In this article, we’ll discuss three sure-fire methods of engaging prospects effectively.
Reliable methods of engaging a prospect in a way that moves you steadily through the sale cycle can be difficult to distill without years of practice, data collection, and self-analysis. Directly engaging prospects is not necessarily the most important part of a salesperson’s job, despite what you may think, but you’ll never achieve truly excellent results without mastering the art. In this article, we’ll discuss three sure-fire methods of engaging prospects effectively. These methods may not work identically across all industries and sales styles, but they’ll give you a firm jumping-off point for developing your own perfect methods.
Knowing the important details of a prospect’s business and life is perhaps the easiest way for any salesperson to quickly engage that prospect. An individualized approach will beat a generic engagement strategy 90% of the time, so long as you’ve done your research and properly developed a strategy.
The secret lay in showing that knowledge, that understanding of the prospect. People pay more attention to what you have to say if they think you have insight into their personal situation than they would to a stranger proposing a generic solution to a generic problem they may or may not have.
This partially overlaps with the previous method, but holds true whether you know the prospect’s background or not. People want to talk about themselves and given the slightest opportunity will do so. Focus on learning the questions that best prompt a prospect to run in the direction you want them to go-it will vary with your industry.
Once you have a prospect discussing their problems, you will gain the information you need to start tailoring your approach and offering specific solutions.
As an ancillary, note that talking about your product, your company, and yourself will lose the prospect faster than anything else you might do. There may be a time when you should lay out your credentials to help reinforce the purchase as a good, safe decision, but it should come later or when prompted by the prospect, not be what you use to engage.
A prospect that has put some effort into the sales process will pay more attention to what you have to say than one whose role has been wholly passive. Generally speaking, people value their own time and effort and thus transfer that value to things they have put time or effort into.
By convincing the prospect to fill out paperwork, clear a spot on their schedule for your next discussion, or otherwise inconvenience themselves for the sales process, you put them in a situation where they feel obligated to pay attention to justify the time and effort already expended. When you understand where and how you can make a prospect for your particular industry and product commit themselves you’ll notice a marked improvement in your sales across the board.
As an aside, the same mental process which makes this work for salespeople can be a pitfall for them-don’t trap yourself in a pointless engagement with a go-nowhere client. Keep the sunk-cost fallacy in the back of your mind when considering how long to pursue a particular prospect-effort and resources expended towards a goal in the past do not justify continuing to waste resources or effort towards that goal, even if it stings to give up what you’ve done as a waste.
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.