How We Identified the Perfect Lead
The following story gave us room for celebration, and some excellent lessons learned:
We have a client who sells practice management services to cardiologists. This client needs telephone appointments with cardiology decision makers whose current contracts are near renewal and who are considering changing vendors.
We have a huge challenge!
Finding someone at that exact decision making timeframe is hard enough. Complicating matters, the decision maker doesn’t always have the same title at each practice, so we don’t know whom to ask for in advance. Most frequently the physician-cardiologist makes the decisions, but sometimes the office manager or CFO is responsible. Making matters more challenging, we are never certain where to find the decision maker. Sometimes he/she is in the hospital; other times in the private practice.
The calling list is huge, and has multiple records that lead to the same decision maker. We don’t always know which records are connected in advance, however.
Our goal is finding the right record that leads to the right person who is in the right decision making frame of mind at the right time.
And, last week, we did it. We found a perfect opportunity – and now we’re crossing our fingers that our client can close the deal.
When I look back at how we found the lead, we focused on 5 different records. One record led us to the CFO and Chairman of the practice, but after 5 calls, we never spoke directly with these individuals.
Calling another three records several times, we learned inaccurate information. Had we listened, we would never have pursued this opportunity. We were told that the cardiology group was already under a two-year contract.
Finally, after calling the fifth record, we connected with an individual who at first was about to hang up on us. The VSA caller persevered, engaged in conversation and talked about her adult child who lived in Dayton, in the same neighborhood as the individual on the phone’s son. This individual eventually connected us to the controller. The controller was eager to learn more, and accepted our call. After three more calls, we successfully set an appointment for our client.
We rejoiced even further when we learned that the conversation between our client and the controller went well and there was genuine interest. Our client has since talked to the CFO and Chairman.
So, what did we learn?
• Even if there is a need at the organization, it’s often impossible to speak to a decision maker
• Relationship-building breaks the ice and works
• Coming in at the controller level (still a senior decision maker) is often easier than reaching a CFO or Chairman
• Perseverance pays off
• A little luck helps!
If we had stopped calling before reaching the controller, we would have considered the experience a failure. But, instead we were lucky this time and found a perfect lead for our client.