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Have a tough-to-reach prospect?

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There are reasons your hard-to-connect-with dream clients are hard to connect with. They have too much work and too little help. They are being asked to do more with fewer resources. They are time-starved. They don’t really buy what you sell. They don’t hear anything in your message that sounds like the kind of value creation that’s worth their time. Some simply avoid calls from all salespeople. And sometimes, you’re not even calling the right person.

Here are a few ideas to help you connect:

  1. Leave a better message. Tell your dream clients who you are, how you create value and what you want from them. This sometimes helps with the value-creation problem. If you promise to be respectful of their time and ask for a low level commitment of, say, 20 minutes, you may get a better result.
  2. Email suggested appointment times. Tell your dream clients you are going to email them an invite for an appointment for a short, exploratory phone conversation. Tell them that if none of the available time slots work for them, they may reply to suggest a time. Your dream clients aren’t sitting by the phone hoping to receive a call from someone selling what you sell. They may not want to commit a large block of time. But if you limit the appointment to a short phone call, your results may improve.
  3. Ask for an alternative contact. If they aren’t the person you should be calling, politely ask that they shoot you back the name of the right person. They may be motivated to help because this will let them off the hook.
  4. Promise to call back. I don’t know why we expect dream clients to call back. It never happens, and you don’t need it to happen. Your dream client hasn’t agreed to anything, but you can commit yourself. End your messages by saying you’re sorry you missed them and you will try again next week. (I once won a dream client after calling for 76 straight weeks without a break!)
  5. Persist without being a nuisance. Every time you reach out, share a new idea with your dream clients. Share a story about what you’re doing to help another client. Send them a killer idea in the form of a white paper or a case study with a hand-written note. Build a nurture tool kit of ideas you can use. Persist by continuing to prove you’re a value-creator and not a time-waster.

And finally, stop beating your head against the wall. Get some help. Have you checked LinkedIn to see if you have a connection who might make an introduction for you? Have you checked to see if you have a client who might make a call and vouch for you? Maybe you’re not the person who should make first contact with your dream clients.

Connecting with your dream clients may not be easy, but there are things you can do to up your chances of making that connection.

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S. Anthony Iannarino is the managing director of B2B Sales Coach & Consultancy, a boutique sales coaching and consulting company, and an adjunct faculty member at Capital University’s School of Management and Leadership. For more information, go


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