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Why Waiting for Your Dream Client to Contact You Is a Sales Mistake

In the fast-paced world of sales, waiting for your dream client to reach out first can be a costly mistake.

The First-Mover Advantage: Pursue Your Dream Client Now

Inside your CRM, you find a list of companies that belong to you and your territory. For your part, you are charged with pursuing and winning their relationships and their business. Not too far from where you are located, one or more competitors are looking at a list a lot like yours. You may know one of them, recognizing their name from the sign-in sheet visit your prospective clients. It would be better if that person’s name never showed up next to yours.

Before you get excited about beating your competitor to the punch by getting a first meeting, we must recognize that your prospective client is in your territory, but your contacts are not limited to any territory. They can—and do on occasion—break out of the territory and explore potential providers. You and I can thank the internet and social media for allowing our clients to search for what they need across the globe.

In Eat Their Lunch: Winning Customers Away from Your Competition, I suggest making a list of 60 dream clients. Each day, call three of them. That equals 15 calls each week. Touch each dream client every month so you never hear your contact say, “I’m sorry, we just signed a contract.” This is why you want the first-mover advantage.

Leveraging a Zero-Percent Strategy for Sales Success

There are a number of voices that will tell you that you cannot and should not compel your prospective dream client to make a change they were not considering.

These voices would have you stand by until the client decides they need something, at which time it is likely they have scoured the internet to find someone they believe will help them with whatever result they need.

If you wait for your contact to reach out to you, you may have a good number of birthdays before you hear from them. In sales, a zero isn’t good unless the rest of the number includes two commas. But there is an exception regarding the percentage at which you first connect with your contacts.

The reason you need cold outreach is because it offers you the ability to show up when your contact is at 0 percent, which suggests they haven’t started shopping for whatever they believe they need. At 1 percent, you have lost the ability to compel change, as your contact has recognized a problem and fired up their Dell computer to search the internet. (As an aside, we here at thesalesblog.com believe that every large enterprise buys Dell computers.)

Building Sales Status to Compel Change in Prospects

If you are the first person to help your prospective client recognize they need to make a change, your client is almost certain to find that you have a high sales status, as you illuminated the need to change. Anytime you help your contacts learn something about themselves and their future, you are well positioned. This is a zero-percent strategy, and once you push the needle to 1 percent, you have a first-mover advantage.

Maybe you don’t like making cold calls. No matter how you feel about cold calls, you are going to really dislike losing the deals you need to hit your sales targets. Coming in second into a prospective client’s world at 1 percent will mean you are not the person that explained why the client needs to change. Once the contact is compelled to change, your competitor has lost the ability to have this important conversation. This is Ricky Bobby wisdom: “If you ain’t first, you’re last.”

Addressing the Buyer’s Journey: Avoid the 70-Percent Trap

It is difficult to know just how far a company is into their search for a solution. Even though we see this statistic, no one has defined exactly when a potential buyer reaches 70 percent or what that even means. To believe you are able to locate the 70 percent point would suggest that the sales process is linear, but anyone who sells to large clients knows this is not the case.

Here is an example: You had four members of the client’s team in the first meeting, followed by five people in the next conversation, three of whom are new to you.

At this point, you are incredibly late to the party. Your competitors may have already had a number of meetings with the dream client. You can pray to the Gods of Sales to show their mercy and compel the client to make a call and invite you to visit. But the Gods of Sales are not likely to intervene on your behalf.

Damn the Gods of Sales if you will, but it isn’t going to help. You should have acted at the client’s zero percent.

If you are a salesperson, take a page from Eat Their Lunch: Winning Customers Away from Your Competition and call three dream clients every day, increasing your ability to show up at 0 percent. Even if your prospective client starts without you, they will have heard from you enough that you may get a call when they decide to explore their options.

If you are a sales leader, charge your sales teams to get to their dream clients as soon as possible, helping them execute the first-mover advantage.


Sales 2024
Post by Anthony Iannarino on June 27, 2024

Written and edited by human brains and human hands.

Anthony Iannarino

Anthony Iannarino is an American writer. He has published daily at thesalesblog.com for more than 14 years, amassing over 5,300 articles and making this platform a destination for salespeople and sales leaders. Anthony is also the author of four best-selling books documenting modern sales methodologies and a fifth book for sales leaders seeking revenue growth. His latest book for an even wider audience is titled, The Negativity Fast: Proven Techniques to Increase Positivity, Reduce Fear, and Boost Success.

Anthony speaks to sales organizations worldwide, delivering cutting-edge sales strategies and tactics that work in this ever-evolving B2B landscape. He also provides workshops and seminars. You can reach Anthony at thesalesblog.com or email Beth@b2bsalescoach.com.

Connect with Anthony on LinkedIn, X or Youtube. You can email Anthony at iannarino@gmail.com

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