Finding a soulmate is hard.
There are only so many apps you can try and blind dates you can go on. You might have to brave many rejections.
But when you do find your match, it is all worth it.
Sales prospecting is similar. You go out there in search of the perfect client and it can feel like looking for a needle in a haystack. But when you do find a great prospect, the one you can turn into a qualified lead and eventually a client, it's magic!
And just like in dating, there are techniques you can use to turn potential buyers into forever clients. Here are 11 of the best tried and tested sales prospecting techniques.
#1 Make the time for prospecting
This one seems like a no-brainer, but the most important technique to find prospects is to actually look for them. This means making time for sales prospecting in your routine. If you don’t designate time in your day specifically for prospecting, you will end up busy with urgent calls and last-minute meetings. And at the end of the week, you will realize that you weren’t able to take time out for prospecting at all. It is one of the most ignored steps of the sales funnel.
#2 Optimize where you are prospecting
Look at which sales prospecting methods have proven to be most effective for you in the past. Where did you meet your most profitable clients? That lucrative medium is the one you need to target more often in your outreach efforts. Was it an event, seminar, trade show, or another networking opportunity? Was it online through social media like LinkedIn or Facebook? Was it through a referral? Are cold calls and cold emails working for you? Whatever it is, target it for lead generation.
#3 Create an ideal customer profile
Using the information you already have from past clients, create fake profiles for ideal potential buyers. This will help you understand what kind of targets to aim for. Which industry is your ideal client from? What role do they have there? Like a case study, create several different profiles and then find companies and people that fit those. This way you can ensure you don’t waste time chasing the wrong fit. Once you know who you're looking for, it will be much easier to find them.
#4 Warm up your prospect
Don’t let that cold phone call be the first contact you have with a new prospect. If you approach someone out of the blue, chances are they will ignore you. Your phone call might go unanswered and your email will go straight to the bin. Instead, try to warm your prospect up by finding a mutual connection who can introduce you. Try building relationships with the company or person in charge through social media. If they are familiar with you, they might stop and pay attention when you approach them.
#5 Do the research
In order to convert prospects, you have to sound like you know what you are talking about. Giving vague answers or talking in circles is going to lead to prospects losing confidence in you. Study the industry you are targeting and know exactly how your product can solve the problems it faces. You want to be seen as more than just an annoying salesperson. To sell, you have to become an industry expert and thought leader. You can even publish content online about the industry - either on a blog or social media. If you become a well-known figure in the spaces you hope to convert, they are more likely to give you a chance.
#6 Personalize your pitch
Your pitch should be customized to suit the prospect. Prospects are more likely to open a cold email or answer a call if it is directed toward them rather than generic cold calling. Find out what they need and pitch to fill their need. What kind of tone do you need to use? What are their pain points, and how can you help them? Who is the decision-maker in the company who makes purchasing decisions? What is the company size? What kind of pricing are they looking for? Use this information to write personalized emails or leave specific messages.
#7 Put yourself out there
Be easy to find! In order to give you their business, any prospect is going to want to know you. And the first thing they will do to find out information about you is to Google you. Most people will look you up on LinkedIn or Facebook before even replying to you. Have a strong online presence - on social media channels and websites - so that they know that you know what you are talking about. Showcase your best qualities by participating in webinars, joining conversations on Twitter, and answering questions on forums and polls. Even if it doesn’t get you immediate conversions, building your online presence in this day and age can’t hurt.
#8 Be eye-catching
Grab their attention. The companies you are targeting are probably inundated with the same old pitches from sales teams everywhere. How do you make sure that you and your pitch stand out?
Use unconventional means in your outreach. Make sure your email subject lines are eye-catching. Send a video pitch explaining how your product works instead of writing it down. The more different your pitch can be, the more chances you have of people responding to it, and it’ll help you drive conversions. Sales reps who take the route less taken are often the ones that end up being most memorable.
#9 Don’t stick to a script
While talking to the prospect, you want to come off as a human being, not a robot mindlessly churning out sales pitches.
That will lead to people feeling disconnected from you, and the conversation will go nowhere. Instead of just focussing on making the sale, you should redirect your attention towards forming a genuine relationship with them. When people are their genuine selves it helps others to form a trusted bond with them and they are more likely to purchase from you. After a genuine connection is formed, you can use your sales prospecting tools and techniques to convert them.
One way to do this is to openly ask them questions that will help you determine their pain points and needs. You don’t want to be stuck guessing at a later stage. If you need help framing the right discovery questions to help you learn more about your prospects, read our guide.
#10 Remember to follow up
Make sure to follow up with the prospect after the first contact. Most people might miss the first email or call, but if you reach out to them again, they will probably remember you and pay more attention. Ask if they are available to meet or get on a call again. Send additional information about your product.
If they gave you their time, remember to follow up with a thank you. Or, just check in. Regular follow-ups also give you the opportunity to keep your products and services top-of-mind of the potential buyers, increasing the likelihood that prospects will turn to you when they're ready to buy.
#11 Ask for referrals
There is no better referral than a happy customer.
Ask your existing customers to give you referrals. People are influenced by word of mouth from trusted sources more than anything. Keep in touch with customers who are happy with your services. When a positive experience is still fresh in their minds, ask them to give you new leads. When you approach potential prospects through a common acquaintance, chances are higher that it will lead to conversion. Especially because they will be able to hear directly how good your services are.
Don’t go prospecting without a Wingman
Sales prospecting is no easy feat. It can be a time-consuming and frustrating process, especially if you're not getting the results you want. It can be difficult to know where to start, who to target, what prospecting strategy to follow, and how to stand out from the competition. And it can feel like your prospecting efforts are going to waste.
That’s just where Wingman comes to your rescue! Wingman is an AI-powered sales intelligence platform that automates call transcriptions and gleans actionable insights for you to understand the mindset of your prospects. Our data-driven sales analytics platform helps you anticipate whether the prospect would convert - based on their needs, pain points, and other influencing factors. Connected with your CRM, email, dialer, and communication channels like Slack, Wingman presents you with the single source of truth to drive high-quality prospecting decisions. Book a demo with us today to experience the power of Wingman and supercharge your flywheel. To streamline your prospecting for your business, remember these tried and tested effective sales prospecting techniques and you will crush it!