One of the things I often see in salespeople is nervousness about asking people for their contact information. Too often, they accept, “I’ll get back in touch with you,” from their prospects, when they should really take more ownership for the next step.
I’ve got a simple method I use that gets me the right contact information every time. In fact, with CEOs, it’s gotten me their cell number every time but one!
First, let’s look at a situation where one of my clients could have used this method.
A while back, one of my clients got connected with someone through a personal situation, and the subject of business came up. Turns out the person he was talking to was in an industry related to his, and my client wanted to get together to discuss how they might send some referrals to each other.
My client said, “Hey, we should get together for coffee sometime. I’d love to figure out who you know that I should know, and the other way around.”
The other individual responded, “Yeah, that would be great.”
Unfortunately, then my client lost his nerve. He didn’t ask for the other person’s contact info. Given the personal nature of how they got connected, he felt it was too awkward. Eventually, online research turned up some information, but it took my client a decent amount of time to find it. And he still didn’t know for sure if what he found was the other person’s preferred method of contact!
Has something like that ever happened to you? Or maybe you’ve guessed what contact method they wanted you to use, and you ended up playing phone tag.
There’s a simple question that can avoid that: “What’s the best way for me to get in touch with you, so that this doesn’t turn into a long game of phone tag?”
Nobody wants to play phone tag!
I ask CEOs some variation of that question all the time. I’ve only ever had one CEO that didn’t tell me to use his cell phone. All the others gave me their mobile numbers, and many of them even told me to text them on it!
It may seem crazy, but it’s all about permission, and making it about the other person. You need to take ownership of making the next step happen. By asking that simple question, you take responsibility. And that’s how you get the best contact info for people, including cell numbers for CEOs.