How effective do you believe your sales prospecting strategy is at this very moment? If your response is, “Uuuh…,” “I’m not sure,” “… not very,” or anything else short of, “Foolproof,” your strategy needs some work. According to Cambria Davies, writing for HubSpot, “Prospecting ensures that every lead you talk to is genuinely a good fit for your product – or has the potential to be a good fit.” This process keeps you from wasting time on bad leads, which will help you meet your sales goals in a more timely manner. Now, if only there were some tips and tricks for success. Oh wait, there are, says Davies.
Sales Prospecting Tips
Do Your Research
Yeah, this one should be obvious, but you’d be surprised how many sales reps don’t actually do their research. And researching is the most important aspect of sales prospecting as it’s the first step to qualifying your prospects. Davies says that there are three goals you should aim to accomplish in your research:
- “Determine if the prospect is workable
- Qualify and begin prioritizing prospects
- Find opportunities to develop a connection through personalization, rapport building, and trust development”
Personalize your pitch for each prospect
Again, this one should be obvious, but a lot of sales reps cut corners by using their same old pitch and only update the prospect and product/solution names. That approach is not going to get you far in the sales process. Davies recommends building your sales pitch around what you discovered your prospect cares about. Did you miss that detail during your first round of research? No worries. This time, take a look at:
- The prospect’s blog: Many professionals had their own blogs even before the COVID-19 pandemic drove up the popularity of personalized, customer-facing content. So, it’s likely that your prospect has their own blog. Check it out to see if there’s a common theme among the articles they’re publishing. That’s a solid indication of what they care about.
- Their social media profiles: Your prospects use social media the same way you do. They want to appear more human and make posts that reflect what they do and care about. Take a look at their recent updates and posts to figure out what they value.
- The company’s About Us page: When all else fails, you can always fall back on an old reliable, the prospect company’s About Us webpage. This page will give you, at least, an indication of the company’s values and goals as a whole, which are therefore your prospect’s by association.
After you’ve figured out what the prospect cares about, you’re ready to create a decision map to bring your prospect’s options and end-goals to the forefront. Once you’ve done this step, you can craft a sales pitch that “resonates with their primary objectives,” says Davies. You can also prepare for potential objections. All of this is why personalization is a crucial part of sales prospecting.
Perfect your initial outreach
Companies everywhere have a tighter hold on their purse strings than they have had in years. As such, they’re not likely to pay sales reps too much mind. That is, unless you craft the perfect initial outreach. Remember, the goal is not to sell to your prospect, but to help them. Here are a few tips from Davies on this sales prospecting stage:
- Take advantage of mutual connections, if you have them. People are more likely to be open to talking with people they may know instead of total strangers.
- Provide value immediately that goes beyond your initial elevator pitch. Davies recommends that, instead of using a follow-up call or meeting as a call to action, offer the prospect a free trial of your product or “offer to conduct an audit on their digital media presence and get back to them with findings in a week,” or something along those lines that benefits them immediately without you asking for anything in return.
- Keep the conversation casual and pleasant. Remember that you’re both humans. Add in pleasantries and comments based on your research that could establish connections on a deeper level. Also, keep in mind that this isn’t a full-on sales call just yet. At this sales prospecting stage, you’re just trying to determine if you could both benefit from working together.
These are just three of the 26 tips, techniques and tools Davies recommends for sales prospecting success. Check out her article to learn the rest.
You should always be mindful of how the prospect is assessing you and whether they deem you credible. To increase your credibility, read our free e‑book, The 7 C's of Pre-call Intelligence.
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