When was the last time you were invited somewhere?
I’m talking a wedding, a birthday, a barbecue… perhaps to church?
Did you attend or decline?
And the person who invited you… did they follow up incessantly every week until you reluctantly agreed to go?
Here’s the thing…
An invitation is an offering of goodwill. There should be no pressure to attend, no bait and switch, and no obligation to buy.
As salespeople how often we actually make invitations to prospects or customers?
No, I’m not talking about sending an email to a prospect with a pitch that includes a link for them to schedule time with you in their calendar. That’s a little audacious isn’t it? Although, I’ve seen this assumptive approach a lot lately.
I’m talking about an invitation to share an idea you have that might help their business. Nothing more, nothing less.
You’d think so…
The challenge with B2B selling is this:
Everyone is trying to yell louder and more often than the next guy… just to get a prospect’s attention.
You need to stop yelling, or begging, or pitching … and start inviting.
There’s a difference between pitching and inviting. And knowing this distinction can make a huge difference in your business development success.
When you start inviting prospects to spend 5 minutes on a call with you (not 30) to share one idea to improve their business…
When you start inviting prospects to a webinar that will give them some actionable tips to grow their business…
When you start inviting prospects to a new technology demo which will show them how to save time and money in their business…
You eliminate the sales friction.
Because you’re simply extending an invitation which they can either accept or decline and you’re not being pitchy.
You’re seen as someone who isn’t desperate, but has commercial insight to share, not just another aggressive salesperson.
When you start extending tiny little invites to prospects instead of making big pitches or worse yet, attempting to convince them to accept, you’ll feel good about picking up the phone again and you’ll double or triple your long term sales effectiveness.
So, the next time you’re about to pick up the phone, leave a voicemail, or send an email to a prospect, imagine you’re just extending an invitation to a close friend.
Would you say to your friend?
“Hey David, my amazing son is having his 12th birthday party next Saturday. He’s the smartest kid in school! He’s got dozens of friends. You have to come! We barbecue the best burgers on the block. If I don’t hear from you by tomorrow, I’ll follow up with you on Wednesday, October 4th. By the way, don’t forget to invite your wife because I know she makes the gift buying decisions.”
Tiny little invites, no pitches.
(selling comes later)