I follow the Boston Red Sox in the American Baseball League and am always astonished at the number of games that are played in a season. Nearly 180 in a 6 month season if your team makes the play offs. It is no wonder that they have some strict rules in place to make sure that the games do not go on for too long. Eight innings with three outs per innings and three strikes for each out and most games finish in three hours after the obligatory singing of “Take me out to the ball park and it’s one two three……..” and “Sweet Caroline”.
It is a pity that the three strike rule is not applied more rigidly in business and in particular sales. In my line of work, there is many a time that I have chased and chased a prospect with no response from them and me continuing to e mail, phone, text and general stalk a lead to see if they want to work with me. I have come to the realisation that whilst this is very diligent such a way of working only makes me a busy fool!
I am now going to adopt a three strike policy. Three contacts or attempts at contact with a prospective client and if they are not signed up then time to move on and work with someone who is willing, wants to, is able to make a decision.
I find that the best clients are the ones who are able to make a well judged swift decision to work with you. They are organised and will generally have all their paperwork in place. Those that have needed more than three strikes tend to be the clients that need their hand held, are not organised with paperwork and generally suck the life from you.
There is some bravery involved in sticking to such a policy especially in a business that is in its infancy. But surely you are better going after a prospect that wants to do business and three opportunities to tie the knot should surely be enough? Some in sales suggest that they would rather have a quick “no” on the basis that they do not waste any further time on a prospect that is not wanting to work with you.
So it’s batter up and let’s play ball………………………………………