How Many Times Should You Try to Meet with a Prospect?
I had a very good meeting with a client who is a very bright, thoughtful Executive Director. She asked me how many times she should try to get a meeting with a prospect before she gives up. My answer was, it depends.
- Has the prospect been qualified? They are not just a name that someone passed along but they have been verified by research (qualitative and/or quantitative) to have both capacity and affinity for your cause/organization.
- Was it determined that you are the best person to get a meeting with them? Is there someone with stronger linkage or a warmer connection that should be reaching out instead or sending an introductory email on your behalf?
- Are you trying the right mode of communication e.g. phone (office, home or cell), email (work or personal), text or social media? (Note: Don’t be a stalker but not everyone listens to home phone messages, answers their cellphone or reads private email accounts today. You may have to experiment.)
- What is your hook? Do you have some input you are looking to solicit from them or information you want to share with them that you know will be of interest or are you honoring their friend?
Before I would give up on any prospect, I would ask these four questions and make any needed tweaks. If you confirm they are qualified, you are the right contact, you have the right mode of communication and your hook is sound, then I would suggest three tries in one quarter before scheduling another attempt in the next quarter, or even later, with a new hook.
Persistence can definitely pay off, but you don’t want to spin your wheels or annoy anyone along the way.
Nanette Fridman, MPP, JD, is President of Fridman Strategies, Inc., a consulting firm specializing in strategic planning, financial resource development, governance and coaching for values-driven organizations and leaders. She is a frequent speaker, trainer, workshop presenter and facilitator. Nanette is the author of “On Board: What Current and Aspiring Board Members Must Know About Nonprofits & Board Service.”