The Professional Breakup

How often and how hard should you pursue a new lead?

We’ve all read various reports, surveys and research indicating that it takes between 7-12 reach outs to actually connect with a prospect EVEN IF THEY WANT TO TALK TO YOU.

The question is how does one go about connecting, without creating a backlog of leads that we never properly process.

We suggest a definitive engagement approach where you determine whether or not a new prospect can be reached before officially standing down and putting them in a marketing “nurture” segment. Our preferred engagement approach is 9-12 reach outs over 3 consecutive weeks.

Each week you call twice (and leave short professional voicemails) and send 1 email. Repeat for 3 weeks. Inject 1 or 2 “ghost” calls in that period (where you call but do not leave a voicemail) and then stand down with confidence. This allows you to thoroughly “process” a lead then move on.   

However, we do suggest a unique approach for the last voicemail that you leave. We call it ‘the professional break up’, which goes something like this:

“Hi Mr Prospect, it’s Mark Cox from In the Funnel. We help companies sell better. CEO’s engage us when revenue growth has stagnated or the sales organization is not meeting expectations.

I’ve reached out to you a number of times over the last few weeks and it sounds like you’re very busy at the moment. As a result, I’m calling to let you know that I’m going to stand down for now as I do not want to keep filling your voicemail. I’ll reach out again in 4-6 months when timing might be better for you to discuss this.

However, please know that I would be delighted to discuss improving the sales results for your team whenever you are ready. Feel free to call me anytime at …”

(note: this voicemail should be followed up with an email version as well.)

In our experience, this “stepping away” approach results in a disproportionately high percentage of responses. In some cases they are almost apologetic when they do respond!
We may not be experts in human behavior, but our team thinks that the prospect actually appreciates the professional persistence and in some cases is envious of it (remember all of your prospects also sell).

If you’d like a copy of the In the Funnel Engagement Model email us at