More Customer Development – My dog food tastes better today.

More Customer Development – My dog food tastes better today.

By Scott Sambucci | October 9, 2013

Had a very good call block yesterday. My goal was 12 calls, and I hammered out 16. 🙂 An early trend emerging that is unsurprising and important. More on this below…

I’ve started a process to track my call outcomes. I don’t know how long I’ll stick with this – just a way for me to measure results and sources.

  • Type 1: Real Customer Development conversions. These are generally appointments established from previous calls/emails.
  • Type 2: Outbound calls during which I talk to the prospect, and we agree to set a definitive time to have a true Customer Development conversation (i.e. Type 1 call is now set).
  • Type 3: Outbound calls that go to voicemail, followed by a personalized email to the person, AND the person returns my call/email.
  • Type 4: Outbound calls that go to voicemail, followed by a personalized email to the person, but no return call/email received yet.
  • Leftovers: Call backs and emails from previous days’ calling efforts to scrape up more appointments.

Classification_Poster_websiteSeparately, I’m rating contacts:

  • “A” Contacts: Personal and professional friends. People I’ve known and worked with in the past; people who I know will take my call and make time for me.
  • “B” Contacts: People I’ve met in person or have had an extended phone conversation or two, and with whom I’ve actively kept in touch; also includes introductions from “A” contacts.
  • “C” Contacts: People I’ve met once or twice (i.e. at a conference, as part of a group presentation) and who may not remember me even though I remember them.
  • “D” Contacts: People who don’t know me at all.

Yesterday’s results:

  • Type 1: Three (3) of these. Two were appointments set last week. One was the result of an outbound call earlier in the day, and the subject made time for me right away. All three of these were “A” contacts. The one that made time for me in the afternoon without an appointment was heading to Paris last night, yet she still took 30+ minutes to talk to me, then gave me four more people to call, and invited me to host meetings during an upcoming conference at her company’s reserved meeting area.
  • Type 2: Six (6) of these. I reached these people mostly through “voicemail then email.” 5/6 are “A” Contacts. One was a “C” contact that I emailed via LinkedIn’s InMail function because he’s switched companies since we last spoke and I did not have his current contact info.
  • Type 3: Three (3) of these. All three are “B” contacts. I now have two appointments set for this week, and was told by the third’s assistant – “You should call him at 8AM on Thursday. His schedule is clear at that time and he’s always in the office early.”
  • Type 4: Two (2) of these. One A and one C contact.
  • Leftovers: Two (2) follow up emails from voicemails I left on Monday and I hadn’t sent the follow up email on Monday right away.

See the trend? Great customer development calls and pingbacks with my “A” contacts. Less so with the B, C, and Ds.

More calls scheduled for Thursday, so another post soon on how that goes.

Lessons learned so far:

  • Use the network where you can.
  • Soon the network will run dry, so get introductions in every call with “A” contacts.
  • Figure out the script for the “C” and “D” contacts. These represent the “rest of the market” once we’re ready to sell an early version of our solution.
  • There are more lessons to learn. It’s only Day 2 of this project.

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