Trial and error is typically the way we learn what works and what doesn’t in any endeavor. The process takes time and effort, but will ultimately lead to better results. Thankfully, you don’t have to do that yourself when you’re sales prospecting. Mike Renahan, writing for HubSpot, has you covered with prospecting tips supported by expert data collections!
When to Reach Out
Every prospect is different, but the dates and times they prefer to receive business calls and emails is fairly consistent. That's why the first of Renahan's prospecting tips is centered on timing. Obviously, the best times to send business-related emails are during the workday (between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. in your client’s time zone), cites Renahan. In a previous SalesFuel blog post, I reported that, “In general, 19.9% of received emails are opened on Tuesdays. The next best bet is Fridays, which have an average open rate of 19.6%. Time of day matters, too. More recipients open email at 3 p.m. than at any other time of day.”
After that first cold email is sent out, you’ll want to follow up with a phone call on either Wednesday or Thursday. No one wants to be contacted on Mondays when they’re still getting back into work mode or on Fridays when the weekend is within their grasp. “The best days to call and follow up are Wednesdays and Thursdays from 6:45 am — 9 am and 4 pm — 6 pm,” says Renahan. If you don’t reach the prospect right away, don’t worry. Leaving an effective voicemail can also give you plenty of opportunities to earn a sale.
Help Prospects Trust You
Everyone knows that your chances of landing a sale increase when you have earned a prospect’s trust. But that is always easier said than done. Renahan’s prospecting tips say that social media is an excellent place to start establishing trust with a prospect. First of all, it’s where you can learn more about them. You can identify personal aspects to bond over, such as a mutual favorite sports team, and you can find links to their professional work to use as ice breakers, such as blogs they write or their company’s white papers.
Let’s not forget that social media is also a place to connect with prospects. “Vorsight found that sales reps are 70% more likely to get an appointment on an unexpected sale if you join LinkedIn Groups,” says Renahan. Also, you can use social media to check for mutual connections between you and the prospect. Ask one of those connections to get your foot in the door by introducing you to the prospect.
You can also update your bio to increase your approachability. Add information such as where you went to school, the places you have lived, and other facts about you that could spark conversation. That way, when a prospect goes to check out your profile (and they will!), they’ll feel a connection with you before you even start talking. This is one of the steps we recommend in our new e‑book, the 7 C’s of Pre-Call Sales Intelligence. When you take your credibility seriously, so will your prospect.