospecting method that we’re going to show you, it actually will do some good with any set of leads. It’s just that your percentage is going to go down depending on how old they are and how unfocused they are. But no lead is worthless.

John Williams:

Nope.

Paula Williams:

Right, okay.

John Williams:

Not until you prove it.

Paula Williams:

Exactly. This is Lead Feeder, which is one of the tools in our toolbox that we share in our lab, marketing lab.

John Williams:

Well, this is one of the many views that Lead Feeder provides you.

Paula Williams:

Exactly. So this is just a screenshot from Lead Feeder, and it shows you if you click in on someone that has visited your website, and you can see what dates they visited, and which pages they visited, and for how long-

John Williams:

How long.

Paula Williams:

They spent on each of those pages. So that’s some pretty good information, but it is missing a few pieces, so it’s not perfect. But then again, we have never seen a perfect lead. Right?

John Williams:

Not yet.

Paula Williams:

Okay. Another thing that you might do is have a tip sheet, a checklist, something like that on your website that people can download in exchange for their contact information. So, that’s another good source of leads. Okay, so you have a source of leads, unless you just came off an alien spaceship, in which case you need to be listening to something else. But assuming you have some source of some quality of leads-

John Williams:

Number of leads.

Paula Williams:

Okay. What do most people do with these leads?

John Williams:

Exactly.

Paula Williams:

Absolutely nothing. This is predictive prospecting.

John Williams:

Predictable prospecting.

Paula Williams:

Predictable prospecting. Don’t bang the microphone.

John Williams:

Exactly. By Mary Lou Tyler and Jeremy Donovan.

Paula Williams:

Exactly. So these are folks that surveyed a bunch of people and have a bunch of data in here in the first couple of chapters about what most companies do with the leads that they get. And what most people do with the leads that they get is nothing. And the people that they’re surveying are people who have spent a ton of money on Salesforce, which is software that makes it super easy to do something with these things, right?

John Williams:

Yes.

Paula Williams:

So what that means is that most folks who don’t have a CRM are probably doing even less, or are less likely to do anything with those leads. So the problem with this is that you’re taking those leads that you spent so much money, and so much time, and putting together those checklists and those trade show performances, and your sore feet from those trade shows, and all of that is amounting to nothing because all of that is just going straight into the garbage, which just kills me. The reason that that happens is because people don’t know what to do, or they’re … feel intimidated, or they’re just not comfortable with prospecting. Okay. All right.

So every campaign has three elements, right?

John Williams:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Paula Williams:

The list, the offer, and the presentation. So your list in this case is obviously the stack of business cards that you pulled out of that box from the trade show, or the spreadsheet that comes from your website, from people that have downloaded a bunch of checklists and things like that.

John Williams:

Or the scan, number of leads from a trade show.

Paula Williams:

Right. So you have a list-

John Williams:

Or all of the above.

Paula Williams:

Right.

John Williams:

Hopefully.

Paula Williams:

But a list is not a marketing campaign because it’s missing two pieces. Right?

John Williams:

Exactly.

Paula Williams:

Okay. What it’s missing is an offer.

So you have to think about what can you offer the people on this list? And here we want to think about something that is fairly low cost, low risk, low commitment on both sides. Because you don’t know each other very well yet, right?

John Williams:

Nope.

Paula Williams:

So some kind of a custom report or a consultation. What is the right bait for this particular list of people? And if you have people that have signed up for a particular contest, for a free website evaluation or something, then obviously you know what the bait is for this group.

John Williams:

Yeah, piece of cheese.

Paula Williams:

Well a website evaluation. If they signed up for a piece of cheese, then a piece of cheese is what you need to give them. But you can tailor this depending on the nature of the leads that you have. Right?

John Williams:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Paula Williams:

Okay. So you need to have something that is attractive to them. Don’t use their own bait.

John Williams:

Right.

Paula Williams:

Okay. And the next thing is the presentation. So how do you present your offer? And I’m going to show you how you present your offer. But first I’m going to show you how you don’t present your offer. Right?

You don’t come on too strong. Right? You don’t even know these people very well.

John Williams:

So you don’t ask to marry him on the first date.

Paula Williams:

Exactly. You don’t ask them to marry you on the first date. You don’t do anything that’s too extreme, or extravagant, or intimidating, or anything along those lines, right?

John Williams:

Yeah. You don’t have parents that are arranging a marriage for you 10 years, hence forth. Even if you did, 10 years is too long to wait for a sale.

Paula Williams:

That’s true. Or even if it’s a referral, you still don’t want to come on too strong because this is someone that doesn’t know you very well. So, you want to be a little bit more reserved in your first steps with this person, especially if you may not have complete data on who this person is and what they may or may not want. So you don’t want to spend a ton of money pursuing this person. You don’t want to hire an airplane and have them tow a banner, and get down on one knee. They’ll run screaming if you do.

Paula Williams:

So what we’ve put together is a three week, eight touch campaign. It’s actually not quite three weeks, but it is eight touches, and it does look like an awful lot of work, and-

John Williams:

And guess what?

Paula Williams:

It is an awful lot of work. Done correctly, there’s a lot of research, and a lot of setup, and other things that go into this, but some of these steps can be automated.

John Williams:

And this is a part of it that you don’t have to feel uneasy about. You just work through it. If you feel uncomfortable about making phone calls, that’s the end of this.

Paula Williams:

Right. Exactly. So if you feel uncomfortable about making cold calls, this’ll take that away from you because you will have a lot of information before you make that first call.

John Williams:

Exactly.

