10 years ago
January 6, 2015

3 Great Sales Prospecting Techniques

Consider the following three sales prospecting techniques and how they might help you beat your quotas this quarter.

Rhys Metler

In the hunt for sales, consistently updating your sales prospecting techniques is a must to stay competitive. There is more to successful prospecting than simply making the greatest possible number of calls and turning on the charm. If you are not leveraging your sales prospecting techniques with a methodology that leads to results in mind, you might be losing sales opportunities even if you are doing everything else right. Consider the following three sales prospecting techniques and how they might help you beat your quotas this quarter.

Sales Prospecting Techniques #1: Jump into New Media

New media is a phrase for methods of communicating over the internet. Sales prospecting techniques that utilize new media can be more successful than those that rely only on traditional prospecting methods like cold calling and drop in visits; after all, your prospects have internet presences as businesses and individuals, and connecting through new media can be a deep opportunity to warm up prospects before more personal contact is made. Consider new media avenues for prospecting such as:

  • Building connections through social media like LinkedIn
  • Promoting yourself and your knowledge through publishing online articles
  • Participating in online forums relevant to the products and services you sell

Developing a new media presence for prospecting is only part of the picture; you must also measure how this activity is resulting in sales, and what type of sales your sales prospecting techniques are attracting. In the long term, this analysis will provide the information that you need to determine where to center the most of your sales prospecting efforts and point towards areas where you can work on improving your skills.

Sales Prospecting Techniques #2: Never Let a Qualified Lead Go Cold

If you have been in sales for any amount of time, you will likely have heard someone say that 99% of prospects will say no. If you are on track to beat your quota, you know that if 99% of prospects are saying no, something is going wrong with your sales prospecting techniques! One reason that the belief that 99% of prospects say no is allowed to continue is that sales people allow “no” to be the final answer.

If a lead has been targeted and qualified, it is a best practice not to let that lead go cold. Even if you receive a “no” on the first try, persistence and a firm demonstration of value will turn “no” into “yes!” in the majority of cases, if handled tactfully and with respect for the prospect’s time. The next time you hear an objection and are tempted to treat it as the final word, use gentle persuasion to keep your foot in the door so that you can come back to that prospect at a better time with a better proposition.

Sales Prospecting Techniques #3: Turn the Tables and Disqualify Instead of Qualifying

While it is true that staying positive is the cornerstone of successful sales prospecting techniques, in some cases looking only at the positive could be leading you to inefficient use of your time. This is particularly likely to happen when qualifying your prospects. Overoptimistic estimates about interest, budget, timeline, and a variety of other factors may lead you to spend more time with your “qualified” prospects only to find that the contract date is consistently pushed back, or even suspended indefinitely.

You can avoid this by taking a different tack and disqualifying prospects as actively as you qualify them. When you receive information that could be an indicator that a prospect is not as strongly qualified or high probability as you might like, assess that information in the context of what you already know honestly. It may be that your prospect is not as highly qualified as you thought, and your sales prospecting time could be better spent elsewhere.

Rhys Metler

Rhys is a tenacious, top performing Senior Sales Recruiter with 15+ 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 daughters, BBQing on a hot summer day and tropical vacations.