4 Effective Sales Prospecting Tips (That Aren’t Cold Calling!)
Many salespeople dread the idea of “prospecting” as it can bring back memories of rejection, unanswered messages, and hang-ups, but it is an essential part of any sales role. The truth is, many people in sales are using outdated techniques, or rely solely on cold calling, instead of taping into new techniques that can lead to a higher volume of qualified leads. Sales prospecting does take effort, but it doesn’t have to be inefficient.
Try out these 4 prospecting tips to find better, and more engaging, leads:
1. Be smarter about who you’re reaching out to.
Essentially everyone is a consumer, but not everyone is a consumer of your service. It’s best not to take shots in the dark and instead truly get to know your ideal buyer. There are plenty of the “right” people out there – it’s just a matter of finding them at the right time with the right message.
Get your team highly focused on the characteristics of your buyer.
Analyze your top customers and develop prospect profiles based on those people.
The days of cold calling are gone. It’s proven to be ineffective, and these days, unnecessary. There are plenty of ways to “warm up” a lead before you reach out. For example, you could:
Ask your current clients for a referral or leverage a shared connection.
Comment on a piece of content they shared on social media.
Run a campaign with downloadable content and follow-up with those that downloaded your information.
2. Tap into social media.
It is almost essential for a salesperson to have a good social media presence. Social media provides an online platform to network with others at your fingertips. By connecting with the right people, contributing to the right conversations, and joining the right groups you are essentially building your own personal brand and audience. For most businesses, LinkedIn is the best platform to reach a quality audience, but your team needs to be using it in an effective way.
Optimize your profile by stepping into your prospect’s shoes. What would they want to see there?
Share relevant and valuable content that will attract the kind of customer you want to do business with.
Explore 2ndand 3rdlevel connections to leverage people you have in common.
3. Test out diverse types of content.
These days, your customers have information at their fingertips. Send them content that’s unique enough they’ll want to click on it. This means both in the content itself and the type. Some tips to get started:
Avoid hard selling your company’s services and talk about solving your customer’s pain points.
Try providing a new point-of-view or showcase an interview with an industry expert.
Provide them with valuable tools and resources you think would be helpful or interesting to them.
Send inspirational ideas about the industry to gain the reputation of a “thought leader.”
Your customer might not respond well to all types of media; it’s best to test out a few types to see what works. Video has become a popular technique to include in social content, and even direct messages, as a way to stand out. You’d be surprised how a simple video can increase your email open rates.
4. Leverage your losses.
Missing the mark with certain prospects is inevitable. You’re not going to convert every single lead into a customer, but you can certainly learn from them. Think about the last few deals you missed out on. Do you know why? If not, try reaching out again to find out. After all, you have nothing to lose. Digging deeper can do a few things:
You’ll improve for next time. Find out what a competitor did better or what the prospect was looking to be different.
You might resurrect the deal. You never know if the timing was just off or something else was going on in their organization.
You’ll generate referrals. They may have just decided they didn’t need the service anymore, but it’s likely they have others in their network that could use some help.
The business of sales is typically fast-paced, where sales people enjoy participating in selling activities and avoid planning, making prospecting a challenge. Follow these tips to help you and your team get the most of their prospecting time.