Hand-​Raisers: Who They Are & Why Reps Should Care

BY Jessica Helinski
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Hand-​raisers can be a salesperson’s perfect opportunity for new business. But many reps don’t know how to recognize or sell to this type of prospect. “Identifying hand-​raisers is a relatively easy process, as they technically identify themselves,” explains HubSpot’s Jay Fuchs.

He goes on to define what makes someone a hand-​raiser and how reps can sell to them successfully.

What Is A Hand-Raiser?

Fuchs defines this type of prospect as follows:

A hand-​raiser is a prospect who indicates interest in a company by offering their contact information — typically in exchange for some sort of collateral like a virtual content offer or a free consultation.”

To be considered a hand-​raiser, a prospect must be the one to volunteer their contact information. As soon as someone gives their email address or phone number, you know you’re dealing with one. As Fuchs mentioned, they typically do so in exchange for something. Usually, these prospects can find you or your product/​services a variety of ways:

  • Content. This is one of the primary ways these prospects find you. Whether it’s a white paper they sign up to receive or an ask for a demo, content can attract hand-​raisers. “By publishing high-​quality, practical content through mediums like a company blog or YouTube channel, [you] can reel in customers interested in your space,” Fuchs explains. “Once you have them engaged, you can entice them with content offers or other collateral they can access in exchange for their contact information.”
  • Paid advertising. This shouldn’t be a surprise; your advertising can draw in hand-​raisers who are willing to offer up their information when taken to your website. Make sure you have a call to action such as an information request form or webinar sign-up.
  • Their own research. Hand-​raisers may also find you simply by doing their own research, such on social media or a Google search. “They might be looking for a solution like yours and are checking out various players in your industry along the way,” he writes. This could lead them to your site, piquing their interest and leading them to provide their contact information. This activity by future buyers is another reminder that sellers must work to maintain their online presence and increase credibility

Selling to Hand-Raisers

This type of prospect is considered a “warm” prospect; they’ve already initiated contact and shown interest in what you’re selling. So already, reaching out should be easier than contacting cold prospects.

Fuchs recommends that sellers approach hand-​raisers with persistence but not aggression or pushiness. Don’t immediately ask for a discovery call or demo (if they haven’t requested on). Instead, try reaching out with another type of value, such as other content that could be beneficial to them. Also, use a soft-​sell approach. As a previous Media Sales Today post suggests, "Showcasing genuine concern, as well as empathy, is what will separate you from competitors. Make each interaction personal so the prospect doesn’t just feel like a generic goal."

Ultimately, selling to hand-​raisers rests primarily on your ability to turn them into qualified leads,” Fuchs writes. “Try to tease out where they're coming from and relay that information to marketing to help them gauge whether they're worth the… time.” At this point, you can then move on to the discovery and qualification stages of the sales process. You've been able to bypass that initial prospecting phrase and cold-​call outreaches. 

Looking for your next hand-raiser?

These prospects can be an excellent opportunity for new business without a lot of initial effort on your part. The next time you get contact information voluntarily, take note that you have a prospect who is a hand-​raiser. As Fuchs points out, “Sales is the art of cultivating and capitalizing on a prospect's interest, so hand-​raisers can give you a significant head start when it comes to that process.”

Photo by Corinne Kutz