Here’s  a situation.  You have created a list of  20 highly qualified prospects.  You’ve  researched them, and you know that these 20 people hold your prosperity in their  hands.  But they don’t know you, have  never spoken to you, and aren’t inclined to drop everything and see you.

How do you get to see them?

You can do what everyone else  does.  Send them an email.  Maybe leave a voice mail message.  Then be really frustrated that no one calls  back.  Or, you can do something a bit  different, and much more creative.

For those highly qualified  prospects, think of using a “pre-call touch.”   A pre-call touch is something you deliver to the prospect that says  something about you, catches his attention, and makes it more likely that  he/she will see you when you call.

Here are two examples of “pre-call  touches” from my most recent book, How to Sell Anything  to Anyone Anytime.

One of my clients was an advertising  agency.  They had identified 100 “right  people” – the key people in their market and location who held the future of  the advertising agency in their hands.   They had accomplished the first step – identifying the right people –  with excellence.

Now,  the problem was to move those highly qualified prospects to interact with the  agency.  The experienced team knew that  those key people with whom they needed to interact were busy and difficult  people to see.  They just wouldn’t  respond to the normal channels.  So, they  came up with this very creative way of engaging with their prospects.

They sent each of the 100 prospects  a box, about the size of a watch box.  It  was wrapped in brown paper and contained no return address.  The name and address of the prospect was  hand-written in a female hand.  Inside  the box was a sugar cube and a small piece of paper, like the size of a fortune  cookie message, with the words, “Keep it sweet.”

That was it.  Nothing else.

One week later, those same prospects  were sent another box, wrapped and addressed in exactly the same fashion.  This time, it contained a lemon with the  message, “Don’t let it go sour.”

Again, nothing else in the box.

On the third week, yet another box,  wrapped and packaged identically.  This  time, the box contained tinsel foil, like that which you use to decorate a  Christmas tree.  The message?  “Make it sparkle.”

Once again, nothing else.

Week four and yet one more box  arrived, identical to the others.  This  time there was only one thing inside – a business card from the advertising  agency sales person, with a self-stick note stuck to it.  On the note was the hand-written message,  “I’ll call you tomorrow for an appointment.”

Of the 100 people who received that  series of deliveries, every single one of them took the call and made the  appointment.  The advertising agency,  when faced with the difficult task of engaging the prospect, had developed an  effective and creative solution.  They  gained their prospect’s attention, they captured their interest, and they  prompted them to take action – they took the phone call and made the  appointment.  In other words, they  engaged the right people!

Here’s another example.  This time, I was on the receiving end of a  well done “pre-call touch.”  I was busily  typing away on my computer when the FedEx guy walked into my office, put a box  down on my desk, and said, “sign here.”   I did.

You know what you do when you get a  personally addressed FedEx delivery  —  stop everything and open the box.  That’s  what I did.  Inside was a  package of microwave popcorn.  Underneath that was a plastic bottle of Diet  Pepsi.  Underneath that was a linen  envelope with my name hand written in a female’s script.  I opened the envelope.  Inside was an invitation, personally written  in the same script.  It said, “Dave, We have researched your company, and  concluded that yours is the kind of company who gains the most from our  service.  I’d like to invite you to take  30 minutes and watch a webinar as I introduce what we can do for you.  Enjoy the popcorn and soda, and let me do all  the work.  I’ll call you this afternoon  to confirm.”

I thought to myself, “Not bad.  This probably cost them $30.00 to $40.00.  They wouldn’t have invested that money and  time in someone who was not a good prospect.   I probably am right for them.   I’ll take the call.”

This sales person could have sent me an email, and I  would have deleted it unopened.  She  could have left me a voice mail message, and I would not have returned it.  Instead, she chose to deliver something to me  that got my attention and made it much more likely that I would accept her  phone call.

Clearly, a “pre-call touch” isn’t for every  situation, nor every prospect.  For those  high potential, qualified prospects, however, it can be the event that opens  the door.

I don’t know what you can use as a “pre-call  touch.”  A little creative brainstorming  on your part could develop just the right delivery.  Don’t give in to the temptation to send a  company brochure (yawn), or just a letter.   Break out of the box and think about what you could deliver that would  catch the prospect’s attention, say something about you, and make him more  likely to take your call.

It can make all the difference.


Dave Kahle has trained tens of thousands of B2B salespeople, sales managers and business owners to be more effective in the 21st Century economy. He’s authored nine books, and
presented in 47 states and seven countries. To access Dave’s training, insights and tools online, visit The Sales Resource Center. Visit to check out a seminar near you

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