Cultivating sales prospects is far more than just a numbers game. It involves getting to know your new potential customers on a personal level and putting in the time and effort.
The key concept in this process is development. Prospecting is all about deepening and nurturing relationships. Learn five sales prospecting tips you can start to use right away, and how they can take your entire marketing strategy to the next level of success.
1. SALES PROSPECTING STARTS WITH RESEARCH
Our first sales prospecting tip is research, research, and research some more. Dig through the partnerships, professional histories, business decisions and strategies, funding information, LinkedIn profiles and any other publicly available information you can find about your prospect.
Identify points of interest where you can lead the customer towards a sale. Learn how to tailor your approach specifically to that customer. The more you know about the prospect before you reach out, the better off you’ll be.
2. DROP THE BOILERPLATE EMAILS
Too many companies rely on one-size-fits-all template-based emails. It doesn’t matter how well crafted your email is, or how many “proven” tactics it uses, if it’s based on a template, it’s not going to be as effective as a personalized message. Start your emails with something specific to the potential client—a recent event in which they were involved. Ask them questions and encourage them to talk.
Give them something free, whether it’s an article, ebook, or a couple of videos. Track responses and above all else, don’t wait. Send your email now, while the information is fresh in mind.
3. MAXIMIZE YOUR LINKEDIN USAGE
LinkedIn is on the rise as a professional social media powerhouse. It’s also a playground for sales and marketing, where leaders and pioneers come together and where decision-makers exercise influence. Learn to maximize your LinkedIn usage. Keep your profile clean, detailed, informative and professional, and treat it like an industry conference that never ends.
When you find prospects on LinkedIn, follow them and monitor what they’re doing on a regular basis. Comment and make sure they see your comments. Be engaged and active.
4. TIME YOUR CALLS
This is perhaps the trickiest tip. In general, the old wisdom of calling late in the morning or during lunch is a bad idea. People prefer to be contacted while they’re in a professional headspace. Don’t call during leisure time. According to a recent study, the best times to call are 8:00 to 9:00 am, and 4:00 to 5:00 pm.
5. ALWAYS HAVE A CALL TO ACTION
Finally, always make sure you have a clear call to action. Propose a specific time and date that you can touch base and clarify that you’ll be quick. Confirm and send calendar invites promptly. Remember that this is a process and don’t look to stuff all your information into a single contact.
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