Paula Williams:

But there are some calls involved, and there are some emails involved and it’s a combination that works really, really well. We adapted it from this book and from two others that we’ve in our practice, and also from our experience in our practice. And we give you everything that you need in terms of email templates, and even co call scripts or outlines that you can adapt for yourself.

John Williams:

We probably haven’t made all the mistakes, but we’ve made quite a few.

Paula Williams:

Exactly.

John Williams:

I can talk to you about those.

Paula Williams:

Exactly. So the biggest objection to this process is that it is work, and there is just no way of getting around that. If you’re not willing to do the work, then you really are in the wrong business.

John Williams:

Exactly.

Paula Williams:

Sales is hard. Aviation sales is hard. Aviation customers are smart. And all of that adds up to, it’s hard for you. It’s hard for your competition as well.

John Williams:

Exactly.

Paula Williams:

If it were easy, everyone would be doing it. Okay.

And what you’re after from this whole three week, eight step process is one of three outcomes, right?

John Williams:

You bet.

Paula Williams:

Right. And this takes the fear of rejection out of it because it is perfectly acceptable to get a yes.

John Williams:

Of course.

Paula Williams:

Right? And the yes in this prospecting program is just to get that consultation, or that report, or some first interaction with these people. It’s not to make the sale.

John Williams:

Right.

Paula Williams:

So, yes, let’s sit down and talk about my website, or let’s sit down and talk about my airplane. Let’s sit down and talk about my 145 … my 145 repair station. Let’s sit down and talk about my charter sales, whatever it is that they’re looking at that you can help them with. If you can get them to step one, which is to have that first conversation, most people feel a whole lot more comfortable with the sales process once they get past the prospecting stage. Are you going to say something?

John Williams:

Well, once you’ve talked to somebody and you made an appointment to talk to them again, it gets easier and easier.

Paula Williams:

Right. My feeling when I’m in sales mode is that there’s like a brick wall, and that is the hardest thing is getting that first brick out of that brick wall. Once you’ve got one brick out of that brick wall, then the structural integrity is compromised, and then it’s a whole lot easier to get the rest of the brick wall down and to actually be talking face to face with someone.

John Williams:

And the brick wall is the cold call. When we’re doing with step by step, removing the wall.

Paula Williams:

Exactly. So yes is a good answer.

No is an equally good answer because hopefully you’re getting enough leads that you couldn’t handle the demand if you were selling all of them anyway.

John Williams:

Right.

Paula Williams:

So getting someone off your list and not spending any more resources on them, even if it’s just the space in your head of I really need to do something about that long list of leads-

John Williams:

Yep.

Paula Williams:

You get that space in your head back to do other things with, right?

 

And then the third possible response is a not now, and we’ve talked about holding patterns and how to wait until they’re ready, when they have the budget, or they have the approval, or they have the whatever it is that you’re waiting for. Right?

John Williams:

Yep.

Paula Williams:

Okay. So after I do this three week, eight step process, what have I not done?

John Williams:

There you go.

Our Eight Step, Fifteen Day High Velocity Aviation Prospecting Campaign - Part One

Paula Williams:

I have not let my leads die on the vine. Right? I have not let them die of neglect. I have not taken that spreadsheet that I spent thousands of dollars going to a trade show, and paying for the lead capture system, and getting the badges all scanned, and getting people to come to my booth-

John Williams:

And wining and dining to go with it.

Paula Williams:

Standing on my feet for four days, and wining and dining everyone. I haven’t taken that list and just set it on my desk for six months, and then said eek, that’s just too old, and thrown it away, which is completely reprehensible. And I say that having done it. Because you get busy. I totally understand. You get back from a trade show and you think, okay, well they’re not back home yet. Let’s give them a few days. And then other things come up, and other things come up, and other things come up.

John Williams:

And what is this called?

Paula Williams:

This is called procrastination.

John Williams:

Ah.

Paula Williams:

Yeah.

John Williams:

There’s the word.

Paula Williams:

And it’s also just life, you know? I mean, you’re running a business, so you’ve got … you never run out of things to do. So, the last few days, we’ve had a number of things happen. We’ve had the internet go out, we had a water heater die, we had … What else happened? It seems like there were a bunch of things.

John Williams:

The week before this influx, wow, got through that one. Now we’re clear sailing, and it didn’t-

Paula Williams:

Of course there will be clear sailing.

John Williams:

It didn’t get better.

Paula Williams:

Exactly. Or there’s travel, there’s projects, there’s clients that have seasonal things going on. There’s all kinds of things happening all the time in your business as well as ours. So yes, it is reprehensible to neglect your leads. But yes, we have done it. So if you get this set up, it’s really going to help you get past that first step, get some of this automated, and make this easy to do. Okay.

Second thing, and this is actually even more important in the aviation industry is, what have I not done by doing this process is I haven’t burned any bridges.

John Williams:

That’s exactly a very good thing not to do.

Paula Williams:

Exactly. I haven’t left anybody with a bad taste in their mouth. I haven’t been too aggressive. I haven’t tried to sell somebody on the first date. I haven’t done any of those embarrassing things that people worry about. So that’s the process, right?

John Williams:

Yep.

Paula Williams:

And we’re going to get into it next week, and we’re going to dive into the email templates, and the phone call templates, and all of those things, and show you how to make it work.

John Williams:

Great.

Paula Williams:

Yeah. It’ll be fun. Okay.

John Williams:

She’s got a strange idea of fun.

Paula Williams:

Go sell more stuff.

John Williams:

America needs the business. Thank you, Zig Ziglar.

Paula Williams:

Exactly.

John Williams:

See you all next time.

Paula Williams:

Right.