If cold calls and sales emails aren’t getting you anywhere, try using these surprisingly effective prospecting techniques instead. Read on.
Getting new leads and filling your pipeline is getting increasingly difficult. Connecting with prospects seems impossible. You get ignored time and time again. People aren’t answering their phones and they’re not responding to your emails. It can no doubt get discouraging—and stressful, since you have a quota to meet.
And though it’s probably the least liked part of your job, prospecting is critical to ensuring that you have enough potential buyers to sell to over time. You can’t let your pipeline run dry, or you won’t hit your sales targets.
If you’re still using the same old, tired prospecting methods, like cold calling and sending sales emails, then you’re probably having a tough time getting new prospects.
Instead of doing the same ineffective thing over and over again, and getting the same poor results, why not try something new? Check out these surprisingly effective prospecting techniques that you might not have tried yet.
As you go about trying to gain new prospects, you face a tough challenge: overcoming the negative sales person stereotype. Buyers don’t want to buy from you simply because you’re trying to sell to them. Even if you’re the most honest, transparent, and genuine sales person there ever was, you still have to overcome this huge obstacle.
Blogging can help you do that. All sales people should blog, and for several reasons. First, by sharing your thoughts, ideas, and knowledge with buyers, you’re letting them get to know you, which builds trust. By sharing your expertise and experience, you’re also boosting your credibility. And becoming known as a subject matter expert in your field will only help you close more deals—because buyers want to buy from the best.
It might seem counter-intuitive—why wouldn’t you sell if you’re a sales person? But prospecting, in and of itself, is not selling. It’s about sourcing qualified leads, establishing relationships, and nurturing potential buyers. So you should not be selling as part of your prospecting. Only once the trust has been built and the relationship has been established should you begin to sell. Otherwise, you’ll just put the prospect under pressure and push them further away.
No one is responding to your sales emails—but you keep sending them anyway because that’s what you’re supposed to do. Though email is one of the most powerful tools you have in your arsenal, it won’t be effective if you’re doing it wrong.
If your sales email sounds just like every other sales email that a buyer has read, then they really won’t see the point of reading it, or even opening it.
So be different—stand out from the crowd. Become a video rock star. Instead of typing out what you want to say, shoot a short video of you talking instead. People love watching online videos—they won’t be able to resist.
As a sales person, you might think that social media is a waste of time, or is something that only marketers should be using. But using social media is one of the most effective prospecting techniques out there, if you do it right. Sites like LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter are filled with valuable information. You can research prospects before calling them up in order to personalize your conversations. You can find common connections in order to get an introduction before sending an email. You can share valuable content on these sites so that prospects become familiar with your name and company before you reach out. Social media in sales matters, so you should be using it.
Your prospecting efforts are probably completely focused on finding new leads. But what you might not realize is that your current customers can be an excellent source of leads. They’re already familiar with you and your brand. They already like what you sell. And they might be able to give you some high-quality referrals.
Don’t just use the same prospecting tactics because they’re the strategies you’ve always used. If they’re not working, try something new, like the surprisingly effective prospecting techniques described above. By trying out different tactics, you’ll find the right mix that works for you.
Claire has 4+ years of experience in sales and recruitment. As a Director of Client Services, her main objective is to connect great people to great companies by building strong relationships with both top clients and candidates in the sales industry. She specializes in sales roles of all seniority levels for both enterprise and start-up clients North American wide. When Claire isn't networking with top talent, she enjoys being outdoors, traveling and spending time with friends & family.