1 year ago
April 13, 2016

5 Great Sales Prospecting Techniques

These five great sales prospecting techniques can help you find better qualified leads by making your prospecting more efficient and more effective.

Rhys Metler

great sales prospecting techniquesProspecting is an integral part of sales and the importance of effective sales prospecting techniques cannot be underestimated. Yet many sales people prospect without the benefit of first learning the sales prospecting techniques that could be helping them find better qualified leads more quickly. This lack of focus undermines the effort put into prospecting since leads who are not qualified ultimately will not be able to complete the sales cycle, resulting in further time loss – time that could be spent actively selling. These five great sales prospecting techniques can help you avoid that outcome by making your prospecting more efficient and more effective.

1. Great Sales Prospecting Techniques: Turn a Cold Contact Warm

Cold calling and door knocking are facts of life in sales, but not all initial phone calls or visits have to be cold. Especially with high-value leads it can be helpful to warm up the lead with a low pressure initial contact by mail or e-mail. By familiarizing the contact with your name and business affiliation before making a phone call or drop-in visit you can increase your chances of a warm reception.

2. Great Sales Prospecting Techniques: Become a Subject Matter Expert

Although there is little a sales person can do to make an unqualified lead qualified, a sales person can do a great deal to interest leads in an offering. One way to increase interest is to become a subject matter expert. As a sales person you already know the ins and outs of your industry; establish yourself as an expert by looking for opportunities to speak or present at conferences and trade shows. These high-visibility venues will help you establish credibility and trust while reaching out to new leads.

3. Great Sales Prospecting Techniques: Hold Yourself Out as a Resource

Top sales people do more than sell; they also support their clients after the sale is made, repositioning themselves as the providers of solutions, not just products and services. When clients have an opportunity to make a referral, the person whose name comes to mind will be the person who offered a solution. Sales people who are able to become resources to clients are then able to continually prospect from referred leads already interested in building a business relationship. 

4. Great Sales Prospecting Techniques: Use a Script 

Highly experienced sales people sometimes advise those new to selling not to use a script under the belief that scripting can make a conversation sound like too much of a hard sell. What those giving this advice don’t realize is that they are using a script – the script is simply so memorized from practice, it sounds as natural as unrehearsed speaking. All sales people should have a basic script for prospecting, and practice it until it sounds right. The best scripts: 

  • Reduce uncomfortable pauses in the conversation
  • Use natural language at the prospect’s level
  • Provide high-level interest generators
  • Include responses to the most frequent objections for declining further contact 

5. Great Sales Prospecting Techniques: Remember Prospecting is Not Selling

Although prospecting supports selling, prospecting is not selling. Prospecting is done to find leads who can be qualified and led into a sale. Only once a prospect is qualified does the true selling take place. As a result sales people who treat prospecting as a relationship building exercise tend to be more successful, since this approach reduces pressure on the prospect and on the sales person. With the focus on building a relationship, both parties are more comfortable interacting; this forms a firm foundation of trust for a deal by the time active selling enters the picture.

There are many sales prospecting techniques you can use to support your prospecting efforts. The task is to find the most effective and comfortable techniques for you. Practice your sales prospecting techniques until you find the right mix to support your sales goals.

Rhys Metler

Rhys is a tenacious, top performing Senior Sales Recruiter with 11+ years of focused experience in the Digital Media, Mobile, Software, Technology and B2B verticals. He has a successful track record of headhunting top performing sales candidates for some of the most exciting brands in North America. He is a Certified Recruitment Specialist (CRS) and has expert experience in prospecting new business, client retention/renewals and managing top performing sales and recruitment teams. Rhys enjoys spending quality time with his wife, son, and two daughters, BBQing on a hot summer day, tropical vacations and cottaging.