One of our specialties at BizXpand is helping companies make the transition to outbound. That means prior to working with us, their leads typically come from referral, relationships, or inbound visits to their website.
While systematic outbound has some amazing properties (predictable, cost effective, and strong ideal customer profile match), the first meeting is often a surprise.
Good outbound lead generation creates curiosity in the prospect and sells the value of a first meeting — not value in the product/service.
If you ask them why they agreed to meet, often they will simply say “you got my attention and because you invited me”. If we score based on traditional BANT (budget, authority, need and timeline), outbound always are weak in “timeline” and the prospect is often too early in the decision funnel (early stage investigation rather than searching for solutions) to be able to answer BANT questions effectively. This is not a bug– this is a feature.
First Call is for Discovery
Salespeople used to working with relationship leads, will mistake this for a time waster. In this case, however, we have a decision influencer matching a need profile on a specific message that your company does well. They did not take the meeting to be nice. However, they also did not take the meeting to consider buying something today. This is the third category. The ideal match that is not ready and no trust-bridge yet exists between you and the prospect. You have just met your potential “soul-mate”, it is just that neither the prospect nor the outbound-inexperienced salesperson knows it yet.
With outbound leads, you need to be prepared to discover together the challenges the prospect is facing. Talk about how others are working on this same issue– bring them in slowly, talk about alternatives to your solution, make it safe to wait. There is a slow nurturing process. However, once they are ready, if you did your job right, you are the only one they want to buy from. That means low risk of competitive ‘bake-offs’, hard price negotiations, and ghosted customer.
Outbound leads warm slowly but close quick. This changes the rhythm and techniques that a salesperson uses. Patience vs responsiveness. Consultation vs Prescriptive. Inquisitive vs Confident.
Use your inbound game with outbound leads at your peril. Execute with patience and few leads are easier to close under win-win terms.