Step 3: Find the Right Decision Makers and Build a List
Here’s the wrong way to do this… ring, ring…
Bank: “Hello, Some Little Bank, how can I help you?”
You: “Hi I’m looking for the person in charge of selling your non-performing notes and REO”
You: “Yes, I’m looking for a special assets manager or someone who’s in charge of selling your notes and REO”
Bank: “I’m sorry we don’t do that here”
You: “Oh, really? Is there anyone else I can talk to about that?”
Bank: “Um, sure…” (long pause ~ “hey Bob someone is asking about REO, do you want to talk to them?” Bob: “No”)
Machine: “Hi, you’ve reached the voicemail of Bob Banker…”
And that’s that.
If you’re prospecting this way you’re going nowhere. This is the “brute force and ignorance” approach. It is so over.
This might have worked with persistence in the days of only phones and fax machines. It is not going to work for you today.
This is coming from a guy who worked in a boiler room making a 100 dials a day with a goal for 2 1/2 hours talk time. I’m no a stranger to ice cold calling. But today? This is OVER.
If you’re serious and you want to be effective you need to start with a name and you should start as high up in the organization as you think you can.
Call at the Top
Where you start will vary by the size of the bank. If you’re calling on small community and regional banks in your area you should be calling all the way at the top.
There are 2 reasons for this:
- It gives you “posture”. Nobody calling into the bottom of an organization is worth talking to. You can argue this but the fact is that this is the perception. Who calls the operator? Customers and salespeople who have invested no time whatsoever in learning about the prospect they’re calling on, that’s who. So put on your big-boy pants and prepare to get a little bit uncomfortable if you’ve never done this before.
- It shortens your sales cycle and gives you credibility within the organization. Imagine you call the president or Senior Vice President of an organization, you have a real conversation about their challenges and their portfolio; you’re referred next to the special assets manager who will actually do the work and you say “Hi Bob, I was just talking with (someone 1-3 levels above you) and he said that you and I should speak.” The next thing that happens is you’re invited in for a meeting. Guaranteed.
If you’re comfortable with businesses as prospects then the next thing you need to do is start building your list of contacts
We talked about building your list of target banks and credit unions, now you need to find out who the actual people are. After all it’s people who make decisions.
There are so many resources available for identifying decision makers, it is inexcusable to not do your homework.
- Data.com will help you build your list of contacts. Its a continually updated, crowdsourced database of hundreds of thousands of contacts and
we integrate with it in BankProspector
- LinkedIn when used properly will also help you identify and contact real decision makers.
- There are lots of resources online but don’t forget that there are real people working at these lenders and they belong to professional organizations like TMA, ABI, and local banking organizations. Join these. Go to the events. I did.
So here it is.
Step 3: Build Your List of Decision Makers for Your Target Organizations
Do this in batches. One BIG reason you want to do this in batches is because if you save the research for your prospecting time… it will never happen. Your “research time” will be stall time, procrastination.
Do this part BEFORE you start contacting people because in the next post I’m going to cover how to put together a prospecting system and this system only works if you have fuel for it and your list is the fuel.